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Lippisch P.20 (Me 163)

Jet-Powered Single-Seat Fighter Proposal

OVERVIEW
HISTORY
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
DATA
Overview



The jet-powered Lippisch P.20 was proposed as an improved successor to the Me 163 Komet rocket-powered interceptor.
History



Detailing the development and operational history of the Lippisch P.20 (Me 163) Jet-Powered Single-Seat Fighter Proposal.  Entry last updated on 8/2/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The German Messerschmitt Me 163 "Komet" rocket-propelled interceptor was to become the Luftwaffe's solution to the Allied bomber force problem. This compact, ultra-fast single-seat aircraft was to reach altitude in short order and slice through bomber formations at speed, tearing holes in the combat boxes by way of automatic cannons. However, the design was fraught with limitations and dangers, its volatile fuel mix proving as much a danger to its pilots as the interceptor was to Allied bomber crews. In addition to this, the thirsty nature of rocket propulsion meant that the vehicle could only stay aloft for mere minutes, providing enough energy to attack an enemy formation once or twice. With that said, the Me 163 was only a modest success in the grand scheme of the war and did little to change the fortunes for Germany.

German aeronautics engineer Dr. Alexander Lippisch offered one glimpse of a future Me 163 evolution in the P.20 of April 1943. This development would take the basic arrangement and function of the Komet and built upon its strengths while reworking its inherent weaknesses. This resulted in a proposed interceptor design that was to be powered by a single Junkers Jumo 004 series turbojet engine buried in the body of the aircraft and aspirated through a small intake under the nose and exhausted through a traditional port at rear. The swept-back wing mainplanes of the Komet were retained and no horizontal tailplanes were fitted. A single rudder took up its usual place at the rear of the fighter.

The single pilot sat under a largely unobstructed canopy, the cockpit positioned nearly at the nose. The mainplane roots ran nearly the entire length of the fuselage and each housed a single 30mm MK103 automatic cannon. In addition to this there would be a 30mm MK108 automatic cannon installed at each side of the forward fuselage - offering plenty of firepower to bring down a targeted bomber.

One of the grand deficiencies of the Me 163 was its inability to fit a retractable wheeled undercarriage - the interceptor launched on a jettisonable dolly and landing on a simple belly-mounted skid in a relatively level field. This would be rectified in the P.20 design as the aircraft was slated to carry a complete tricycle undercarriage for improved turn-around times.

As proposed, the P.20 was estimated to feature a maximum speed of nearly 570 miles-per-hour. Structurally, it was given a wingspan of 30.6 feet and a running length of 18.9 feet.

Like other "secret weapons of the Luftwaffe" of the World War 2 period, the P.20 offered by Lippisch did not advance beyond the paper stage.




Specifications

YEAR: 1943
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Alexander Lippisch / Messerschmitt - Nazi Germany
PRODUCTION: 0
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 18.86 ft (5.75 m)
WIDTH: 31.17 ft (9.5 m)
POWER: 1 x Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engine of unknown thrust output.
SPEED: 569 mph (915 kph; 494 kts)
OPERATORS: Nazi Germany (cancelled)
Armament



PROPOSED:
2 x 30mm MK108 internal automatic cannons (one per forward fuselage side).
2 x 30mm MK103 internal automatic cannons (one per wing root).
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Variants / Models



• P.20 - Base Project Designation; design study only.








Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (569mph).

Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (0)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
0
0

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.




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