Bomb, Glide, BV 246 Hagelkorn (Hailstone)

The BV 246 Hagelkorn (Hailstone) was a German air-to-surface glide bomb, using guidance systems developed for other missile and guided-bomb projects. It was to be released by a carrier aircraft (among the possibilities were the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, the Heinkel He 111, or the Junkers Ju 188), at a safe range, whereupon it would glide to its target. Stability was attained by gyroscopic autopilot, while in some versions guidance was to be by a radio beam transmitted from the parent aircraft or by a RF homing device in the nose. The high aspect ratio of the wings provided a very large 1:25 gliding angle which permitted a missile release as far as 210 km (130 miles) from the target, with a release altitude of 35,000 ft.

The Smithsonian's Hagelkorn was a gift of the U.S. Naval Supply Center, Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Transferred from the U.S. Navy, Naval Supply Center, Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, Va.

Country of Origin
Germany

Manufacturer
Blohm & Voss

Date
ca. 1943-1945

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

Type
CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

Materials
Body: steel, wood, magnesium, phenolic resin
Wings: steel, cement or plaster on a welded steel core, fabric covering
Dimensions
Overall: 11 ft. wide x 20 ft. 4 in. deep, 875 lb. (335.28 x 619.8cm, 396.9kg)

The Bv 246 Hagelkorn (Hailstone) was a German air-to-surface glide bomb, using guidance systems developed for other missile and guided bomb projects. It was to be released by a carrier aircraft (among the possibilities were the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, the Heinkel He 111 or the Junkers Ju 188), at a safe range, whereupon it would glide to its target. Stability was attained by gyroscopic autopilot, while in some versions guidance was to be by a radio beam transmitted from the parent aircraft or by a RF homing device in the nose. The high aspect ratio of the wings provided a very large 1:25 gliding angle which permitted a missile release as far as 210 km (130 miles) from the target, with a release altitude of 35,000 ft.The Smithsonian's Hagelkorn was a gift of the U.S. Naval Supply Center, Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Description

Cigar-shaped fuselage of mild steel tapering towards the rear, to which was affixed a cruciform tail. The tailplane is forward of the fins. High-mounted wings in the center of the vehicle. The high aspect ratio wings are molded of concrete over a steel spar core. The original wings of this Bv 246 have been damaged and are in a box as A19710759002; the origin of the replacement wings is at this point unclear.

History

The Hagelkorn is one of the least known of the wide variety of German glide bombs and missiles during World War II, probably because of non-combat status. The Blohm und Voss company received its first contract for 800 missiles in 1943 and manufacturing began in December. Among the experimental versions built were a long-distance glide bomb, a Flak target device and a short-range glide bomb with or without homing devices. As of 15 January 1945, 599 of the 800 were left on hand after testing, according to a company document of that date.Those tests were mostly carried out at Peenemuende-West (Karlshagen) in the second half of 1944, using the Focke-Wulf Fw 190G-8 and other aircraft as carriers. In 1944 the Air Ministry issued a follow-up contract for 2300 more, but the project was cancelled in February 1945 as a part of the emergency decrees eliminating projects that had no prospect of affecting the course of the war. According to one source, a total of 1100 Bv 246's were made (mostly Bv 246B's). One Allied air attack destroyed 29 Hagelkorn missiles.

Among several Hagelkorn variants planned were some to carry on gas warfare while others were to be modified as target drones for flak rockets and air-to-air rockets. None ever saw combat. Early in 1945, the Hagelkorn 246B model was last used to test the Radieschen (Radish) ultra-short wave passive homing device which was fitted for the purpose in the missiles in order to attack Allied transmitters and radars. Ten Hagelkorns were launched over the Unterl├╝ss artillery range but were not very successful due to guidance problems.

Sources

Ordway, Frederick I., III, and Ronald C. Wakeford, International Missile and Spacecraft Guide (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960), 109.

J.R. Smith and Antony L. Kay, German Aircraft of the Second World War (Putnam: London, 1972), pp. 664-666.

See also, in Captured German and Japanese Documents in NASM Archives, "Geraet `Hagelkorn' Baubeschreibung" ["Description of the `Hagelkorn' (Gliding Bomb)], document of 21 pp, with 3 pages of drawings, dated April 1943, Reel 2012, frame 828.

The BV 246 Hagelkorn (Hailstone) was a German air-to-surface glide bomb, using guidance systems developed for other missile and guided-bomb projects. It was to be released by a carrier aircraft (among the possibilities were the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, the Heinkel He 111, or the Junkers Ju 188), at a safe range, whereupon it would glide to its target. Stability was attained by gyroscopic autopilot, while in some versions guidance was to be by a radio beam transmitted from the parent aircraft or by a RF homing device in the nose. The high aspect ratio of the wings provided a very large 1:25 gliding angle which permitted a missile release as far as 210 km (130 miles) from the target, with a release altitude of 35,000 ft.

The Smithsonian's Hagelkorn was a gift of the U.S. Naval Supply Center, Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Transferred from the U.S. Navy, Naval Supply Center, Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, Va.

Country of Origin
Germany

Manufacturer
Blohm & Voss

Date
ca. 1943-1945

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar

Type
CRAFT-Missiles & Rockets

Materials
Body: steel, wood, magnesium, phenolic resin
Wings: steel, cement or plaster on a welded steel core, fabric covering
Dimensions
Overall: 11 ft. wide x 20 ft. 4 in. deep, 875 lb. (335.28 x 619.8cm, 396.9kg)

The Bv 246 Hagelkorn (Hailstone) was a German air-to-surface glide bomb, using guidance systems developed for other missile and guided bomb projects. It was to be released by a carrier aircraft (among the possibilities were the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, the Heinkel He 111 or the Junkers Ju 188), at a safe range, whereupon it would glide to its target. Stability was attained by gyroscopic autopilot, while in some versions guidance was to be by a radio beam transmitted from the parent aircraft or by a RF homing device in the nose. The high aspect ratio of the wings provided a very large 1:25 gliding angle which permitted a missile release as far as 210 km (130 miles) from the target, with a release altitude of 35,000 ft.The Smithsonian's Hagelkorn was a gift of the U.S. Naval Supply Center, Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, Virginia.

Description

Cigar-shaped fuselage of mild steel tapering towards the rear, to which was affixed a cruciform tail. The tailplane is forward of the fins. High-mounted wings in the center of the vehicle. The high aspect ratio wings are molded of concrete over a steel spar core. The original wings of this Bv 246 have been damaged and are in a box as A19710759002; the origin of the replacement wings is at this point unclear.

History

The Hagelkorn is one of the least known of the wide variety of German glide bombs and missiles during World War II, probably because of non-combat status. The Blohm und Voss company received its first contract for 800 missiles in 1943 and manufacturing began in December. Among the experimental versions built were a long-distance glide bomb, a Flak target device and a short-range glide bomb with or without homing devices. As of 15 January 1945, 599 of the 800 were left on hand after testing, according to a company document of that date.Those tests were mostly carried out at Peenemuende-West (Karlshagen) in the second half of 1944, using the Focke-Wulf Fw 190G-8 and other aircraft as carriers. In 1944 the Air Ministry issued a follow-up contract for 2300 more, but the project was cancelled in February 1945 as a part of the emergency decrees eliminating projects that had no prospect of affecting the course of the war. According to one source, a total of 1100 Bv 246's were made (mostly Bv 246B's). One Allied air attack destroyed 29 Hagelkorn missiles.

Among several Hagelkorn variants planned were some to carry on gas warfare while others were to be modified as target drones for flak rockets and air-to-air rockets. None ever saw combat. Early in 1945, the Hagelkorn 246B model was last used to test the Radieschen (Radish) ultra-short wave passive homing device which was fitted for the purpose in the missiles in order to attack Allied transmitters and radars. Ten Hagelkorns were launched over the Unterl├╝ss artillery range but were not very successful due to guidance problems.

Sources

Ordway, Frederick I., III, and Ronald C. Wakeford, International Missile and Spacecraft Guide (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960), 109.

J.R. Smith and Antony L. Kay, German Aircraft of the Second World War (Putnam: London, 1972), pp. 664-666.

See also, in Captured German and Japanese Documents in NASM Archives, "Geraet `Hagelkorn' Baubeschreibung" ["Description of the `Hagelkorn' (Gliding Bomb)], document of 21 pp, with 3 pages of drawings, dated April 1943, Reel 2012, frame 828.

ID: A19710759000