WWII Rocketplane


WWII Rocketplane

Rare book with the 1944 WWII German Rocketplane Design, a step on the way to manned spaceflight

Sample pages from a 1944 WWII book translated into English in 1952, describing an Earth-circling rocketplane design by Sanger and Bredt, considered a definitive treatise for the serious student of rocket vehicle science&engineering in 1952. 

This book was given to me at a space activist conference many years ago, by Bob Cornog, who was getting up in years by then, and who had worked at a company I also had worked at, back in the mid 1960s. He had originally had the book translated into English  in 1952, and in his last years was giving them out to selected space activist people as a parting gift, to those who shared his dream of manned flight between the planets.


Consider that a peaceful version could use this 60 year old aerospace technique to routinely launch from Western Europe and return back there after 3.7 hours from launch, having traveled entirely around the globe, and having delivered three tons of shock-resistant mail to anywhere in the world along the way. Of course, an enterprise would want to modify things to include technological advances made during the subsequent 60 years.... do it their own way ..., and perhaps make it cost a whole lot more.


The paperback book's cover.


Bob Cornog's description of purpose of the book.


Forward page by the scientists developing the concept.


Representative samples of the pages.



Lest we forget what purposes the technology had to be put, to get the interest of the powers-that-be, back then.


Example showing the thoroughness of examination of interrelated technical factors involved in this design.


When this was translated, complex mathematical expressions could not be input on a typewriter but had to be hand lettered after typing.


Here is the drawing of the piloted "rocket bomber" as envisioned in the early 1940's, a vehicle designed to be launched from mid-europe, pancake-bounce along the upper atmosphere, deliver a dropped guided ton or so to anywhere on the planet and return to its base in less than 4 hours, for preparation for the next launch.


Here is the drawing of the booster and the launch track. Seems inspired by the V-1 which was in active use at the time. I wonder what G-load the pilot would have experienced.


Much attention was given in the book to possible kinds of mission profiles.


Another page showing exploration of mission profiles which the design could accomplish.


A page of the bibliography.

An Excalator Hi page titled WWII Rocketplane by J E D Cline started on Saturday, April 5, 2008 9:17:35 AM US/Pacific

Copyright © 2008 James E. D. Cline. Permission granted to reproduce providing inclusion of a link back to this site and acknowledgment of the author and concept designer James E. D. Cline.