Tell of Nazi Glider-Bomb And New Rocket Plane

One recent report from overseas gives a more specific picture of the Nazi rocket-powered glider-bomb, while another story tells of the German development of a rocket-propelled fighter.

The first report, of greatest credence since it came from London, confirms earlier word that the Germans are using twin-engine bombers fitted with a special launching apparatus for firing radio-controlled rocket-propelled glider-bombs for attacks on shipping. First assaults by these bombs were not successful, but it was noted that the winged projectiles approached their targets under complete control. Initially, they glided toward the Allied ships, then when directly over them they dived vertically at the objectives. Wingspan of the projectiles is given as 15', which is more in keeping with the glide-and-dive description than the 25' span first reported.

The other report (from Sweden, and therefore to be taken with a grain of salt) tells of the Nazis' use of a new type fighter with true rocket propulsion, rather than the jet type recently publicized. The new craft is said to climb 4½ mi in 2 min. According to the story, this compares with a normal climb taking 15 min, but this latter time would only apply to out-dated interceptors, there now being a number of aircraft which can reach 4½ mi in 7 or 8 min.


The Germans are using a modification of the Ju-88 (identified as the Ju-188), for hit-run raids on Britain. Powered by two BMW radials of 1,500 hp, loads at short ranges are said to be around 4 tons.


These news clips were originally published in the "Aviation Abroad" column of the March, 1944, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 43, no 3, p 267. The Ju-188 reference was in the "International Briefs" subhead.

Notes: The glider-bomb referred to is probably the Henschel Hs-293.
The rocket fighter is almost certainly the Messerschmitt Me-163 Komet.