Within the cockpit, the pilot pushes the throttle forward, from the closed, to the starting position. This aligns an aperture in the throttle quadrant, which uncovers a starting button. The pilot presses this button to initiate ignition of the motor.

[Komet Throttle Quadrant]

On Walter 109-509.A-1 motors, this activates an electrical starter motor which turns, via a gear train in the accessories unit, the shaft of the main turbo pump: (on the ground, a trolley accumulator is used to provide the electrical power necessary). Both fluid pumps share a common drive shaft, and the helical sections of each pump create a suction pressure which draws fluid from the fuselage and wing tanks.

T-Stoff is bled from its pump and fed into the steam generator. Here it is sprayed onto the catalyst-bearing stones, decomposing and generating large amounts of steam. The steam is channelled directly to the central turbine of the turbo pump, causing it to spin up the pump more rapidly. The waste steam from the turbine is exhausted directly overboard from the underside of the fuselage centre-line through a short pipe. Some steam is led down into the combustion chamber and exits directly from the motor venturi. The purpose of this is to blow out any fuels which may have pooled in the bottom of the combustion chamber, to prevent any uncontrolled, or premature detonation of the first main propellant flow, once idling is exceeded.

[Trolley Accumulator and Komet Starting]

As the revolutions of the propellant pump increase, T-Stoff flow is automatically regulated to keep the pump turbine spinning at the correct speed - the electric starter motor is disengaged. C-Stoff is drawn from the fuel tanks and fed to the cooling jacket of the double-walled combustion chamber. Returned propellant is then pumped back into the tanks.

Within the cockpit, the Pilot will be following the operation of the turbine speed indicator. When it reaches 6,000 rpm the throttle is moved fully forward through the power setting stops to full power, take-off position.


Take Off

From idling, when no liquids are delivered to the combustion chamber, on application of further throttle movement, C-Stoff propellant is pumped to the injectors which spray it into the combustion chamber.

As the pilot's throttle is moved, a rotating sleeve in the propellant flow control device opens ports connected to each of the power output stages. This bleeds C-Stoff propellant flow into pistons which are linked to transmit their force onto similar pistons in the T-Stoff fluid circuit. Movement of the second pistons regulates the pressure of the flow of the peroxide to the injectors in the combustion chamber. The design arrangement of the pistons is such that the correct proportions of liquids are automatically delivered. Increases in propellant flow cause a corresponding increase in the flow of peroxide until an equilibrium between the flow of the two liquids is once more reached.

The direct action of the pistons from one fluid flow into the other is a very efficient method of regulating flow. But with the reactivity of the peroxide propellant and the dire consequences of the two fuels mixing inappropriately, the machining tolerances of the motor parts were very high indeed.

[Komet Engine Running]

At the combustion chamber head, are a series of twelve injectors. Each injector is a double jet type. On the inside the peroxide is passed through a screw thread swirler and atomised as it leaves the orifice. Around this the C-Stoff propellant enters a whirlpool chamber through a tangential orifice and then out through a small annular gap surrounding the peroxide vapour, so that it comes into intimate contact with the T-Stoff and the chemical reaction takes place.

"Throttle forward until the start button was visible! My index finger pushed through the hole in the throttle quadrant and the fuel pumps began whirling. After a few seconds the drive for the vapour generator cut in. Outside, the ground power unit, with its long power cable, disappeared from view. A small movement forward with the throttle and the engine sprung to life. I could hear the combustion chamber as the noise cut in through the earphones in my protective hood. As the fuel ignited, the aircraft shuddered slightly and the fuselage rocked forward from the initial burst of thrust from the engine... "
[Thrust Indicators]
"At this point, the chamber pressure must have already been between five and eight atü. A look at the indicator on the front instrument panel, over my right knee, confirmed that I was right in my estimation. Another indicator about the same size showed that the combustion temperature was also in the normal area... 'Two-three-four-five' I counted and smoothly moved the throttle forward with my left hand, over the two rests between the first, second and third levels. "
"The rocket howled and pushed the bird ... over the three-inch-high wooden chocks blocking the wheels with a tremendous force."

"Top Secret Bird", Wolfgang Späte: 1989

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