Zeppelin Rammer

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Rammer
Zeppelin rammer-64.jpg
Role Ramming interceptor
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Zeppelin
Primary user Luftwaffe

The Zeppelin Rammer (German: Rammjäger) was a project for a German 'secret weapon' by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin designed to use the technique of aerial ramming against the allied bomber fleets reigning supreme over Nazi Germany in the last years of World War II.

Description[edit]

A relatively conventional miniature aircraft with straight, constant-chord wings, the plane was to be towed or carried aloft by a mother plane, then released upon contact with an enemy bomber fleet. Igniting a Schmidding 533 solid-fuel rocket engine, it was to make a first attacking pass, firing its 14 nose-cone mounted R4M 55 mm diameter-apiece rockets before the attacking the enemy bomber's wings and tails directly with a ramming attack.[1][2] The little plane was expected to survive the ramming of the bomber owing to its armored wings, after which it would glide unpowered to safety and land on a retractable skid.[3]

Owing to the high risks for the pilot inherent in its operation this aircraft is sometimes referred to as a suicide weapon,[4] however it was originally not intended as such. Its wings, the main weapons of its ramming attack, were to be strongly reinforced with steel leading edges and metal tubing, and it was expected that the pilot would be able to survive the attack to land in any convenient field for the airplane to be reused later.[2] After January 1945 an order of sixteen prototypes was placed but the Zeppelin factory was destroyed by bombers terminating all work on the project.[3]

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ Luft'46 Zeppelin Rammer
  2. ^ a b Germany's Secret Weapons in World War II (excerpt via Google Books) - Wood, Paul & Ford, Roger, Zenith Imprint, 2000, ISBN 0-7603-0847-0, Page 144
  3. ^ a b Michel Van Pelt, Rocketing Into the Future: The History and Technology of Rocket Planes, p. 100
  4. ^ German Suicidal Aircraft

External links[edit]