“Playing the Last Ace” by Heinz Krebs

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  • Regular price $125.00

Standard Edition of 750: $125 Signed by four Me163 Pilots
Artist Proof Edition: $195 Signed by Four Me163 Pilots

The Messerschmitt Me-163 rocket fighter aircraft, perhaps better known as the Komet, was possibly the most radical German manned fighter aircraft design to actually enter the WW II combat theatre. Here Me-163 Komet fighters of the Luftwaffe climb vertically through an 8th Air Force bomber formation and its top fighter cover before swooping down on the heavies for their short but often deadly attack.

Overall size: 25½" x 36"

Adolf Niemeyer volunteered for Luftwaffe service in 1937 and served as a flying instructor until 1944, when he was transferred to Jagdgeschwader 400 (JG 400) to fly the Me 163. He stayed with this unit until the end of the war, flying a total of more than 30 combat missions in the nimble Komet. In the unit´s history Niemeyer is credited with the idea to equip the Me 163A with 24 rocket missiles, which were mounted under the wings of the rocket fighter. As time and resources were getting extremely tight, there was no time for wind tunnel testing, and so nobody knew how the Me 163 with its revolutionary wing design would react aerodynamically to the rockets. Niemeyer didn´t lose more time in tow testing, but took off under rocket power with the rocket missiles mounted under the Me 163´s wings instead. He thus became the first man in history to fly a rocket missile-equipped rocket-propelled airplane. Niemeyer continued flying after the war.