|Coastal Defense Ship||Destroyer|
|Light Cruiser||Torpedo Cruiser|
|Heavy Cruiser||Training Cruiser|
|Aviation Cruiser||Fast Battleship|
|Light Carrier||Standard Aircraft Carrier|
|Armored Carrier||Seaplane Tender|
|Submarine||Aircraft Carrying Submarine|
|Submarine Tender||Fleet Oiler|
|Repair Ship||Amphibious Assault Ship|
This is the world's mass-produced first rocket fighter, developed and put into action by the Land of Science. Its overwhelming climb rate and diving speeds of nearly mach 1 add a strong futuristic feel to this heavy-bomber-killing, high-altitude rocket interceptor which existed in real life. While it had many defects, including an extremely short flight range, it could literally zip through the skies like a comet. *During air defense, this plane is capable of effective high-altitude interception.
- July 2019 Ranking Reward for Top 5 & Top 100.
- Summer 2019 Event E-2 Medium & Hard reward.
- Me 163B is considered in-game as a high altitude interceptor.
- High Altitude Interceptors multiply the total air power of all land bases in Air Defense mode, when defending against enemy High-Altitude Bombers. The multiplier depends on the number of high altitude interceptors equipped:
- 0: x0.5 (Total Air Power is halved)
- 1: x0.8
- 2: x1.1
- 3 or more: x1.2
Me.163 – a unique aircraft, which left big mark on aviation’s history. It is the only tailless plane with liquid-fuelled rocket motor that entered service and participated in combat. Furthermore, it had other features, like narrow specialization: daytime interceptor that was supposed to fight against Allied bombers and could reach for those times record speed and climb rate. Name “Me.163” was given to this aircraft completely uncalled for – Wilhelm Messerschmitt’s and his company’s contribution into this project was very small, and according to German designation system, plane should have been named “Li.163”, in honor of chief designer Alexander Lippisch, who was German aeronautical engineer.
From the outside, Me.163B and Me.163A (first version with no weapons, for tests and pilot training only) are similar, but they do have significant differences in design. Combat modification (Me.163B) was based on new HWK 109-509A engine, which had “hot cycle” system with adjustable throttle, unlike Me.163A with “cold cycle” engine that couldn’t have been throttled. With maximum throttle new engine was expected to have 2,5-3 kg/s of fuel consumption. For this reason, Lippisch was designing this plane for 12 minutes of flight with working engine: 3 minutes with full throttle for take-off and altitude climb, 9 minutes with reduced power for engaging enemy and cruise flight. Pilot had to return to base without any propulsion thrust. Practice has shown that fuel consumption was even higher, which caused many problems with development and maintenance of Me.163B.
First produced Me.163B-0 planes had two 20mm Mauser MG-151/20 cannons with 100 rounds for each gun. Starting from 47th plane, they were replaced with two Rheinmetall-Borsig МК-108 30mm cannons. This version was named Me.163B-1 and had 60 rounds per gun. One of the attempts to increase firepower was resulted in creating SG500 “Jägerfaust”. 10 launch tubes, mounted in Komet’s wing roots vertically, were loaded with 50mm rocket-propelled grenades. This system was supposed to work same as “Schräge Musik” and featured automated trigger, based on optical photocell detecting target plane’s shadow. “Jägerfaust” was used in combat only once.
Although Me.163 left its bright mark on history, it was a dead-end direction of aviation progress. This plane set several excellent records in speed and climb rate and nearly reached sound barrier. However, rocket-powered interceptor couldn’t withstand competition with turbojet-powered aircrafts, since they had better efficiency and safety. The conception of liquid-fuelled rocket engines in aviation sphere also was declined later in 60s.