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Rocket rail vehicle Opel-Sander Rak.3 in June 1928.
Rocket installation. On the right Fritz von Opel, the left Friedrich Wilhelm Sander.

Opel-RAK were a series of rocket vehicles produced by Fritz von Opel, of the Opel car company, in association with others, including Max Valier and Friedrich Wilhelm Sander largely as publicity stunts.[1]

The Lippisch Ente a rocket-powered glider was produced on June 11, 1928, piloted by Fritz Stamer, but is not usually considered part of the series.

  • Opel RAK.1 - a rocket car that achieved 75 km/h (47 mph) on March 15, 1928[2]
  • Opel RAK.2 - rocket car May 23, 1928 reached a speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) driven by 24 solid-fuel rockets[2]
  • Opel RAK.3 rocket rail vehicle (quoted speed is variously 254 or 290 km/h. See: [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]) On the second run the vehicle jumps the track and is destroyed.
  • Opel Rak IV rocket rail vehicle, destroyed when a solid rocket explodes on the track, exploding all the other rockets. Railway authorities prohibit further runs.[3]
  • Opel RAK.1 rocket glider September 30, 1929
Rak.3 rocket train during burn

Film footage[edit]

The 1937 German film Weltraum Schiff I Startet Eine Technische Fantasie has short clips of various RAK vehicles: 11 seconds at 436 feet (approximately 04:47) igniters being wired to the Rak.2 car; 2 seconds at 447 feet (approximately 04:58) Max Valier seated in a RAK.2 car labeled "RÜCKSTOSS VERSUCHS WAGEN"; 2 seconds at 451 feet (approximately 05:00) Fritz von Opel seated in a RAK.2 car; 11 seconds at 460 feet (approximately 05:06) Fritz Von Opel drives the RAK.2 car on 1928 May 23 at the Avus Track in Berlin; 2 seconds at 472 feet (05:14) Sander-Opel RAK.3 rocket car on 1928 June 23 running on railway tracks; 19 seconds at 475 feet (05:16 to 05:35) Opel-Sander RAK.1 rocket glider in 1928 September, preparation and launch; 6 seconds at 536 feet (05:57 to 06:03) Max Valier sitting and talking in a RAK.6 car.[4]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b http://strangevehicles.greyfalcon.us/OPEL%20ROCKET%20VEHICLES.htm
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Kutter, Anton (1937). "Space Ship Takeoff, a Technical Fantasy (1928)". Bavaria Film Kunst. Retrieved 9 January 2011.