DM-1


Usage

High-speed delta-wing research glider

Status

Flight test

Powerplant

Rocket motor (never fitted)

Span

5.92 m

Length

6.60 m

Wing Area

20.0 m2

Aspect Ratio

1.75

Empty Weight

297 kg

 Maximum Weight

460 kg

 Wing loading

23.0 kg/m2

Maximum speed (unpowered dive)

560 km/h

Maximum speed (rocket power)

800 km/h (estimated)

In 1937 Doctor Alexander Lippisch assumed the leadership of a design team developing the RLM's Projekt X, which was eventually to become the Me 163 rocket-powered interceptor. Five years later he left the project, just as the first Komet production prototypes were being completed, to lead another research team consisting of students of aircraft construction from Darmstadt and Munich universities. Working with the help of the DFS on a program intended to lead to the development of a fast interceptor, Lippisch and the students produced a series of revolutionary aircraft, designated with a DM prefix in recognition of the two universities.

 The first design to come from the team was the DM-1, which was found in an incomplete state at the end of the war by the Americans. Construction work had started on the DM-1 flying testbed in November 1944. A pure delta with 60 swept leading edges, it was to be used initially as a glider to investigate flight characteristics. Fin and rudder shape mirrored that of the wings, and the pilot was accommodated in a cockpit at the base of the fin.

 It was originally intended to carry the DM-1 on the back of a Siebel Si 204 to a height of 25,900 ft (7,900 m),), from which it would dive to an anticipated speed of 348 mph (560 km/hr). At a later stage the DM- 1 was to be flown at a speed of 497 mph (800 km/hr) under the power of a rocket motor. At the other end of the speed range, the aerodynamic characteristics of this little single-seat aircraft were such that a landing speed of only 44 mph (70 km/hr) was expected. The Americans shipped the prototype back to the USA for completion and flight testing, and the resulting data were incorporated into the design of the many US delta-wing aircraft which appeared in subsequent years, such as the F-102 and F-106.

dm1_sm
The DM-1 flight test model

lippisch_p-13a_schematic_sm
Evolution of the DM-1 design