No. 3989. Messerschmitt Me 163 B-1A Komet ("FE-500" c/n 191301) US Army Air Forces
Aeroplane Photo Supply (APS) Photo No. 3902

Messerschmitt Me 163 B-1A Komet

08/15/2008. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "During WWII the USAAF Air Technical Service Command evaluated captured aircraft, each receiving an 'FE' (Foreign Evaluation) prefixed number. From 1946 the evaluations were performed by the USAAF Office of Intelligence, and the number prefix changed from 'FE' to 'T2'.

This aircraft was one of five captured Komets shipped to Freeman Field, Indiana, USA, in the middle of 1945, for testing by the USAAF Air Technical Service Command (ATSC), and given the Foreign Evaluation number FE-500 (the other four became FE-495, and FE-501 to FE-503). For flight testing it was air-freighted to Muroc, California, on April 12, 1946 and coded T2-500 it made its first un-powered flight on May 3, 1945.

Plans to fly the aircraft under rocket power never materialized as the aircraft showed de-lamination of its wooden wings, and subsequently it was stored at USAAF Norton Field, California, untill it was donated to the Smithsonian in 1954. Since 1996 it is on loan for display to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, Pooler, Georgia, USA.

Created March 5, 2005