This Walter motor originally came to most people's attention after it was advertised for sale on e-Bay.
The e-Bay auction link is now closed but try this page - (Link Still active 04.04.2013 e-Bay 801 Picture)


The Motor.

When it was advertised on e-Bay in 2005, the illustrations showed this motor as a standard 109-509.A series, with electrical starter motor and accessories gearbox. However, a picture of the data plate shows 801 as a very early model motor, a 109-509.A-0.



In common with almost all the HWK units, there is currently no confirmed history for this motor. Brought to the USA at some point after the war, it is reasonable to imagine that 801 was offered for disposal following its use by the military.

The first confirmed appearance comes, when it appears in two illustrations for a summary report:

Walter 109-509 Rocket Engine Power Plant as installed in the Me.163B
by George Pajares
Northrop Aeronautical Institute.

The copy of the report in circulation is undated, but a covering letter accompanying it, is dated 1955.

An appendix at the end of the report has several hand-drawn figures and two photographs of a Walter motor in an engineering class setting. The added letter describes the examined motor as being "on display in the Jet Engine department of the mechanics school". It sits on a distinctive, pale metal stand (more of which later).

A quick look on the Internet suggests that the Northrop Aeronautical Institute was founded by the aviation pioneer of the same name, and began conducting educational classes shortly after the war. Based in Inglewood, California, the Institute of Technology later became a University, finally closing in 1993. The University had opened a large museum of aviation artifacts. One of the major donations to the original museum, the David D. Hatfield Collection, is now at the Museum of Flight in Seattle and it is presumed that other the collections were similarly dispersed.

It is possible that Northrop's Walter motor was sold as surplus to requirements in the 1990s as not being part of a major collection. Or it may originally have been on loan from a private owner, and came back into it's owners hands at the museum's closure (as did motor T-1817).

801 then surfaced as being advertised for private sale in California in 2002. The desired asking price appeared to be beyond most enquiries, as it was advertised for sale again, on auction site e-Bay in 2005. By all accounts this time there was a sale and it is reported that the motor has changed hands.

If you are the owner, or know the current owner of 801, please drop me an email to let me know how it is getting on - I would be most interested.



From the pictures shown on e-Bay, it did look as though the motor has remained largely unrestored, and seemed close to original condition. The original e-Bay auction is long closed, but this link should connect to a Forum webpage showing the original illustration.
(Link Still active 04.04.2013 e-Bay 801 Picture)

In the original black-and-white Northrop photographs, 801 is shown with a lighter-coloured combustion chamber. On the e-Bay illustrations the combustion chamber has been painted black, but scratches in the paint showed a lighter, brown colour underneath.

Walter documents show that the 109-09.A-0 series motor originally had a combustion chamber head bolted into place and an original series set of propellant injectors. It is difficult to tell from the limited illustrations, but 801 appears to have a standard welded manufacture. Once the design had been improved, Walterwerke did retro-modify their motors, so 801's configuration is not unexpected.

It had an unusual configuration of the pipework around the combustion chamber, which probably indicates that the combustion chamber has at some point been removed and not replaced in the correct alignment, but I do not attribute this to any procedure in Germany. It has almost certainly happened post-1955.

There is a distinctive bracket fitted above the main frame, presumably for the purpose of carrying an information plaque when the motor had been part of a display, as one finds in museums.

The frame on which the motor has been mounted is also particularly distinctive, and has been one of the main identifiers used to track 801's journey. However, it is not unique. The previously mentioned 109-509.A-1 motor T-1817 is mounted on a frame that is identical to 801's. Same shaped base, same angled and vertical columns and same attachment method - the only difference being that 801's is painted in steel-silver and T-1817's is bright red. This might indicate that both frames were built by the same person/team, probably following an in-house design. I could deduce from this that maybe 801 and T-1817 have "lived" together at one stage. It would be unlikely to have been in Germany, although not impossible that they were captured as demonstration units, complete with frame. I tend more to the idea that on arrival in the US they were both allocated to the same aviation facility for analysis and were mounted up for demonstration purposes around this time.

If anybody recognises this frame design from another motor or another location, let me know.


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