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Virtual Earth map of Launch Pads for the Bachem Natter Ba 349 near Kirchheim Teck

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There are three launch pads for the Luftwaffe Bachem Ba 349 Natter rocket interceptors located in the Hasenholz forest near Kirchheim/Teck. They are all that remain from the once active launch site constructed in 1945. The three launchpads are arranged in the form of an equilateral triangle, whose sides point toward the east and the south. The distance between the launchpads is approximately 50 meters. The circular concrete pads on which the Bachem Ba 349's and their launch towers once stood still exist. In the center of each of the three concrete plates is a square hole approximately 50 centimeters deep, which once served as the foundation for the launch tower. Beside each hole is a pipe, cut off at ground level, which was probably once a cable pit. The Natter launchpads at Kirchheim (Teck) might be the only remnants of these rocket launch pads still on publicly accessible terrain.

Bachem Ba 349 Natter (colubrid) was a World War II era German experimental point-defense rocket-powered interceptor aircraft which was to be used in a very similar way as unmanned surface-to-air missiles. After vertical takeoff which eliminated the need for airfields, the majority of the flight to the bombers was radio controlled from the ground. The primary mission of the (inexperienced) pilot was to aim the aircraft at its target bomber and fire its armament of rockets. The pilot and the main rocket engine should then land under separate parachutes, while the wooden fuselage was disposable. The only manned test flight, on 1 March 1945, ended with test-pilot Lothar Sieber being killed.



 

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