“REICHENBERG” — A PLANE FOR THE GERMAN BOMBERS

In 1943 the situation of the Reich was not yet threatening: the front was far from his borders, and the Wehrmacht, with varying success, was fighting on foreign soil. However those soldiers who were not completely affected by Nazi propaganda, knew that in order to save Germany from defeat, you must not only defeat the Soviet Union, but also to keep the allies from being thrown across the channel and thus prevent the danger of opening a second front. These officers understood that when the level of development of science and technology only the projectile, a person giving a guarantee of reliable defeats the purpose. There is therefore nothing surprising in the fact that the group of senior officers of the Luftwaffe, the idea was to create a unit manned flying bombs, capable of finding and hitting any important target, especially the heavy ships of the allies preparing for the invasion.

 
This group on an informal basis rallied around Colonel Henry Lange, who served in the Luftwaffe headquarters. It included a few dozen people, among whom were representatives of the army, aviation industry and academia.
 
Another group infected with such ideas, was formed around the very popular at the time in Germany, pilot-test, the personal pilot of Hitler Hannah Reitch. Hannah Reitch in those days was a well known figure in Germany. Nazi propaganda presented it as a model of a truly German women who were able to achieve honourable career under the national socialist third Reich. To Ratch joined mainly former pilots, glider pilots, who worked in the factories DFS.
 
In October 1943 Colonel Lange, Hannah Reitz and Dr. Theodore, Bensinger (head of the Institute of aviation medicine) began to work out the main parameters of the manned weapons for suicide, but to embody it in metal, required the support of top military and political leadership of the Reich. Hannah Reitch, using his connections in those circles, came to the Minister of aviation, however, field Marshal milch, who led at that time this institution has not given its consent to the project. Then Hannah Reitch turned into the aviation Academy, which, as the Supreme scientific institution, had the right to independently conduct work in new areas of aviation without the consent of the relevant Ministry. The Academy became interested in the project head of the Committee for aviation studies Professor Walter George. He gave the opinion that the proposal can be implemented.
 
But despite the positive response from the Academy, the leadership of the Luftwaffe reacted without enthusiasm to the idea of creating weapons of death. Selection and training of the pilot – it is a long, difficult and expensive, and to use the pilot for a single flight – a great luxury. “Eagles Goering” and the already dying every day on all fronts, and suicide bombings would hardly have raised the morale of the other pilots of the Luftwaffe. Then Hannah Reitch reported the idea directly to Hitler, who on 28 February 1944, expressed his approval of the project and gave permission to conduct certain work in this direction. In this situation, the chief of staff aviation General Gunther Korten was unable to refuse to participate in the proposed works and was appointed Colonel Heigl of the head of the military part of the project. In addition, interest in the project showed SS troops in the face of well-known commando Otto Skorzeny.
 
Plane
 
Variants of the “Reichenberg” (Reichenberg)
 
Reichenberg
 
Training glider version of the
 
Training glider version of the “Reichenberg II”. Visible front cockpit and landing ski. Wings and lantern in the second cabin missing
 
Hannah Reitch in experimental projectile
 
Hannah Reitch in experimental projectile “Reichenberg I”, tail number M23. (M means experimental). The projectile is installed on the catapult, designed to launch “V-1”. Judging by the charred Grube engine, this car had been in flight
 
 
“Reichenberg I” altered from “V-1”. Nose visible impeller aerolia
 
Colonel Heigl prior to that, he was commander of KG 200 was not a big specialist in unorthodox methods of warfare, so his first steps were obvious: they played a set and started learning (so far theoretical) pilots. And the students allocated to the SS, as the professional pilots of the Luftwaffe at this time was busy. By March 1944, their group consisted of 80 people.
 
For the post of technical Director was appointed as a specialist in gliding the engineer Ganz Censer. He introduced Hannah Reitch jet plane Me 328, which is proposed as the basis for creating new weapons. This car was designed jointly by the two factory Messerschmitt AG and DSF, as a simple and cheap to produce fighter or attack aircraft. The aircraft was equipped with pulsating engines Argus As-014, with a 3.3 kN thrust (336 kg) each and had to have a speed of 800 km/h version of the Assault was capable of lifting a bomb weighing 500 kg. production of the aircraft is to be deployed at the plant, Jacobs – Saves previously manufactured gliders, so a significant part of the design Me 328 was made of wood. The option for the bombers decided to use Bestwestern version of the aircraft, equipped with an explosive charge weighing 1 ton It should have been delivered to the target area on the fuselage of the carrier aircraft Do the 17TH, there to get away and dive at speeds of up to 730 km/h to hit the target.
 
Test flight of the combination Do the 17TH plus the Me 328 was held at Horsing, near Linz in Austria. The flight altitude was 3,000 – 6,000 m. the Tests showed that the Me 328 has good stability and handling in the speed range from 140 to 730 km/h. Hannah Reitch actively participated in flights of the new aircraft.
 
It was recognized that the flight data of the aircraft is satisfactory, and in April 1944 he was recommended to serial production. However, the implementation of this decision was met by great difficulties associated with the lack of raw materials and semi-finished products, and with constant raids of allied bombers that had virtually paralyzed the work of German industry. Production conceived Me series 328 at the time was questionable, so for the implementation of the plans it was necessary to find another solution.
 
The choice fell on the plant Fishler, where in 1942 produced the flying bomb Fi 103 (FZG 76), known to the public as the V-1. It was equipped with the same pulsating air-jet engine as on the Me 328, had a warhead weighing 850 – 1000 kg, were controlled pneumatic autopilot firms Ascania, had two gyro, barometer and pneumatic actuators of the rudders. The shell could with a speed of 575 km/h to deliver its charge at a range of 250 – 370 km.
 
Land version
 
The land version of the “Reichenberg III” in flight. Visible landing ski
 
The marine version of the
 
The marine version of the “Reichenberg IV”. The car is painted in camo, swastika – black
 
 
Trophy
 
Trophy “Reichenberg IV”. In the cockpit of a British soldier. It is seen that the cabin is very cramped. The plane is mounted on the truck is erratic
 
Initially it was assumed that if you remove the bulky air cylinders and instead to insert the cockpit, the missile for the bomber will be ready. Work on the renovation began in July of 1943, and directed by engineer Willie Fiedler technical Director of facilities at Peenemunde. The project was called “Reichenberg”, as was named after the flying bombs of this type. Within 14 days had created four versions of the manned V-1 for training pilots and operational goals. The design work was supervised by Dr. Robert Pusser – employee of the Bureau of plant Feiler. Was designed four manned version of the aircraft projectile:
 
1. “Reichenberg I” – basdically manned version designed for aerodynamic research in flight.
 
2. “Reichenberg II” – twin educational version, with the cabin instructor is a combat load. Intended for training pilots.
 
3. “Reichenberg III” – a single training unit with the engine and skis for landing.
 
4. “Reichenberg IV” is a military variant with a cargo of explosives and without the chassis.
 
The main change in the design of the projectile was the equipment of the cockpit in the area of air cylinders, install the ailerons on the wings (remember, the V-1 ailerons were absent) and installation of the control system for the pilot. Accordingly, one cylinder, autopilot and actuators were shot. Increased wing area, in connection with the increase in takeoff weight. The second air tank was transferred into the tail section, its purpose is to provide a pressure fuel supply to the engine. The remainder mounted the cockpit: established the chair with a soft headrest, mounted handle and pedal control system, and the dashboard was put the necessary minimum of equipment: switch electrodrives, air speed indicator, altimeter, clock and turn-and-slide. The cockpit was closed with a lantern, which opened to the right. The windshield of a lantern consisted of a transparent armor, and side glass was applied to the mark indicating the angle of the dive. Overall, the cabin was very cramped.
 
In September 1943, was test flown the first copies Bestwestern options “Reichenberg I” and “Reichenberg II”. When flying the projectile was suspended under the wing of the bomber 111, which raised it to a height of 300 – 400 meters, then was reset and the pilot of “Reichenberg”, after completing a circle over the airfield, sat down. The training was simplified, so as to sorties required only straight flight at a set rate with a dive at the moment of attack. The pilot might not be able to perform the evolution, if not offered the presence of enemy fighters in the air. In early 1943, the shells of the V-1 had a speed advantage over the British planes. Circled Bestwestern versions of the projectile led to thoughts about the end of the test in a few days.
 
The first sample of the “Reichenberg III”, equipped with engine, ended with the fall of four shells and the death of the two pilots. Caused by engineer Censura restless Hannah Reitch was able to perform ten flights without any comments, but a few days later died again two test. Finally, it was found that the cause of the disaster was the strong vibration of construction arising from the work of the pulsing of the engine, which led to jamming of transactions in the control system. In addition, it was observed hazards during the landing, but they were considered unimportant, since the program of the flight landing, “Reichenberg” was not provided.
 
Worked well as start with bomber, Not 111. “Reichenberg III” was suspended under the right wing of the aircraft and climbed to a predetermined height. There’s a plane-projectile unhooked and after performing several evolutions were made a landing.
 
Developed two versions of shell – land and sea. The main focus was on Maritime variant as the initial variant of the project was the use of the “Reichenberg IV” mainly against large naval targets – aircraft carriers, battleships and large transports. Developed special methods of attack: after preliminary investigation, the plane-bomb were transported to the attack under the wing of the bomber. After reset, the “Reichenberg” was flying towards the target with a small decrease, the speed was around 800 km/h Near side of the target ship a flying bomb dived into the water, where the fuselage was split and from it fired a special torpedo that struck the ship below the waterline – in the most dangerous place. The explosion produced from the impact fuse, and the pilot probably died. His role was to control and guidance of the projectile in the air phase of the flight. And for maintaining optimum parameters of the flight was supposed to use a special sight. Do the combat part for “sea”, “Reichenberg” was not realized, and therefore it is possible to speak only presumably. So, a small torpedo could be obtained from common aircraft torpedoes LT-7 by reducing its length (with a corresponding decrease in the movement range). It was possible to use the warhead from the existing bombs, for example, from 1000-pound armor-piercing bomb of RS-1000 “Herman”. It was not ruled out more exotic options, for example, Germany has developed the bomb-torpedoes series WATTS. This ammunition had underwater movement phase and, except for instantaneous percussion fuse, supplied with non-contact. Another option is diving the warhead is to use it from the projected anti-ship missiles Нѕ293С. And you can just fill the compartment of weapons and explosives to a conventional bomb. Such an abundance of options talked about the fact that the issue of warhead remained open, it was not solved until the very end of the program.
 
American soldiers inspect a captured
 
American soldiers inspect a captured “Reichenberg IV”. The front cover is in the form of a bucket. The pipe next to the machine – spar for the wings
 
Cabin
 
The Cabin Is “Reichenberg”. On the dashboard no clock and turn-and-slide. The unit on the left side is used for engine control
 
After the categorical requirements of field Marshal Milch to take measures to rescue the pilot of the designers were obliged to provide a plane-projectile ejection seat. To implement that decision was not so easy – the cabin was very cramped, and there it was impossible to “push” any additional equipment. In addition, the chair itself was still new, and its development has promised to drag on indefinitely. In General, time was lost, and it’s a requirement to do so and failed.
 
Externally version of the “Reichenberg IV” differed from each other form the bow – marine option, she was blunt, rounded, of which were fairing of a torpedo with a fuse and ground – pointed. Under it was a control apparatus including a sensitive element of a magnetic compass.
 
The allied invasion of the continent changed the strategic situation on the Western front is the best time for use of these weapons has been lost. Just released about 100 copies of various versions of “Reichenberg”. In 1944, 75 copies were delivered to the unit of KG 200, and his fifth division, which was supposed to use these shells. However, in combat conditions, they did not apply. In addition, the lack of gasoline is not allowed the projectile to a sufficient degree, so in August 1944, the program was closed. In 1945, a few copies of “Reichenberg” in a different technical condition went to the Americans who have studied them for landfills in Alamogordo in New Mexico and Eglin Field in Florida.
 
In conclusion, it is necessary to tell about the Japanese development of such shells. As you know, at the end of the war in Japan was designed a few planes for the bombers. One such project was clearly created under the influence of the German project “Reichenberg”. The aircraft shell had the official name “Sea experienced special assault aircraft” and the name “Bike” (plum blossom). It was intended to defeat the numerous amphibious ships, which could appear off the coast of metropolis from day to day. Pay attention to the purpose of “Stories” – the defeat of amphibious ships, but when the movement “kamikaze” only has arisen, the main challenge for them was the defeat of the carriers.
 
“…Each of you will die, but will destroy the aircraft carrier!…” – about the command admonished kamikaze pilots before departure. Here there is a clear degradation in part of tasks. On the one hand, reflected in the design – a warhead has been reduced (compared to the Oka model 11), and on the other hand, it was assumed, truly, the massive use of “kamikaze” on these aircraft to repel the enemy invasion as “weapons of last resort” for Japan.
 
The plane “Bike” in parallel and independently from each other developed the two organizations. Firm “Kawanishi” received an order for design 2 July 1945, and the Aviation Institute at the Tokyo Imperial University led the work in the initiative order. The firm “Kawanishi” the work was carried out in a subsidiary of Kagiso. As the power plant, both projects use a pulsating air-jet engine “Maru Ka 10” draught of 3.3 kN (336 kgf) – a copy of the German engine “Argus”. The only difference was that the fuel pump from Japanese aircraft were operated from the internal combustion engine capacity of 1.5 HP, and the Germans the fuel was pressure from the air system. These independent projects had a very similar weight and size, the differences were only in the layout, which can be seen from the above table.
 
Designed two layouts of the aircraft “Bike”. The first involved the installation of the engine on the fuselage and the application of easy, to reset chassis. The second layout involves placing the engine under the fuselage. Chassis are not provided, the start was carried out with a special catapult. This catapult was designed at the firm “Kugisho” plane “Oka”, model 43 “Father”, so the starting truck for shell “Bike” we decided to use unchanged, and as the accelerator was supposed to use a solid fuel engine with a thrust of 7.8 kN (800 kgf) and work time of 9 seconds.
 
 
Single plane for special melee attacks
 
Single-seat plane for special melee attacks
 
 
On 5 August 1945 in the Institute of Aviation held a meeting of experts on the design of the aircraft “Bike”. The customer was represented by Admiral Wade and Vice-Admiral Katahira, availstatus Professor Ogawa and engineer of Ki-Hara, and the firm “Kugisho” – the Director, Katahira. Was the status of design work and preparation of serial production. The production was adopted by the project company “Kugisho”, with the task to adopt all the best practices from another project. Also focussed on the layout decision. Ejection of start had the advantage that the projectile could be launched from any point of the coast, and the wheel option is more suitable for poorly trained pilots. So I decided that the wheel option will continue to be used for training, and ejection for fighting bumps. During this meeting the firm “Kawanishi” provided very specific deadlines for stages of work: until end of September needs to be completed design documentation, and at the end of October – deployed full-scale serial production of aircraft “Bike”. Difficulty had one requirement: in addition to combat the samples to produce ten double training machines. The size of the “Stories” were very small, and the place where another cabin was not possible. Required to re-design the fuselage, but then it turned out another plane… At the same meeting specified requirements for the machine
 
The purpose of aircraft for special melee attacks, a very simple and cheap construction, designed to defeat small enemy landing ships.
 
Start with a catapult.
 
Constructive scheme – a monoplane with a pulsating engine.
 
Dimensions: width with folded wings – 3.6 m, length 8.5 m, height – not more than 4 m (5 m – with a starting device).
 
The power plant is one of UVRD “Maru” Ka-10.
 
Crew – one pilot.
 
Flight data: maximum speed – not less than 463 km/h above the sea level. Has a range of at least 130 km with a maximum engine power above sea level. Stability and handling – good stability during the dive, handling better than the fighter “zero”. Practical ceiling – up to 2000 m.
 
Robust design – IV category (according to Japanese norms).
 
Weapons: charge – more than 100-pound bombs.
 
Booking – 8-mm armored plate behind the pilot.
 
Avionics: fuel gauge, fuel gauge, pointer speed, pointer height, tachometer, compass and the pointer of the angle of the dive.
 
Later requirements for the mass of the charge was increased to 250 kg, without reducing the range, and removed a clause on the booking.
 
At the meeting on 6 August it was decided to use in the production of simple construction materials-steel and wood. This requirement was put forward by representatives of the customer. Then it was confirmed three priority requirements for the aircraft “Bike”: good handling, ease of mass production, the range.
 
At the last meeting, August 8, 1945, in the firm, “Kawanishi” was approved by the design team of 60 people under the control of the engineer Takenobu. The designers were mostly from the headquarter “Kugisho”. They rapidly started issuing working drawings and in parallel to preproduction. But at noon on 15 August of the Second world war ended, and with it ceased, and the implementation of the plans of the Japanese fanatics. None of the prototype shell “Bike” was never built, so the calculated data of the final version of the special assault aircraft “Bike”:
 
K. KUZNETSOV
 
Literature
 
1. The world of aviation. No. 3/98.
 
2. TBiU 166. W. Baczkowski. Tajne bronie 3 Rzeszy. Warszawa. Bellona, 1992.
 
3. T. Januszewski. Lotnici smerci i ich samoloty. Warszawa, Lampart, 1993.
 
4. About Groehler. Geschichte des Luftriegs 1910 bis 1980. Militarverlag der DDR, Berlin, 1981.
 
5. FR 4/76.

Noticed mistape? Highlight it and press Ctrl+Enter, to inform us.

Recommend to read

  • SPANISH LANDFILL LUFTWAFFESPANISH LANDFILL LUFTWAFFE
    Fighters Messerschmitt Bf 109 first modifications. (The end. Beginning at No. 7 in 2004). Frontline service Bf 109 in Spain began suddenly and quite successfully. In October 1936, when...
  • DO-335 PFEILDO-335 PFEIL
    This unusual aircraft built for the Luftwaffe by the famous German firm Dornier, which had its first flight in September 1943, became the fastest piston fighter in Germany. The maximum...

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: