Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet Book Review
by Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||May 2010||Title||Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet|
|Author||Bartłomiej Belcarz & Robert Pęczkowski||Publisher||Mushroom Model Publications|
|Format||148 pages, softbound||MSRP (BP)||£17.99 ($26.00 USD)|
This is the latest volume in MMP’s highly regarded Orange Series. It is a study of the world’s first rocket-powered fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet. Developed from the tail-less aircraft studies by Alexander Lippisch in the 1930’s, the Me 163 was intended purely as a research aircraft, but it’s spectacular high speed attracted military attention and the design was reworked as an interceptor fighter, the Me 163B.
Put into production and service, the Komet proved as dangerous to its pilots as to the bombers it was attacking, and it had little effective impact on the air war. Post-war, the design was studied in detail by all the victorious Allies, and had a significant influence on high-speed aircraft designs on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
The book is 148 pages long in soft cover in MMP’s usual 6 ½” x 9” page format.
Because several airframes still survive, the book includes details of all of these. This is done with 146 color photos, most of which are of the walk-around type. There are also 31 black and white wartime photos, 27 tech manual illustrations, 1 data list and 31 color profiles (4 of these are multi-views).
The color profile paintings include: The Me 163A-V4 & V-10. The Me163B-V2, V-10, V-14, V-18, V-32 (a 2-view), V-35, V-41, V-45 (2 schemes it appeared in), V-47 & V-52. Five schemes for the Me 163B-1 (1 is a 2-view, 1 is in Foreign Evaluation marks FE, 1 is a 4 view, 1 is in Soviet scheme, 1 in captured British scheme & 1 is in a French post-war civil scheme. The Me 163S two seat trainer in Soviet scheme. The Me 163D which was converted from the Me 163B-V18. The Me263-V1.
There are 27 tech manual illustrations included. The book is heavily illustrated with both 1/72nd and 1/48th scale line drawings. As a bonus, there is a large folded sheet loosely inserted in the book with more of the 1/72nd line drawings on it.
The story of the design, development and operations of the Me 163 is told very well in this book, from the early preceding experiments that led up to the 163.
This will prove to be an invaluable reference source for aircraft historians, enthusiasts and modelers.