Chino Me 163B replica

The 'Planes of Fame' museum in Chino has an amazingly realistic Me 163B replica. For example, it was included in the AeroDetail book on the Komet as being a real aircraft! The only clear giveaway is the landing skid that is merely painted on. Displayed alongside the Komet are a real Walter HWK 109-509A-1 rocket engine, and a real dolly. The red and white checkers of the wheels suggest this dolly could have belonged to 'White 54' that was brought to the USA.

This replica was built by George Lucas. He wrote that his first replica was a Me 109G-10 that went to the San Diego Aerospace Museum, after 6 years of building. The Komet replica also took 6 years to finish, and Mr Lucas donated it to the 'Planes of Fame' museum. This was followed by a replica Ba 349 Natter (3 years) that he also donated to the same museum. He is now finishing a He 100D (3 years so far) that they will also receive. Currently a He 162 is under construction. The basic fuselage is ready, and the tail is finished. An account of Mr Lucas' replicas can be found in Aeroplane Monthly, September 1997 issue. In 2002, George Lucas created his own website showing all his projects. It was largely revised in 2008.

The Komet replica was largely built from wood. The fuselage was built from a wooden framework covered with 1/8th inch masonite. The wing structure consisted of a wooden spar, rigid foam ribs and a covering of 1/8th inch plywood. George Lucas kindly sent the following pictures of his Komet:

The following scan from 'Jet & Prop' was sent by Bert Hartmann :

Frank Henriquez provided the following three pictures (the stripes were caused by a light leak in his camera). They also show the (real) Walter rocket engine on display in the museum.

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