Messerschmitt Me 163 - Komet
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Messerschmitt Me 163 "Komet"

    Point Defense Fighter (Testbed)

The Messerschmitt Me 163B-1

    Test Engine: Argus As 014 pulesjet
Specifications for the Me 163B-1
    Engine: 1x Walter HWK 509 A-2 rocket motor making 1,700 kg of thrust
    Wing Span: 9.30 m
    Length: 5.70 m
    Height: 2.50 m
    Weight: Empty 1,900 kg / Loaded 4,180 kg
    Maximum Speed: 900 km/h (1,130 km/h was recorded 6/6/1944)
    Ceiling: 15,000 m
    Range: 50 km (7 min of flying time)
    Crew: 1
    Armament: 2x 30 mm MK 108 cannons / 12x SG 500 "Jagerfaust"
The Me 163A in full flight
The worlds first operational rocket fighter can trace it's beginning back to 1936, with the DFS taking over Lipisch's work on the Delta IVb. This resulted (via the DFS-39, DFS-194 and Me-163A) in the Me-163B by 1942. Due to problems with the new engine, by May 1943 Messerschmitt had made 70 Me-163B's, but there were no engines for them! Also in May 1943 the Klemm Company took over production of the Me-163B. It's at this time it is very probable that the decision was made to try and fit the Argus pulsejet engine, just in case the Walter rocket engine never became operational.
Two Me 163 aircraft which were singled out for testing with the Argus As 014 pulesjet engine. They were V-11 wrk-310020 (VD+ET) and the V-12 wrk-310021 (VD+EU). Weather any testing was done or not is not known, but the two aircraft were recorded as being in use with JG400 from October 1944.

In the end the Walter engine became available in the numbers needed, and Jagdgeschwarder 400 was set up in mid 1944 to replace EK-16 (after it's evaluation of the new aircraft with the first 12 Me-163B's and a number of the Me 163A's). JG400 would reach it's full operational strength in December 1944 and January 1945, but it would be grounded at the end of the war by lack of the specialized fuel needed for the Walter engine and with the very limited range of the "Komet" nothing to fight!

All together 360 B-1 Komet's were made, plus 13 Me-163A's, 3x Me-163C's, 1x Me 163D and 1x Ju 248.
A Me 163B at the end of the war, very probably one of the first 12 pre-production aircraft, which included the V-11 & V-12
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