Harness, Pilots Seat, Lippisch DM-1

Harness, Pilots Seat, Lippisch DM-1

     

In 1939, Alexander Lippisch joined Willy Messerschmitt's aircraft design and manufacturing firm where he developed the Me 163 Komet (see NASM collection), a semi-tailless, rocket-propelled, fighter interceptor.

The performance of the Me-163 encouraged Lippisch to experiment with supersonic flight and he created several designs that culminated in the DM-1 (Darmstadt-Munich model 1) glider. Lippisch intended to test the DM-1 to determine the handling characteristics of a sharply-swept delta wing aircraft flying at low speeds, and then he planned to add power and push the aircraft to higher speeds. Lippisch optimistically hoped to reach Mach 6 (6,743 kph/4,188 mph).

Construction began in August 1944 at the Flugtechnische Fachgruppe (FFG) Darmstadt but the war ended before workers could finish the glider and the Allied armies discovered it when they occupied the base at Prien am Chiemsee in southern Germany early in May 1945. The specialists in U. S. air intelligence were deeply impressed with the DM-1 and arranged for construction to resume and continue throughout the summer. A number of people visited the project site including Charles A. Lindbergh. The aircraft was completed late in the summer and Allied authorities shipped the glider back to the U. S. The glider arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, late in 1945 and it was soon moved to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Langley Aeronautical Laboratory. Wind tunnel tests began in February 1946 and finished by year's end.

Transferred from the U. S. Air Force.

Country of Origin
Germany

Manufacturer
Lippisch Flugzuegbau G.m.b.H.

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar

Type
CRAFT-Aircraft Parts

At age 14, Alexander Lippisch (1894-1976) was inspired to work in aeronautics after witnessing Orville Wright demonstrate flying over Berlin in September 1909. Shortly after World War I, Lippisch became involved in sport gliding. He designed several conventional sailplanes, and between 1927 and 1932, he built eight tailless glider and powered airplanes. Exhaustive work with flying models preceded the full-size aircraft.

In 1939, Lippisch joined Willy Messerschmitt's aircraft design and manufacturing firm where he developed the Me 163 Komet (see NASM collection), a semi-tailless, rocket-propelled, fighter interceptor. This small fighter possessed tremendous speed and on October 2, 1941, test pilot Heini Dittmar reached a velocity of more than 1,000 km/h (620 mph) at the controls of his '163. When mated to Lippisch' swept wing airframe, the Walther rocket motor could push the Komet through the air faster than any other man-carrying, flying machine flown to that date. Despite such performance, the motor consumed fuel at a fantastic rate and the range of this airplane was too short for practical wartime use. The Messerschmitt factory completed about 300 Komets.

The performance of the Me-163 encouraged Lippisch to experiment with flight at velocities beyond the speed of sound, about 1,124 km/h (698 mph) at 6,080 m (20,000 ft) above the ground. In 1943, Lippisch became director of the Luftfahrtforschungsanstalt Wien (the Aeronautical Research Institute at Vienna or LFW) and he began to develop the supersonic delta wing airframe.

Lippisch created several designs that culminated in the DM-1 (Darmstadt-Munich model 1) glider. Lippisch intended to test the DM-1 to determine the handling characteristics of a sharply swept delta wing aircraft flying at low speeds. After completing these tests, he planned to add power and continue to test the DM-1, pushing it to higher speeds to investigate high subsonic and supersonic flight. Lippisch hoped to reach Mach 6 (6,743 km/h or 4,188 mph).

Construction began in August 1944 at the Flugtechnische Fachgruppe (FFG) Darmstadt but an Allied bombing attack during September interrupted the work. Workers moved the project to the FFG Munchen and continued to build the delta plane. The war ended and the Allied armies discovered the unfinished glider when they occupied the base at Prien am Chiemsee in southern Germany early in May 1945. The specialists in U. S. air intelligence were deeply impressed with the DM-1 and arranged for construction to resume and continue throughout the summer. A number of people visited the project site including Charles A. Lindbergh.

The aircraft was completed late in the summer and Allied authorities planned to test fly the aircraft in Germany, but they wisely reconsidered and chose to ship the glider back to the U. S. Workers loaded the DM-1, fully-assembled, into a special crate and began to move the aircraft on November 9, 1945. The glider arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, aboard a frieghter and its journey ended at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Langley Aeronautical Laboratory. Wind tunnel tests began in February 1946 and finished by year's end. The NACA transferred the DM-1 to the National Air Museum (later the National Air and Space Museum) in 1950 and the glider arrived at Silver Hill, Maryland, in 1954.

Wingspan: 5.9 m (19 ft 5 in)

Length: 6.6 m (21 ft 7 in)

Height: 3.2 m (10 ft 5 in)

Weights: Empty, 297 kg (655 lb)

Gross, 460 kg (1,017 lb)

References and Further Reading:

Dabroski, Hans-Peter. "Lippisch P13a & Experimental DM-1," Atglen, Pa.: Schiffer Books, 1993.

Hallion, Richard P. "Lippisch, Gluhareff, and Jones: The Emergence of the Delta Platform and the Origins of the Sweptwing in the United States," Aerospace Historian,

March 1979.

Lippisch, Alexander. "The Delta Wing: History and Development," Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University, 1981.

Lovell, J. Calvin, and Wilson, Herbert A. "NACA Research Memorandum, Langley Full-Scale-Tunnel Investigation of Maximum Lift and Stability Characteristics of an Airplane Having Approximately Triangular Wing Plan Form (DM-1 GLIDER)," August 5, 1947.

Wegg, John. "General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors." London: Putnam, 1990.

Frank Carr, Russ Lee, 4/11/11

In 1939, Alexander Lippisch joined Willy Messerschmitt's aircraft design and manufacturing firm where he developed the Me 163 Komet (see NASM collection), a semi-tailless, rocket-propelled, fighter interceptor.

The performance of the Me-163 encouraged Lippisch to experiment with supersonic flight and he created several designs that culminated in the DM-1 (Darmstadt-Munich model 1) glider. Lippisch intended to test the DM-1 to determine the handling characteristics of a sharply-swept delta wing aircraft flying at low speeds, and then he planned to add power and push the aircraft to higher speeds. Lippisch optimistically hoped to reach Mach 6 (6,743 kph/4,188 mph).

Construction began in August 1944 at the Flugtechnische Fachgruppe (FFG) Darmstadt but the war ended before workers could finish the glider and the Allied armies discovered it when they occupied the base at Prien am Chiemsee in southern Germany early in May 1945. The specialists in U. S. air intelligence were deeply impressed with the DM-1 and arranged for construction to resume and continue throughout the summer. A number of people visited the project site including Charles A. Lindbergh. The aircraft was completed late in the summer and Allied authorities shipped the glider back to the U. S. The glider arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, late in 1945 and it was soon moved to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Langley Aeronautical Laboratory. Wind tunnel tests began in February 1946 and finished by year's end.

Transferred from the U. S. Air Force.

Country of Origin
Germany

Manufacturer
Lippisch Flugzuegbau G.m.b.H.

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar

Type
CRAFT-Aircraft Parts

At age 14, Alexander Lippisch (1894-1976) was inspired to work in aeronautics after witnessing Orville Wright demonstrate flying over Berlin in September 1909. Shortly after World War I, Lippisch became involved in sport gliding. He designed several conventional sailplanes, and between 1927 and 1932, he built eight tailless glider and powered airplanes. Exhaustive work with flying models preceded the full-size aircraft.

In 1939, Lippisch joined Willy Messerschmitt's aircraft design and manufacturing firm where he developed the Me 163 Komet (see NASM collection), a semi-tailless, rocket-propelled, fighter interceptor. This small fighter possessed tremendous speed and on October 2, 1941, test pilot Heini Dittmar reached a velocity of more than 1,000 km/h (620 mph) at the controls of his '163. When mated to Lippisch' swept wing airframe, the Walther rocket motor could push the Komet through the air faster than any other man-carrying, flying machine flown to that date. Despite such performance, the motor consumed fuel at a fantastic rate and the range of this airplane was too short for practical wartime use. The Messerschmitt factory completed about 300 Komets.

The performance of the Me-163 encouraged Lippisch to experiment with flight at velocities beyond the speed of sound, about 1,124 km/h (698 mph) at 6,080 m (20,000 ft) above the ground. In 1943, Lippisch became director of the Luftfahrtforschungsanstalt Wien (the Aeronautical Research Institute at Vienna or LFW) and he began to develop the supersonic delta wing airframe.

Lippisch created several designs that culminated in the DM-1 (Darmstadt-Munich model 1) glider. Lippisch intended to test the DM-1 to determine the handling characteristics of a sharply swept delta wing aircraft flying at low speeds. After completing these tests, he planned to add power and continue to test the DM-1, pushing it to higher speeds to investigate high subsonic and supersonic flight. Lippisch hoped to reach Mach 6 (6,743 km/h or 4,188 mph).

Construction began in August 1944 at the Flugtechnische Fachgruppe (FFG) Darmstadt but an Allied bombing attack during September interrupted the work. Workers moved the project to the FFG Munchen and continued to build the delta plane. The war ended and the Allied armies discovered the unfinished glider when they occupied the base at Prien am Chiemsee in southern Germany early in May 1945. The specialists in U. S. air intelligence were deeply impressed with the DM-1 and arranged for construction to resume and continue throughout the summer. A number of people visited the project site including Charles A. Lindbergh.

The aircraft was completed late in the summer and Allied authorities planned to test fly the aircraft in Germany, but they wisely reconsidered and chose to ship the glider back to the U. S. Workers loaded the DM-1, fully-assembled, into a special crate and began to move the aircraft on November 9, 1945. The glider arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, aboard a frieghter and its journey ended at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Langley Aeronautical Laboratory. Wind tunnel tests began in February 1946 and finished by year's end. The NACA transferred the DM-1 to the National Air Museum (later the National Air and Space Museum) in 1950 and the glider arrived at Silver Hill, Maryland, in 1954.

Wingspan: 5.9 m (19 ft 5 in)

Length: 6.6 m (21 ft 7 in)

Height: 3.2 m (10 ft 5 in)

Weights: Empty, 297 kg (655 lb)

Gross, 460 kg (1,017 lb)

References and Further Reading:

Dabroski, Hans-Peter. "Lippisch P13a & Experimental DM-1," Atglen, Pa.: Schiffer Books, 1993.

Hallion, Richard P. "Lippisch, Gluhareff, and Jones: The Emergence of the Delta Platform and the Origins of the Sweptwing in the United States," Aerospace Historian,

March 1979.

Lippisch, Alexander. "The Delta Wing: History and Development," Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University, 1981.

Lovell, J. Calvin, and Wilson, Herbert A. "NACA Research Memorandum, Langley Full-Scale-Tunnel Investigation of Maximum Lift and Stability Characteristics of an Airplane Having Approximately Triangular Wing Plan Form (DM-1 GLIDER)," August 5, 1947.

Wegg, John. "General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors." London: Putnam, 1990.

Frank Carr, Russ Lee, 4/11/11

ID: A19590098008