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1972 envelope commemorating the opening of the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, London, England. Signed by Alexander Lippisch, who developed the world's first rocket-powered fighter, the Me 163 Komet, for the Luftwaffe during World War II.

Price: $500.00

Condition: Lightly soiled, otherwise fine condition Add to watchlist:
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1972 envelope commemorating the opening of the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, London, England. Signed by Alexander Lippisch, who developed the world's first rocket-powered fighter, the Me 163 Komet, for the Luftwaffe during World War II. Also signed by Luftwaffe fighter aces Walter Loos, Heinz Knoke and Hermann Buchner. Items signed by Lippisch are very rare and desirable.
Commemorative envelop signed "Alex M. Lippisch", "Heinz Knöke/Kdr III.Jg1", "Herman Buchner" and "Walter Loos" in blue and black inks. Brown, black and red ink stamps on verso. 6½x4¼. Envelope commemorating the opening of the Royal Air Force Museum at RAF Hendon (now RAF London) in Hendon, London, England on Nov. 15, 1972. Postmarked Hendon, London, England, Nov. 15, 1972. One color 3-pence stamp honoring the 50th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb affixed. Short German language bios for each signer stamped on verso in brown ink. Comes with eight small unsigned b/w photos of all four signers in envelope. German-American aviation pioneer LIPPISCH (1894-1976) designed the world's first, and probably only, operational rocket-powered fighter for Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe, the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet. Lippisch flew as an aerial photographer and mapper during World War II, then worked for the Zeppelin Company before being sent to Messerschmitt by Germany's aviation ministry in 1939. Lippischworked on tailless airplane designs between 1927 and 1933, which led him to concentrate increasingly on delta-wing aircraft. He also built the first rocket-powered plane in 1928, when he attached two solid-fuel rockets to a tailless glider. His experience with rockets, coupled with his interest in delta-wing airplane, came together in the Me 163 Komet. The Komet, first flown in 1941 and introduced into combat in 1944 by the Luftwaffe, was hands down the fastest manned plane in the skies in World War II, with a top speed of 596 miles per hour. By comparison, the top speed of the American P-51 Mustang was 439 miles per hour. However, the Komet had a flight time of only seven and a-half minutes, used highly explosive and toxic rocket fuel and was forced to glide unpowered back to base, making it easy pickings for Allied fighters. He had even faster designs in mind druing the war, including the Lippisch P13a, a delta-wing ramjet that was fueled by coal instead of dwindling petroleum reserves and was designed, in 1944, to reach Mach 2.1! Fortunately for the Allies, and like many of Nazi Germany's fabled wonder weapons, the P13a never advanced beyond glider tests. Lippisch was captured by American forces and brought to the U. S. after the war, where he worked on a hybrid jet/rocket fighter for Convair and for the aviation division of Collins Radio Company from 1950 to 1964 before founding the Lippisch Research Corporation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1965. German pilot LOOS, born in 1923, was a fighter ace with Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe. He flew 66 missions between 1944 and 1945 and shot down 38 planes - over half of them four-engined bombers - but was himself shot down nine times. Loos earned the Knight's Cross on April 20, 1945. German pilot KNOKE (1923-1993) was a fighter ace for Luftwaffe during World War II. Between 1941 and the end of the war, Knoke destroyed 31 airplanes in the air, including several kills in the jet-powered Messerschmitt Me 262, while being shot down four times. He was promoted to Hauptman (captain) and made a wing commander on April 28, 1944 before being named commanding officer of an air base in Jevers, Germany in March of 1945. Knoke earned the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on April 27, 1945. After the war, he held public offices with the Nazi-sympathizing Socialist Reich Party and the Liberal Democratic Party and also published a book, I Flew for the Führer, in 1952. Austrian pilot BUCHNER (1919-2005) was a ground attack and fighter ace with the Luftwaffe during World War II. He flew 631 missions in the Messerschmitt Me 109 piston fighter and Me 262 Jet fighter and claimed 58 aerial victories, including the first ever in a jet fighter, as well as destroying 48 tanks. After the war, Buchner served as an observer with the American occupation forces' weather service before joining his homeland's Luftwaffe as a flight instructor after Austria regained its autonomy in 1955. He was made commander of the airfield at Linz-Hörsching, Austria in 1979, one year before his retirement. Envelope is open. Lightly toned. Normal postal stamps, which touch Lippisch and Buchner's signatures. Light staining from label adhesive in bottom right corner. Adhesive residue under flap (no show-through). Photos are lightly toned and bowed and are lightly scratched on images (not visible head-on). Lightly soiled on verso (no show-through). Otherwise in fine condition.

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