Bachem Ba 349 Natter

1st Flight 1945

The Bachem Ba 349 Natter was a World War II German point-defence rocket-powered interceptor, which was to be used in a very similar way to a manned surface-to-air missile.

After a vertical take-off, which eliminated the need for airfields, most of the flight to the Allied bombers was to be controlled by an autopilot.

The primary role of the relatively untrained pilot was to aim the aircraft at its target bomber and fire its armament of rockets.

The pilot and the fuselage containing the rocket-motor would then land using separate parachutes, while the nose section was disposable.

The only manned vertical take-off flight, on 1 March 1945, ended in the death of the test pilot, Lothar Sieber.

Specifications

Ba 349B-1

Crew: 1

Length: 6 m (19 ft 8 in)

Wingspan: 4 m (13 ft 1 in)

Height: 2.25 m (7 ft 5 in) (without fins)

Wing area: 4.7 m2 (51 sq ft)

Empty weight: 880 kg (1,940 lb) fuel expended

Gross weight: 2,232 kg (4,921 lb)

Gross weight boosters jettisoned: 1,769 kg (3,900 lb)

Fuel capacity: 650 kg

Powerplant: 1 × Walter HWK 109-509C-1 bi-fuel rocket motor, 11.2 kN (2,500 lbf) thrust Hauptofen main chamber 2.9 kN (652 lbf) Marschofen auxiliary chamber

Powerplant: 4 × Schmidding SG 34 solid fuel booster rockets, 4.9 kN (1,100 lbf) thrust each

or 2

x 9.8 kN (2,203 lbf) solid fuel booster rockets

Performance

Maximum speed: 1,000 km/h (620 mph, 540 kn) at 5,000 m (16,404 ft)

Cruise speed: 800 km/h (500 mph, 430 kn)

Range: 60 km (37 mi, 32 nmi) after climb at 3,000 m (9,843 ft) 55 km (34 mi) after climb at 6,000 m (19,685 ft) 42 km (26 mi) after climb at 9,000 m (29,528 ft) 40 km (25 mi) after climb at 10,000 m (32,808 ft)

Endurance: 4.36 minutes at 6,000 m (19,685 ft) 3.15 minutes at 9,000 m (29,528 ft)

Service ceiling: 12,000 m (39,000 ft)

Rate of climb: 190 m/s (37,000 ft/min)

Time to altitude: 62 seconds to 12 km (7.5 mi)

Armament

24 × 73 mm (2.874 in) Henschel Hs 297 Föhn rocket shells

or

33 × 55 mm (2.165 in) R4M rocket shellsor

2 × 30 mm (1.181 in) MK 108 cannon with 30 rpg (proposed).

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