Me 163 BS back in Manching

A well-earned “business trip” in the Spanish HA 200 “Saeta”

over the Airbus sites in Manching and Ottobrunn

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Photo “After the 1-hour flight in front of the HA 200: left Dr Lars Immisch, Airbus Defence & Space Human Resources; right Prof. Gero Madelung, Willy Messerschmitt’s nephew, co-designer of the HA 200 and Chair of the Messerschmitt Foundation Supervisory Board”.

The Messerschmitt Air Museum attracts great attention from Airbus members of management and the Messerschmitt Foundation Board of Directors at air shows and trade fairs. The displays are popular everywhere. Is that a piece of Airbus and aviation history flying in the sky, in its element, in the air? One or two people would love to be in the cockpit.

You can’t buy a ticket to fly with the Messerschmitt planes though. You have to literally work for, i.e. earn, this totally fascinating experience by substantially promoting the air museum.

On 29 May 2018, Dr Lars Immisch, Head of Airbus Defence & Space Human Resources, had the extraordinary opportunity to go on a very special “business trip”, instruction flight over the Airbus sites in Manching and Ottobrunn in the HA 200 “Saeta” at the Messerschmitt Foundation’s invitation.

The preparations, such as the check-up with the aviation medical examiner, adjusting the equipment, the briefing about the cockpit and flight and the discussion about the flying route and running through the safety regulations and procedures were completed early on.
After a light snack, it was time for the practical briefing in the HA 200 and cockpit. Belting up, including the parachute, adjusting the pedals, the radio communication test and many other steps were carried out. Then the big moment finally arrived: cabin roof closed and locked – and suddenly you are “alone” with the HA 200, in direct contact with just the pilot. Everything else is outside the cockpit and therefore endlessly far away. Flying captivates everyone.
Heading up towards the blue and white Bavarian sky in bright sunshine. A new feeling for Dr. Lars Immisch, travelling in an over 50-year-old jet. He was in good company. As Tom Enders had already sat in this seat during a flight over Berlin in 2000.
The HA 200, designed by aviation pioneer Willy Messerschmitt, was used by the Spanish air force in the 1950s and 60s. Dr. Immisch enjoyed the roughly 1-hour flight over Munich and Upper Bavaria. After landing in Manching Prof. Gero Madelung welcomed him with a bouquet of flowers. He is Willy Messerschmitt’s over 90-year-old, fit nephew and worked as a co-designer on the HA 200 in his day.
A very special kind of unique experience and a lasting memory of the Messerschmitt Air Museum in Manching – a flight with the HA 200.

Team / Messerschmitt Museum of Flight

Picture: Team / Flugmuseum Messerschmitt

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Me 163 BS back in Manching

75-year Jubilee: First flight with jet engines

On July 18 1942 the first operational mass-production jet-engine fighter plane took off – the Me 262. An exact copy of the original is now on show in the Messerschmitt Museum of Flight at the Airbus facility in the Bavarian town of Manching.

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In 1942, this aircraft was forward-looking high technology. Firstly, due to the aircraft concept itself and secondly, due to the new jet engines that had been developed in parallel with the aircraft and were production-ready. By the middle of 1932, discussions and developments had taken place concerning a new form of propulsion without piston engines and propellers, and also around an aerodynamically optimized aircraft frame with the goal of achieving higher inflight speeds.
On July 18, 1942, as Fritz Wendel, an experienced test pilot, first undertook several fast taxiing maneuvers and was preparing to take off at around 180 km/h, things did not go as well as expected. Wendel came to the conclusion that the missing propeller backwash, in conjunction with the large takeoff incidence angle, prevented effective airflow to the elevator behind the wing. Calling on all of his experience, he very briefly applied the brakes just before liftoff, thus lifting the tail into its flying position and bringing elevator pressure and effect into play. The plane took off successfully, landing without incident some 12 minutes later.
An important step towards today’s jet fighter had been taken. All of the development and design results that culminated in the first flights, as well as the following research and test flight results, continue to shape aviation today.
As well as non-flying original Me 262s in museums, three copies capable of flying have been built: two of these are in privately-owned hands in the USA, while the third flight-capable Me 262 is flown from, and on show in, the Messerschmitt Museum of Flight in Manching.

Team / Messerschmitt Museum of Flight

Picture: Me 262 B1-A / Fighter aircraft / Replica
Picture by Markus Zinner
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Me 163 BS back in Manching

Me 163 BS back in Manching

The “red power egg”, as the Me 163 BS is also known, has returned after an absence of more than seven months to its home in the Flugmuseum Messerschmitt (Messerschmitt Air Museum) in the grounds of the Airbus Defense and Space facility in the Bavarian town of Manching.

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The red rocket-powered aircraft – a replica of the 1937 sailplane originally developed as a wooden glider – has been out and about since the middle of 2016. Its first stop was at the Premium Aerotec aviation supplier in Augsburg. This company put on a family day during the celebrations marking 100 years of aircraft construction in Augsburg. As well as the Me 163 on static display, the Me 109 and the Me 262 – two further Flugmuseum Messerschmitt machines – treated spectators to a fly-past at the Premium Aerotec premises.
The Me 163 was then transported south by special trailer to the Dornier Museum in Friedrichshafen. Suspended under the roof of the museum hall for seven months, this is also the location where the plane celebrated its 75th speed record jubilee on October 2, 2016. It was in 1941 that an Me 163 A achieved a speed of 1003.67 km/h (623.65 mph), corresponding to a Mach number of 0.84. This was the first time in history that a machine exceeded a speed of 1000 km/h.

Picture: Me 163
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Messerschmitt Museum of Flight