Encyclopedia Astronautica

Winkler and HW-2
German sounding rocket. Johannes Winkler followed up his experimental HW-1 by the much larger and ambitious HW-2, which had an aerodynamic teardrop-shaped outer shell and a very respectful fuel mass fraction of 72% using an aluminium-magnesium structure.

The HW-2 was so ambitious that it had to be fired over the sea, so Winkler moved launch operations to the Baltic. Plans to launch from Greifswalder Oie were frustrated by the opposition of local officials, so the launch had to be finally conducted from the coastal site of Pillau in East Prussia. Unfortunately the salt in the sea air corroded the alloys of the rocket, and after the extended series of ground tests and the search for a launch site, the large rocket exploded on its first launch attempt. Winkler abandoned further practical research after this.

Launch data is: complete.

Status: Retired 1932.
Height: 1.90 m (6.20 ft).
Diameter: 0.40 m (1.31 ft).
First Launch: 1932.10.06.
Number: 1 .

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-2 Chronology

1932 October 6 - . Launch Vehicle: HW-2.
  • HW-2 - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Winkler. Apogee: 0.0030 km (0.0019 mi). Following an aborted attempt on 29 September, Winkler launches his HW-2 rocket from Pillau on the Baltic. He had worked for months at the Raketenflugplatz developing the new device. However on launch day an explosive propellant mix developed in the internal compartments of the rocket, and after igniting and rising only 3 m, it was blown to smithereens.

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