Encyclopedia Astronautica

Johannes Winkler was a founding member and president of the VfR. On 14 March 1931, his HW-1 lifted off from a field outside of Dessau, Germany, becoming the first liquid fuel rocket in Europe to be successfully launched.

Johannes Winkler was a founding member and president of the VfR. In 1929 Junkers hired him to study the use of JATO units for rocket-assisted aircraft takeoff. The scepticism he met there led him to realise he had to prove the reality of the liquid fuelled rocket engine. Following a year of development, his tiny HW-1 rocket lifted off from a field near Dessau on 14 March 1931, becoming the first liquid fuel rocket in Europe to be successfully launched. Winkler used the still-futuristic propellant combination of liquid oxygen and liquid methane, based on a finding by rocket theoretician Hermann Oberth that this was the ultimate rocket propellant combination short of the perfection of the liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen rocket.

Success Rate: 100.00%. Launch data is: complete.

Status: Retired 1931.
Gross mass: 5.00 kg (11.00 lb).
Height: 0.60 m (1.96 ft).
First Launch: 1931.02.21.
Last Launch: 1931.03.14.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • German Civilian Rocketry A German rocket craze seized the country from 1928 to 1933, inspiring a generation of young engineers and scientists that manned spaceflight could be a reality in their lifetime. The Nazi government put an end to this civilian effort, instead putting the engineers to work developing military rockets. After the war, an attempt was made to revive German civilian rocketry, but safety fears resulted in all further work being shut down in 1964. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Emme, Eugene M, Aeronautics and Astronautics: An American Chronology of Science and Technology in the Exploration of Space 1915-1960, NASA, 1961. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Ley, Willy, Rockets Missiles and Men in Space, Viking Press, New York, 1968.

HW-1 Chronology

1931 February 21 - . Launch Vehicle: HW-1.
  • Winkler HW-1 rocket - first liquid-fuel rocket in Europe. - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Winkler. Apogee: 0.0030 km (0.0019 mi). Funded by a Mr Hueckel, Winkler flies the first European liquid propellant rocket at Dessau, Germany. It is 60 cm high, weighs 5 kg, including 1.7 kg of liquid oxygen and methane propellants. The rocket consists of three tanks - one for the fuel, one for the oxygen, and one for the nitrogen gas that pressure-feeds the motor. The motor is a simple 18-inch long cylinder, housed at the centre of the prismatic rocket. The rocket reaches only 3 m in the first test due to a malfunction.

1931 March 14 - . Launch Vehicle: HW-1.
  • HW-1 reaches 500 m. - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Winkler. Apogee: 0.50 km (0.31 mi). Summary: Winkler's HW-1 rocket reached 500 m over Dessau, Germany..

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