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Holzbrau-Kissing Enzian (Gentian Violet)

Serial No: n/a
Period: WWII
Reference: 85/O/167
Museum: Cosford
Location: Hangar 1
On Display: Yes

Work on the Enzian Surface-to-Air Missile began at Messerschmitt AG in 1943. Designed by Dr Herman Wurster, the missile layout owed much to the aerodynamic principles of the Me163 rocket powered interceptor. A great deal of wood was used in the construction of the Enzian particularly in the wings and the forward fuselage sections. The mid mounted, swept back wings employed full span trailing edge elevons for control.

Launch thrust was provided by 4 Schmidding 109-533 solid diglycol-fuelled booster rockets, 6,985kg – (15,400lbs) for 4 sec. The Motor used Br-Stoff (petrol) and Sv-Stoff (mixed acid) propellants giving a thrust which fell from an initial 2,000kg (4,410lbs) to a final 1,000kg (2,205lbs) over 70 sec burning time, keeping the missile’s speed to around Mach .85. It had a range of 25.7km (16 miles) and carried a 300kg (660lb) warhead. Enzian was launched from a modified 88mm gun platform with control of the missile to its target by means of a radio link with joystick control and line of sight guidance. More than 60 Enzians were built of which 38 were tested, including the E4 operational version, before the programme was cancelled in January 1945.

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