Messerschmitt Me-163 "Komet" (1941)
About the Design
The world's first operational rocket-powered interceptor, the ME-163 "Komet" was initially test-flown in 1941 and went to work harassing Allied bombers in 1944. Designed by the prolific Alexander Lippisch, the plane -- actually a rocket-powered glider -- lacked conventional landing gear, and instead launched from a wheeled trolley that was jettisoned upon take-off. Landings were accomplished via an extendable skid. Because of its diminutive size and inefficient power plant, the "Komet" could stay airborne for only eight minutes under full power. That, coupled with its uncooperative armaments and tendency to explode if landed improperly, made the "Komet" a problematic weapons system at best.
About the Kit
Released in the mid-1960s, Hawk's version of the ME-163 was one of the first injection-molded versions of this popular aircraft to hit the American market. It was distinguished by a "flame" of red plastic (not seen here) meant to simulate rocket exhaust.
This model was built from an original issue.