DM1 bis DM4

The DM series (planned in versions 1 to 4) was a joint venture of the Akaflieg Darmstadt und Akaflieg Munich. It is one of the most interesting projects in the history of the Akaflieg. In planning and constructing the DM series, the group tried to cross limits that in those days were set not only for Akafliegs but for aviation in general. The DM4, for example, had a planned wing area of 70m² and was designed to reach a maximum speed of more than 10,000km/h (6200mph). Most ideas were mere fancy. Some, though, had a considerable impact on modern aviation construction. The DM-series was sponsored and closely watched by the Nazi government that tried to use the Akaflieg for war purposes during that time.

The Akaflieg Darmstadt was asked to build an engineless 1:1 scale model for the supersonic fighter project P13a of constructor Dr.Alexander Lippisch. When the Darmstadt workshop was bombed out in September 44, the group moved to Munich and cooperated with their new hosts. The name of the project changed from D33 to DM1.

The unpowered DM1 was designed as a single-seated delta test plane. Work material was wood and steel. The DM1 was planned to be towed pick-a-back by a motor plane to reach high speed after being released from the tow plane.

After the liberation by US troops in May 45, construction and work on the DM1 continued, following an order of the US military government. General Patton, commander-in-chief of the 7.US Army, personally inspected the state of affairs, as well as Charles Lindbergh and other aeronautical capacities. In November 1945, the DM1 was finished and shipped by the US troops to Langley Field/Virginia. There, it was tested in a wind channel by the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, later NASA). The delta glider was successively altered and became the basic concept of later US delta planes, such as the Convair XF-92A.

Being the first fully completed delta plane in the USA ever, the DM1 was chosen to be displayed in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.. For unknown reasons, though, it remained in the 'Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility'. Today it can be visited at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA.


  DM-1 DM-2 DM-3 DM-4
wing span m 6.00 8.25 8.25 -
lenght m 6.32 8.94 8.94 -
height m 3.25 4.12 4.12 -
pilot 1 pilot seated 1 pilot lying 1 pilot lying -
purpose delta test plane supersonic delta test plane DM-2 with pressure cabin engine testing
climb rate km/h - 500 - -
max. speed km/h 560 6,000 10,000 -
landing speed km/h 72 85 - -
ratio 7 - - -
engine - Walther rocket engine Walther C rocket engine Walther C rocket engine
weight kg 375 - - 2,500 without engine
flight weight kg 460 11,500 - -
material wood, steel wood, steel wood, steel -
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