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SG 500 Jagerfaust - Master pattern completed


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#31 Derek B

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:35 AM

Make a jig with proper inclination, then drill with the help of a drill stand. Proxxon or Dremel will do the trick. Even much more comfortable if you are able to borrow a crosstable too; this will make the drilling of evenly spaced holes a breeze. As for mixing Milliput (as well as other 2-part putties): Nice trick to roll the material into balls to get the correct mixing ratio :goodjob: I suggest to roll the balls into thin "sausages" and twist the two parts around each other just like copper wire. This will make the mixing process much easier (especially if you are not the Schwarzeneggerian type with muscles the size of sea mines :innocent: ) and eleminate the problem of having not-so-well mixed residues inside. Regards! - dutik


Very useful tips Dutik - thanks :goodjob:

Derek

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#32 aferguson

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 11:39 PM

Hello everyone.....new member here.

i read this thread with great interest. However, the jagdfaust would not have been located where you have shown on the wing. There are flight controls that run through there, so it would not have been possible to install the jagdfaust in that location. I realize the exact locaton is still uncertain, but the most likely place was in the wing root, replacing the 30mm cannons Those guns would have been removed anyway, to save weight for the jagdfaust, so it seems a logical location.

Also, there were 5 tubes per wing not 4 and it is likely the tubes would have been fanned slightly, rather than parallel to each other, so as to cover a wider area with the salvo. Only one shell hit was needed to bring down a bomber, so covering a larger area would have made the chances of a hit almost a certainty, especially considering the komet would have flown at about 100 feet or so below the targeted bomber.

As to the only kill being an RCAF Halifax: i realize this is currently what is 'in fashion' but i don't think it's true, unless there were actually two jagdfaust kills, instead of just one. Years ago, i read in a book the name of which escapes me now, an exerpt from Fritz Kelb's log, in German. While he doesn't name the bomber type, he does state that he was concerned prior to the attack, because of the brightness of the underside of the targeted bomber. His concern being the photo optic trigger device would not operate. Since Halfiax's were black underneath, it is far more likely the target plane was either a silver B-17 or B-24. Probably a B-17, since that is what has long been reported.

Maybe there were two jagdfaust kills, with the second being a Halifax, but the observer of the Halifax being destroyed made no mention of a komet flying under the Halifax, just that a Halifax was destroyed. He would have had no knowledge of the jagdfaust's existance, nor the need for the komet to fly under the targeted bomber, so for him to state the Halifax was destroyed by a komet, suggests he witnessed a more conventional attack by the komet, which thus would have not been with the jagdfaust.. Had he witnessed a komet merely flying under the Halifax, he probably would not have thought that komet responsible for its destruction.

Now i have a question: does anyone have any knowledge of the markings of the komet flown by Kelb on April 10, when he destroyed whatever bomber type it was? His usual mount was white 9 but i have never read whether that was the plane he flew and if jagdfaust had ever been intalled in it.

#33 Derek B

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 12:35 AM

Hello everyone.....new member here.

i read this thread with great interest. However, the jagdfaust would not have been located where you have shown on the wing. There are flight controls that run through there, so it would not have been possible to install the jagdfaust in that location. I realize the exact locaton is still uncertain, but the most likely place was in the wing root, replacing the 30mm cannons Those guns would have been removed anyway, to save weight for the jagdfaust, so it seems a logical location.

Also, there were 5 tubes per wing not 4 and it is likely the tubes would have been fanned slightly, rather than parallel to each other, so as to cover a wider area with the salvo. Only one shell hit was needed to bring down a bomber, so covering a larger area would have made the chances of a hit almost a certainty, especially considering the komet would have flown at about 100 feet or so below the targeted bomber.

As to the only kill being an RCAF Halifax: i realize this is currently what is 'in fashion' but i don't think it's true, unless there were actually two jagdfaust kills, instead of just one. Years ago, i read in a book the name of which escapes me now, an exerpt from Fritz Kelb's log, in German. While he doesn't name the bomber type, he does state that he was concerned prior to the attack, because of the brightness of the underside of the targeted bomber. His concern being the photo optic trigger device would not operate. Since Halfiax's were black underneath, it is far more likely the target plane was either a silver B-17 or B-24. Probably a B-17, since that is what has long been reported.

Maybe there were two jagdfaust kills, with the second being a Halifax, but the observer of the Halifax being destroyed made no mention of a komet flying under the Halifax, just that a Halifax was destroyed. He would have had no knowledge of the jagdfaust's existance, nor the need for the komet to fly under the targeted bomber, so for him to state the Halifax was destroyed by a komet, suggests he witnessed a more conventional attack by the komet, which thus would have not been with the jagdfaust.. Had he witnessed a komet merely flying under the Halifax, he probably would not have thought that komet responsible for its destruction.

Now i have a question: does anyone have any knowledge of the markings of the komet flown by Kelb on April 10, when he destroyed whatever bomber type it was? His usual mount was white 9 but i have never read whether that was the plane he flew and if jagdfaust had ever been intalled in it.


Hello aferguson - welcome to LSP :post1:


Note: All of my main reference material relating to the SG 500 Jagerfaust weapon is based on the published research information contained within 'Me 163 Rocket Interceptor' Vols 1 and 2 by Stephen Ranson and Hans-Herman Cammann.

There has been some misconception over the placement of the SG 500 weapon on the Komet - this has been exaserpated by the MM Me 163 Komet publication having five of them positioned within the wing root cannon bays. This layout may well have been that used experimentally by Me 163B Komet V45 (W. Nr. 16310054, C1+05, ex-PK+QP). BV45 tested the Jagerfaust during December 1944 and was badly damaged (40%) when all ten SG 500 tubes inadvertantly fired simultainiously Canopy's on both Fw 190 and Me 163 were shattered when any of the SG 500 tubes were fired simultaniously, and in the case of BV45, structural damage also occurred when all ten tubes fired at once).

Trials continued with the position of the Jagerfaust being moved outboard on the wings (with the eventual decision to install eight SG 500 tubes - see photograph below) and finding the optimum position for the optical sensor. At least three operational Komets were known to have the Jagerfaust installed.

Posted Image
Above: A colour photograph of a destroyed Me 163B Komet (at Brandis airfield) showing the four holes in the port wing where the SG 500 'Jagerfaust/Jagdfaust' weapon was installed ('Me 163 Rocket Interceptor' by S. Ransom and H-H. Cammann).

The fan pattern for the SG 500 tubes only really worked well on the Fw 190, but needed to be parallel on the Me 163 due to the great speed differential between the two aircraft. They were optimised for the greatest concentration of impact damage to an enemy bomber at a height of 30 - 60m (originally 100-150m, but this was considered to be too far by the pilots) at three different speed ranges. The tubes fired almost simultaniously, there was an 1/3000 of a second delay between each tube firing.

As for the flying controls, they were situated in the wing rib bays immediately outboard of the weapon installtion, so were not affected. Finally, the way that the optical cell worked was to diferentiate between the relative values of dark and light, so as long as the cell saw a shadow, it would still fire the weapon, irrespective of what colour the underside of the aircraft was (HASAG developed this optical cell, and carried out many tests on differing colours and reflective surfaces in order to ensure that it functioned correctly).

Lt. 'Fritz' Kelb did indeed claim to have destroyed an enemy bomber using the Jagerfaust on it's one and only operational employment on the 10 April 1945 (altough he thought it was a B-17 that he had shot down). There appeares to be some confusion as to wether or not it was actually an RCAF Halifax or a Lancaster, as both were bombing the area at the time, so it could have been either?

As to the identity of his aircraft, like you, I too would love to have some verification of this as well? There is a photograph of him entering the cockpit of Me 163B W. Nr. 190579, which is purported as being taken on the 10 April 1945, but it is not taken from a distance that shows the wings (so the SG 500 installation cannot be seen and a groundcrew member is sat on the wing leading edge in such a manner as to obscure the aircraft code letters).

Thank you for your observations and comments

Regards

Derek

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#34 aferguson

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 10:33 PM

excellent updated information, thank you. Very informative.

The comment regarding the underside colour.....the concern was that a bright shiny underside would reflect sufficient light to prevent the photo detector from picking up the difference between it and the sky backround....i don't know how sensitive the trigger's photo receptor would have been in '44, '45 but as you said, this apparently was tested during the cell's development. By the way, is the location of the photo receptor, on the aircraft, known?

As to the identity of the aircraft shot down. I still feel it was a B-17. Kelb's comments regarding the brightness of the underside of the target aircraft and as you said, he stated it was a b-17 (difficult to mistake a b-17 with a Halifax or Lancaster) seem fairly conclusive and the only evidence to the contrary is the observation of an RCAF Halifax exploding in mid air, while 3 komets were in the vicinity. But as i mentioned above, the observer would have no knowledge of the jagdfaust weapon or it's employment,and so he would not know the komet must fly under the bomber....for him to think the halifax was attacked and destroyed by a komet, he must have witnessed a conventional gun attack.. At any rate, it seems weak evidence in light of the pilot's own words. But i guess it will never be known for sure.

As regards to the paint scheme, it is unfortunate this will never be known as well, it seems. I guess white 9 would be the best scheme to use, as at least it represents a camouflage pattern used by Brandis komets around the same time frame...or perhaps a scheme mimicing the one in the wonderful colour picture you posted, with a guess at the markings?

Is it known from what direction Kelb attacked the bomber? eg head on, from the rear, across the wings? I don't think i have ever read or heard this but across the wings would seem to be the best approach as it gives the longest and broadest target for the weapon, but would be the most difficult approach.

I find this weapon very interesting, being both very 'science fictiony' and real, all at the same time. :)

Edited by aferguson, 11 June 2012 - 10:48 PM.


#35 Derek B

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 02:48 AM

excellent updated information, thank you. Very informative.

The comment regarding the underside colour.....the concern was that a bright shiny underside would reflect sufficient light to prevent the photo detector from picking up the difference between it and the sky backround....i don't know how sensitive the trigger's photo receptor would have been in '44, '45 but as you said, this apparently was tested during the cell's development. By the way, is the location of the photo receptor, on the aircraft, known?

As to the identity of the aircraft shot down. I still feel it was a B-17. Kelb's comments regarding the brightness of the underside of the target aircraft and as you said, he stated it was a b-17 (difficult to mistake a b-17 with a Halifax or Lancaster) seem fairly conclusive and the only evidence to the contrary is the observation of an RCAF Halifax exploding in mid air, while 3 komets were in the vicinity. But as i mentioned above, the observer would have no knowledge of the jagdfaust weapon or it's employment,and so he would not know the komet must fly under the bomber....for him to think the halifax was attacked and destroyed by a komet, he must have witnessed a conventional gun attack.. At any rate, it seems weak evidence in light of the pilot's own words. But i guess it will never be known for sure.

As regards to the paint scheme, it is unfortunate this will never be known as well, it seems. I guess white 9 would be the best scheme to use, as at least it represents a camouflage pattern used by Brandis komets around the same time frame...or perhaps a scheme mimicing the one in the wonderful colour picture you posted, with a guess at the markings?

Is it known from what direction Kelb attacked the bomber? eg head on, from the rear, across the wings? I don't think i have ever read or heard this but across the wings would seem to be the best approach as it gives the longest and broadest target for the weapon, but would be the most difficult approach.

I find this weapon very interesting, being both very 'science fictiony' and real, all at the same time. :)


You make some vey good points. All of the Komets that flew operationally on that day (10 April 1945) appear to have been very busy attacking large enemy (allied) bomber formations. Given the fact that it is known that both Lancaster and Halifax were active in the area, and that several Komets were attacked by American P-47's and P-51's, it would seem not unlikely that B-17's were also operating there as well? It sounds like the whole bombing operation on that day was a great deal more complex/chaotic/confused than meets the eye.

It was never fully established where the optical trigger was finally placed on the operational Jagerfaust Komets. There were various places considered, and there may also have been tests carried out to establish the most suitable position. BV 45 had the optcal trigger cell placed on the centre of the fuselage just ahead of the aerial mast for the live firing trials, and there was a suggestion that it would have been placed on the top of the left wing at a convenient panel location on the operational aircraft, but no one knows for sure? I do not even know what the optical trigger looks like, but if anyone has a picture of one (probably the same as that used on the Fw 190 perhaps?), I would certainly like to see it? (I will most likely have to guess where it might have been located on the left wing).

I will see if there is any reference to Kelb's run-in onto the bomber?

As for the colour scheme, I do not know what 'white 9' looks like - do you have a scheme profile with the appropriate colours? (was this one of Kelb's aircraft?).

I agree that a scheme based on white 9 and the colour photograph, perhaps with W. Nr. 190579, would make a good hypthetical representation of the Jagerfaust aircraft?

Regards

Derek

Edited by Derek B, 12 June 2012 - 02:48 AM.

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#36 aferguson

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 03:11 AM

i saw a profile drawing of white 9 a few years ago and this model here represents it as to my memory of that drawing:

http://home.online.no/~ru-hau6/gallery/Planes/Me163BKomet/Me163B_gallery_english.htm

According to the modeller this is how the aircraft appeared in Jan '45 It is unlikely that this is the plane Kelb flew on April 10 as jagdfaust equipped komets would have been delivered to the unit so equipped, rather than having the system retrofitted into existing planes stationed there. But, it's something. Your colour photo is better as a guide i think though.

Back to the point of which bomber which was destroyed; Kelb was an experienced pilot and would surely have been able to distinguish a single rudder b-17 from a twin rudder lancaster/halifax, even at high speed. Had he claimed it was a b-24, then i can see there being some doubt but not with a b-17. I think the halifax theory is just a case of some overly enthusiastic research....people love to shed 'new light' on old beliefs. The only way to conclusively prove it was not a b-17 would be to determine there were no fortresses lost in the area that day. Pretty tricky research but maybe possible?

As to the direction of the attack. The side to side attack would be best, as i mentioned above, as the komet would traverse the underside of the wing, which would cast the largest shadow and present the largest target area. But at high speed this would be a triicky manouever as the pilot would have to lead the bomber, which is travelling at right angles to his direction and it would be easy to miss.

I remember i read one author who felt a head on attack was best, as the tremendous speed, a combined 800 miles per hour or so, would make shooting down the komet with the bomber's guns, virtually impossible. But i think the fantastic closing speed would almost be too fast for the system to operate effectively. So i think a tail attack is most likely. The komet would still be travelling nearly 400 mph faster than the bomber, making aiming for defensive gunners extremely difficult and yet would be slow enough for the pilot to take good aim to be able to fly right under the bomber. I would really like to know what type of attack would have been found most effective.

#37 Derek B

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 08:40 AM

i saw a profile drawing of white 9 a few years ago and this model here represents it as to my memory of that drawing: http://home.online.no/~ru-hau6/gallery/Planes/Me163BKomet/Me163B_gallery_english.htm According to the modeller this is how the aircraft appeared in Jan '45 It is unlikely that this is the plane Kelb flew on April 10 as jagdfaust equipped komets would have been delivered to the unit so equipped, rather than having the system retrofitted into existing planes stationed there. But, it's something. Your colour photo is better as a guide i think though. Back to the point of which bomber which was destroyed; Kelb was an experienced pilot and would surely have been able to distinguish a single rudder b-17 from a twin rudder lancaster/halifax, even at high speed. Had he claimed it was a b-24, then i can see there being some doubt but not with a b-17. I think the halifax theory is just a case of some overly enthusiastic research....people love to shed 'new light' on old beliefs. The only way to conclusively prove it was not a b-17 would be to determine there were no fortresses lost in the area that day. Pretty tricky research but maybe possible? As to the direction of the attack. The side to side attack would be best, as i mentioned above, as the komet would traverse the underside of the wing, which would cast the largest shadow and present the largest target area. But at high speed this would be a triicky manouever as the pilot would have to lead the bomber, which is travelling at right angles to his direction and it would be easy to miss. I remember i read one author who felt a head on attack was best, as the tremendous speed, a combined 800 miles per hour or so, would make shooting down the komet with the bomber's guns, virtually impossible. But i think the fantastic closing speed would almost be too fast for the system to operate effectively. So i think a tail attack is most likely. The komet would still be travelling nearly 400 mph faster than the bomber, making aiming for defensive gunners extremely difficult and yet would be slow enough for the pilot to take good aim to be able to fly right under the bomber. I would really like to know what type of attack would have been found most effective.


I'm sure that more 'new light' will eventually solve this issue? (irrespective of which aircraft type was claimed as the victim, the weapon worked successfully on it's first deployment). I will not have any time to look into this further as I am going away on (a much needed) holiday for a week, but I'll try and pick it up later. Vol 2 of the above books are transcripts of the Kommandant's daily reports, so I may have to read several of them to get a clearer picture here. As alluded to earlier, the Jagerfaust weapon could be set to fire at three different selectable speeds (I'll need to check exactly what they were again) - this was to take account of the power on and glide charecteristics of the Komet, so the attack speed may have varied. The weapons were intstalled at Brandis, as the conversion was very straight forward and easy to carry out, with no detrimental effect on the aircraft structure or it's operation (the SG 500 tubes were supplied in a loaded state and were ready for use).

Cheers

Derek

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#38 aferguson

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 03:24 PM

hm....if installed at Brandis then maybe white 9 would make a good choice to model with jagdfaust. Very interesting stuff, thanks.

#39 Derek B

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 03:29 PM

hm....if installed at Brandis then maybe white 9 would make a good choice to model with jagdfaust. Very interesting stuff, thanks.


Agreed - I will need to find some photographs of the actual aircraft now.

Thanks for your inputs.

D.

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#40 Derek B

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:37 AM

Had a (rare) chance to make a little more progress on the SG 500...

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Derek

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#41 Derek B

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 09:10 PM

Whilst I am awaiting some final bits of information to complete my 1/32 Me 163 Komet SG 500 Jagdfaust, I have just been sorting out some bits for my next few EMD jobs...

Posted Image

Derek

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#42 Derek B

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:55 AM

The 1/32 SG 500 Jagdfaust weapon for the Hasegawa Me 163B kit master patterns are now completed. They will find their way to GMF in due course for casting - I hope that I can have them on the market sometime by the end of this year or very early next year.

I had to make the optical trigger (this is the domed item and will be cast in clear resin). It's actual shape and position is purely speculitive, as there is no documented evidence to confirm where it was actually located on the operational aircraft, nor what it actually looked like. The Commandant (Spate) of KG.400 in his diaries stated that it was intended to mount the optical trigger on the left wing at a convenient panel location, so taking his lead, I selected what I believe to be a likely location for it (the modeller has the option to include this or not).

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Derek

Edited by Derek B, 04 November 2012 - 10:56 AM.

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#43 Kagemusha

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:05 PM

Most excellent :punk:

#44 D.B. Andrus

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

Beautiful work, Derek! Like the P-40 vented panels,too.

A question - where did you source those tiny little letters for Port & Stbd? They are terrific.

D.B.

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#45 richdlc

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:50 PM

really nice again - there's something about beautiful clean lines that I just like!

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