Fliegende Panzerfaust

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Fliegende Panzerfaust
Zep fliegende panzerfaust-d.jpg
Role Very-short-range interceptor
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Zeppelin
Primary user Luftwaffe
Number built One mock-up built
Developed from Zeppelin Rammer

The Fliegende Panzerfaust, meaning 'Flying Bazooka' (literally 'Flying Armored Fist') in the German language, was a project for a Third Reich very-short-range interceptor designed by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin.

The Fliegende Panzerfaust project was part of the Nazi propaganda-based Wunderwaffe ('wonder weapon') concept. It was proposed to the Emergency Fighter Program against the allied bombing raids over Nazi Germany in the last years of World War II.[1]

Description[edit]

The Fliegende Panzerfaust was a rocket-powered design meeting the demand for a low-cost aircraft in a very-short-range interceptor role. It was a parasite aircraft meant to be towed behind a Messerschmitt Bf 109G for which it had a special long nose.[2] Powered by six Schmidding SG 34 rocket engines, three on each side on the rear half of the fuselage, the Fliegende Panzerfaust was a small plane with a v-tail, a wingspan of 4.5 m and a length of 6.0 m.[3]

This Zeppelin-built aircraft would have been released upon reaching combat altitude above the enemy bomber fleet. Shortly before contact with the combat box below it would ignite its six solid-fuel rocket engines, attacking the target bomber by firing two 73 mm RZ 65 air-to-air missiles at an extremely close range.[4] The front half of the aircraft which had the pilot lying in a prone position in the cockpit would then split from the other half. Both parts would land separately with parachutes, being later retrieved and reused.[5] Owing to the extreme risks for the pilot inherent in its operation this aircraft is sometimes referred to as a suicide weapon.[6]

Specifications[edit]

Data from Dieter Herwig & Heinz Rode, The Luftwaffe Secret Projects: Ground Attack & Special Purpose Aircraft. Midland Counties Publ. ISBN 978-1857801507

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 6.0 m (19 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 4.50 m (14 ft 9 in)
  • Height: 1.50 m (4 ft 11 in)
  • Gross weight: 1,200 kg (2,646 lb)
  • Powerplant: 6 × Schmidding SG 34 solid-fuel rocket engines, 1,200 kN (270,000 lbf) thrust each Total weight 150 kg

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 850 km/h (528 mph; 459 kn)

Armament

  • Rockets: 2 RZ 65

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

Bibliography[edit]

  • Manfred Griehl & Joachim Dressel, Die Deutschen Raketenflugzeuge 1935-1945: Die Entwicklung einer umwalzenden Technik, Weltbild, ISBN 3613012766

References[edit]

External links[edit]