Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Vacation Pictures - Things With Wings!

These pictures were taken at the Deutsches Museum in Munich and at the museum's aviation annex in Oberschleissheim, and include the weird as well as the landmarks.

This is all that remains of the Vollmoller, built in 1910 by two brothers. It's the first wholly German-built aircraft, and one of the brothers died when it crashed. The other one never continued the project.

This sleek fellow is a single-engine jet fighter that deserves its own chapter in history. It's called the Marut, and it was built by India. It's India's only home-built jet fighter aircraft. I apologize for the bad pose, but there were so many planes in the aviation annex that it was hard to get a good angle.

This is recognizable to any aviation enthusiast - it's the Fokker D.VII, one of the best (if not THE best) fighter produced in the First World War. The grounds of the Palace at Schleissheim contains a monument to the Great War's Royal Bavarian Flying Troops, harking back to when Bavaria was an independent country.

Now THIS - is just plain (plane?) silly. It's the Bachem Na-52 Natter (Viper), and it was developed toward the end of WW2. It's a single-seat rocket propelled interceptor that was launched vertically. The nose carried a barrage of simple explosive rockets and the craft was designed to launch, make one pass at a group of bombers, and coast to a landing.

In the mid-30s, an Austrian by the name of Sanger developed the idea of sending a rocket plane into low-Earth orbit that could cover enormous distances by "skipping" along the atmosphere like a stone on a pond. This model was a later development of the idea, the larger plane lifting the smaller high enough to save fuel (the original idea was to launch from a ramp, propelled by upwards of 20 rockets).

And this fellow is also immediately recognizable - it's the Messerschmidt Me-262 Schwalbe (Swallow), the world's first operational jet fighter. Hanging above it in the Deutsches Museum's aviation hall is the rocket-propelled Me-163 Komet and the dreaded Fieseler Fi-103 (also known as the "buzz bomb" or V-1). Those pictures will be up later.


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