Lippisch P.13a

Lippisch P.13a

Infobox Aircraft
name=Lippisch P.13a

first flight=
primary user=
more users=
number built=1
unit cost=
developed from= Lippisch DM-1
variants with their own articles = Convair XF-92

The Lippisch P.13a was an experimental ramjet-powered delta wing interceptor aircraft designed in late 1944 by Dr. Alexander Lippisch for Nazi Germany. The aircraft never made it past the drawing board, but testing of wind-tunnel models showed that the design had extraordinary stability into the Mach 2.6 range.

Design and development

As conventional fuels were in extremely short supply by late 1944, Lippisch proposed that the P.13a be powered by coal. Initially, it was proposed that a wire-mesh basket holding coal be mounted behind a nose air intake, protruding slightly into the airflow and ignited by a gas burner. Following wind-tunnel testing of the ramjet and the coal basket, modifications were incorporated to provide more efficient combustion. The coal was to take the form of small granules instead of irregular lumps, to produce a controlled and even burn, and the basket was altered to a mesh drum revolving on a vertical axis at 60 rpm. A jet of flame from tanks of bottled gas would fire into the basket once the P.13a had reached operating speed (above 320 kph), whether by using a RATO unit or being towed. The air passing through the ramjet would take the fumes from the burning coal towards the rear where they would mix under high pressure with clean air taken from a separate intake. The resulting mixture of gas would then be directed out through a rear nozzle to provide thrust. A burner and drum were built and tested successfully in Vienna by the design team before the end of the war.

It is not known what armament would have been carried by the P.13a; the MK 103 cannon would have been too heavy and large for such a small aircraft and it is possible that one or two large-calibre machineguns would have been used.

At the end of the war even the prototype DM-1 test glider had not been finished when it was captured by US forces. It was ordered to be completed by Lippisch's team and was then shipped to the USA where it was test-flown. Reportedly the results were very positive and lessons learned were incorporated into NASA's research aircraft of the 1950s and on.

Film footage exists which appears to show a ramjet configuration P.13a gliding in for a landing, but it is not known whether it represents a scale test model or an unpowered glider version. The craft in the footage is not the simplified DM-1 glider as it clearly shows the nose-mounted ramjet intake tube and other features depicted in design drawings of the powered fighter. [cite web | last = | first = | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Lippisch P13a Supersonic Ramjet Fighter footage | work = | publisher = | date = | url = | format = YouTube video | doi = | accessdate = ]

After the war, Lippisch, working with American aircraft designer Convair, developed and tested the XF-92 based on his designs, leading to the eventual adoption of the F-102 Delta Dagger and its successor, the F-106 Delta Dart.

pecifications (P.13a, as designed)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=jet
payload main=
payload alt=
length main= 6.70 m
length alt= 22 ft 0 in
span main= 6.00 m
span alt= 19 ft 9 in
height main= 3.25 m
height alt= 10 ft 8 in
area main= 20.0 m²
area alt= 215 ft²
empty weight main=
empty weight alt=
loaded weight main= 2,295 kg
loaded weight alt= 5,060 lb
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=
max takeoff weight alt=
more general=
engine (jet)=Kronach Lorin
type of jet=coal-burning ramjet
number of jets=1
thrust main=
thrust alt=
thrust original=
afterburning thrust main=
afterburning thrust alt=
max speed main= 1650 km/h
max speed alt= 1025 mph
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 621 km
range alt=1,000 miles
ceiling main=
ceiling alt=
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=115 kg/m²
loading alt=24 lb/ft²
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=



*cite book
last = Hyland
first = Gary
authorlink =
co-authors = Anton Gill
title = Last Talons of the Eagle
publisher = Headline
date = 1999
pages = pp. 185 - 187
doi =
isbn = 074725964X

External links

* [ Luft 46 Article on the P.13a]
* [ Lippisch P13a Supersonic Ramjet Fighter footage] (YouTube)
* [ Model of the P.13a]

ee also

Lippisch DM-1
Convair XF-92

List of military aircraft of Germany
List of World War II military aircraft of Germany

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