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Having completed the programme of experiments, it now interested von Braun to discover how an aircraft would behave if fitted with the rocket motor as its propulsion system. For this he needed an aircraft and support team, in those days no easy search! Initially the finances were extremely tight. Officially the highest levels at the Army High Command and the Reich Air Ministry were opposed to such "fantasies", as they called them. Many people, technicians and academic experts in positions of influence in aeronautics, maintained that an aircraft driven by a tail thrust would experience a change in the centre of gravity and flip over. Very few believed the contrary, but one of them was Dr Ernst Heinkel, one of the great aeronautical designers of the age.

Audio Commentary by Flugkapitän ERICH WARSITZ
Audio Translation: click


Following his offer of unhesitating support, Heinkel placed at the disposal of von Braun an He 112 fuselage shell less wings for the standing tests. By the end of 1936 von Braun had advanced far enough to begin trials.

A great tongue of flame from the rocket motor roared through the fuselage tail to set up the back thrust. The RLM now transferred to Wernher von Braun a capable test pilot for the later flight trials. The unit at Kummersdorf numbered 25 men: Erich Warsitz was the twenty-sixth. 


Picture (right): Peenemünde 1938 - He 112 with Walter rocket motor.


Erich Warsitz: "For the later flight trials Heinkel gave us an airworthy He 112 which we fitted with an additional rocket motor, and after months of untiring effort we started to look for somewhere to carry out the flight experiments under conditions of secrecy and reasonable safety."


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