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An Erprobungskommando (EKdo) ("Testing-command") was a variety of Luftwaffe special-purpose unit tasked with the testing of new aircraft and weaponry under operational conditions. Similarly-named Erprobungs-prefixed squadron (staffel) and group (gruppe) sized units also existed at various times in the Luftwaffe during 1939-1944 to service-test new designs, usually numbered with the RLM aircraft designation system airframe number matching the aircraft they were meant to test, with the three digit number following the "8-xxx" RLM airframe number designating the unit, as with Erprobungsstaffel 177 (contracted to E-Staffel 177), charged with testing the A-0 production prototypes of the Heinkel He 177A heavy bomber. The similarly-prefixed Erprobungsgruppe 210 was meant to have service-tested the Messerschmitt Me 210 twin-engined "destroyer" and light bomber, but that design's early aerodynamic problems caused the unit's transformation and expansion into SKG 210, a dedicated "fast bomber" unit using Bf 110s instead.
- 1 Kommandos
- 2 References
Erprobungskommando 16 was formed March 1943 in Peenemünde-West, as a test unit for the new Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket fighter, and later based at the Luftwaffe airfield in Bad Zwischenahn for a considerable period of time. The unit was disbanded on 14 February 1945.
- Major Wolfgang Späte, February 1943 – May 1944
- Hauptmann Toni Thaler, May 1944 – February 1945
- Major Heinrich Bär, January 1945 – May 1945
- Hauptmann Walter Rubensdörffer, July 1940 – 15 August 1940
- Hauptmann Hans von Boltenstern, 16 August 1940 – 4 September 1940
- Hauptmann Martin Lutz, 5 September 1940 – 27 September 1940
- Oberstleutnant Otto Hintze, 27 September 1940 – October 1940
- Major Wilhelm-Otto Lessmann, October 1940 – April 1941
- Hauptmann Werner Thierfelder, April 1944 – 18 July 1944
- Major Walter Nowotny, 19 July 1944 – 26 September 1944
Kommando Welter was initially formed in November 1944 in Burg bei Magdeburg as Kommando Stamp, flying the Me 262A-1a, as an experimental nightfighter unit, but was soon renamed Kommando Welter. The unit was redesignated 10./NJG 11 on 28 January 1945.
- Oberleutnant Gerhard Stamp, November 1944
- Oberleutnant Kurt Welter (for whom the unit was named), November 1944 – January 1945