Henschel's Schmetterling
Walter 109-729 Motor
BMW 109-558 Motor

Schmetterling was a surface-to-air, anti-aircraft missile designed to be compact enough to be deployed by small teams of men without the need for heavy lifting equipment, and with a warhead with sufficient power to severely damage a B-17 enemy bomber with a proximity burst.

Designed by Professor H. Wagner, and developed by F. Henschel under his guidance, Schmetterling was on the drawing board comparatively early in the war. It comprised a liquid fuel, rocket-powered, winged missile with a warhead, launched with the aid of solid fuel boosters from a special firing rig.



[Schmetterling in Flight]

Wagner's initial proposals were for a winged, powered, air launched, "stand-off" anti-ship missile, in competition with Dr. Kramer's free-falling Fritz X. Out of the series of weapons which Henschel derived from his successful Hs.293, the 1941 Hs.297 project was conceived as an anti-aircraft rocket. However, at this time, the defence rocket concept was not a requirement for the Reichsluftministerium and development was halted after two months' work as "uninteresting".

With a radical change in the fortunes of the war, defence weapons became a priority, and under the new designation 8-117, the Schmetterling project was reactivated in March 1943.

Schmetterling was designed to fly subsonically to target, but close to the speed of sound, at a constant mach number. Tested in wind tunnels at DVL and AVA, the most satisfactory design was a symmetrical shape with a circular cross section fuselage, swept back wings with a NACA 0012-0,825-40 profile, a tapered tailplane and a fin. Two solid booster rockets were used to launch the missile from the firing unit and raise it to flying speed, at which point the liquid-fuelled rocket motor was used to fly the missile to target, under radio control from an observer. A proximity fuse detonated the warhead.

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