Me 163 ground equipment: Herkules II lift

A Komet flight was quite laborious for the ground crews. After fuelling, which was a strictly organised procedure in itself, the aircraft was towed to the runway with a Scheuchschlepper. After the Komet had taken off, the dolly was recollected from the runway. And after the the Komet had landed again, the Scheuchschlepper had to transport it back to its parking place. There the dolly had to be placed under the skid again. First wing supports were placed under the wing as a precaution against tipping over. Then a 'Steinbock Herkules II' lift was used to lift the skid off the ground, and the dolly was fitted under the skid.

The Herkules II lift is shown below. According to the handbook it had to be fitted with a lifting pin ('Anhebespitze') for use with the Komet. The pin was to be placed in the shallow indentation under the nose.

The Brigham Young University has the collection of combat photographer J. Malan Heslop online. Heslop photographed Brandis after its capture, and among the photographs is the Komet V13 (courtesy of Richard Aigner). The photo below is a cut-out of this photograph.

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