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The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, designed by Alexander Lippisch, was a German rocket-powered fighter aircraft, and is the only rocket-powered fighter aircraft ever to have been operational. Its design was revolutionary, and the Me 163 was capable of performance unrivaled at the time. German test pilot Heini Dittmar in early July 1944 reached 1130 km/h, a flight airspeed record. Over 300 aircraft were built, but the Komet proved ineffective as a fighter and was responsible for the destruction of only about nine Allied aircraft.[1] (16 air victories for 10 losses, according to other sources.)[2]


  1. Boyne 1997, p. 349.
  2. Thompson with Smith 2008, p. 233.


  • Boyne, Walter J. Clash of Wings. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. ISBN 0-684-83915-6.
  • Späte, Wolfgang. Der streng geheime Vogel Me 163 (in German), "The Top Secret Bird Me 163". Eggolsheim, Germany: Dörfler im Nebel Verlag GmbH, 2003. ISBN 978-3-89555-142-0.
  • Thompson, J. Steve with Peter C. Smith. Air Combat Manoeuvres: The Technique and History of Air Fighting for Flight Simulation. Hersham, Surrey, UK: Ian Allan Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-1-903223-98-7.

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