[Komet 191660]

Although this motor has been in the public domain for a considerable number of years, being installed in a Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet airframe it is never visible to visitors.

The Messerschmitt Me.163 was shown for many years at the Imperial War Museum, first at their museum site in Lambeth in London, and latterly at their satellite at Duxford airfield. Although in reasonable condition, it was decided to restore this airframe, and this was begun in one of the hangars on site. In June 1999, space in one of the workshops at Duxford became available and this airframe was moved out of public view for some more detailed work to be carried out.

However, this work was stalled for some considerable time with very little progress being visible. Then in 2006 it was reported that this aircraft had been sold to the Flying Heritage Collection, in Washington State.


Known History.

Messerschmitt Me 163.B-1a Wkr.Nr 191660 Air Min 214 was captured by the British at Husum, on the strength of II JG400, in May 1945. Shipped back to the RAE in Farnborough 191660 was displayed in the upper gallery of the Imperial War Museum's Lambeth site for many years, without being surrounded by a barrier, giving visitors very close access. It was then moved out to the IWM's satellite at Duxford airfield, then on to Washington State in America.

The following photographs were taken in June 1999.



This motor is a particularly well preserved example, which if it was removed from the airframe was replaced carefully. The connections to fuel tanks still show the lagged seals, and the electrical services are still fitted and connected.

Some interesting spreads in the paint around the combustion chamber may be indicative of previous removal from the airframe for post-capture examination, and/or some restoration work. Although mass production, or field preparation or installation during the war could easily have led to the less than perfect finish.

All photographs © Shamus Reddin
- with greatful thanks to the Imperial War Museum
[Main Installation]

Looking almost directly down the aircraft centreline the motor thrust plate, anchored to the airframe by just two bolts is very clearly shown. One can also see the port offset of the motor frame, the box section being closer to the port mounting bolt than to the starboard.

The motor thrust tube is still set on the aircraft centreline, so as to avoid any thrust moment which would disturb the balance of the aircraft. The C-Stoff inlet, on the starboard flank, outside of the main frame can also be made out.

This is an "A-1" motor and shows the standard layout of steam generator, and running down the top of the thrust tube, the C-Stoff outflow (right) and return (on the centreline) pipes serving the cooling jacket of the combustion chamber.

[Motor Installation]

This view shows more of the intricacies of fitting a Walter motor to a Komet airframe. The small diameter tube now visible on the thrust tube carries electrical services down to the combustion chamber. The C-Stoff return can be seen entering the fuel filter on the top of the motor.

At the bottom of the installation, the oval steam outlet from the fuel pump turbine curves out towards the exterior. The brown, cir-clipped jacket marks the sealed join between the T-Stoff fluid pipe leading from the main tanks and the inlet on the pumping unit.

[Fuel Pump]

Looking in more detail at the fuel pump, the bolted seal between the T-Stoff inlet pipe and the pump is shown to advantage.

However, the most important feature in this picture, is the pump tachometer fixed to the inside of the accessories gearbox. It is the cylindrical, black unit with a silver connector and red wire. Geared from the fuel pump common shaft it delivers an indication for the pilot of the rotational speed of the turbine in rpm.

[Fuel Pipe]

A seldom seen view of the Komet. The underside looking forward towards the wheeled dolly. The large diameter pipe feeds T-Stoff from the tanks, along the underside of the fuselage, up through an access hole to the underside of the T-Stoff fluid pump.

The slender vertical pipe outside of this is the fuel overflow - to lead excess C-Stoff overboard during tank filling. The disconnected linkage on the right, hanging free, is the aircraft's tailwheel steering control.

[Combustion Chamber]

The combustion chamber housing. In this view, you can see the motor tied down to a large concrete block to stop the aircraft nosing over during restoration. It also shows to advantage the end of the tube delivering the electrical services to the chamber housing.

Of the two fuel pipes on the top of the thrust tube, the lower, which enters at the aft of the combustion chamber is the cooling fuel inlet to the combustion chamber jacket. The top pipe is the fuel return.

[Fuel Dump Valve]

Seen in close up, this is the emergency fuel outlet for the cooling jacket of the motor combustion chamber. If the motor stalls in flight, and fuel pressure falls, causing the the flow of fuel around the cooling jacket to slow and pool, then this fuel can be emptied quickly overboard by the automatic running of the small pump, pictured.

A valve is opened and fuel is wasted overboard from the pipe (in the background in this view) the outlet for which appears beneath the combustion chamber venturi.

Web Master Shamus Reddin   [SR Logo]
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