[Deutsches Museum 109-509.A-1]

This motor is displayed attractively within the Museum's Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet. The restorers took a lot of time and care to create a nicely presented Komet, with unusual cut away panels so that visitors could inspect the construction of such an interesting aircraft. However, after quite a time sitting on the floor of the museum, it is now suspended on wires from the museum's ceiling.   See Note 2.


Known History.

The exact details of the motor are not currently known. The Messerscmitt Me.163 airframe is also a slight mystery. There is every possibility that this aircraft was one of several of JG400 captured by the British at Husum in May 1945, transported back to the RAE for evaluation and then stored in No.6 MU at Brize Norton.

It was one of several kept in the Air Ministry's Air Historical Branch collection at Stanmore Park. However, precisely which aircraft it was has been confused over time. In his book "War Prizes" Phil Butler states that it has been assumed that this aircraft was Air Min.210, but that identification was also taken by Messerschmitt Me.163 Wrk.Nr.191316 in the Science Museum.

Mano Ziegler in the Schiffer Monograph states that in the 1960s the aeroplane was taken from Britain and restored by Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm at Manching and then moved to appear on display in the Deutches Museum in Munich.

In any event, it seems likely that the Walter motor was with it, all this time.   See Note 1.

The following photographs were taken in 1999, by Komet fan Ludo Kloek.



From the illustrations it looks as though this is not a complete motor. The main body of the unit is present, together with the fuel flow pressure equalising unit, C-Stoff coolant outflow and return pipes and the thrust tube and combustion chamber. As previously mentioned, the steam generator is missing. However, it has all the classic signs of an HWK 109-509.A-1.

Some of the motor parts appear to be either natural aluminium, or painted silver, the steel frame is painted black. Fuel pipework is painted - there is too little detail in the existing pictures to offer an opinion as to how many of the original motor parts are present.

Photographs © Ludo Kloek - used with kind permission
[The Motor in Situ]

The metal framework and the heavy thrust plate are shown, as is the end of the fuel flow/pressure equalising unit.

Although it's not very clear, there is an empty, circular ring on the port side of the mounting plate, visible through the leftmost cut away panel. This perhaps casts some doubt as to which model this motor may be; if this ring is the mounting for the steam generator, it must be the "A-2" model as the "A-1" steam generator has a mounting bracket welded onto it.

The yellow painted pipes do not have any meaning that I know of, and may be just for effect.

[Combustion Chamber Exit]

The combustion chamber venturi and the motor thrust orifice. Missing from this motor is the drain pipe for the combustion chamber cooling jacket, which should emerge from the fairing immediately below the motor orifice.

You can also plainly see the cooling slots in the steel shield surround. These were designed so that the motor exhaust flow would draw stagnant (hot) air from within the fuselage acting to cool it. In practice this process was largely unsatisfactory.

[The Combustion Chamber Venturi]

If the motor was running, then this is a view you would not enjoy. Looking directly down the motor exhaust, you can see the narrowing of the motor venturi, and beyond that into the combustion chamber itself.

At the back of the combustion chamber is the burner plate, screwed into which are visible three of the twelve burners.

Note 1.

This motor should not be confused with the Walter 109-509.A-1 partial motor which is also on display in Munich. This latter motor was composed of pieces which were gathered together for display from scrap parts in store at RAE Farnborough after the war. This was described in Eric Brown's book, "Wings of the Luftwaffe".


Note 2.

Suspending an aircraft from the roof is visually striking, but I am no fan of suspending exhibits. I want to be able to look at the thing. Examine it properly. Does the Louvre paste its Renoirs on the ceilings? No - we can stand close and admire the brushwork. Does the British Museum dangle bracelets on strings from the rafters? No. Why do we have to look at aeroplanes through binoculars to get a good view, even when they are indoors?

Web Master Shamus Reddin   [SR Logo]
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