The Messerchmitt Me163B ‘Komet’ was developed during the second half of World War II. It achieved a fearsome reputation because of its novel design and spectacular speed but it had little effect on the course of the war.
German authorities ordered the redesign of the Messerchmitt Me16V test aeroplane into an interceptor in October 1941 and the first Me163B prototype was ready by June 1942.
However problems with the rocket motor, the need to develop training and operational techniques, delays caused by allied bombing and other factors meant the Komet was not ready for operations until mid 1944.
Even when it was introduced its high speed made it difficult to achieve successful interceptions while chronic fuel shortages meant many of the almost 300 Me163s constructed never flew.
Despite this it became very famous and many are still on show in museums around the world.
This model represents a Me163B of 1/JG400 circa late 1944-early 1945.
Academy 1:72 kit. Completed in November 2001.