TYPE: Interceptor. Project
ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only
POWER PLANT: One Walter HKW 109-509A, rated at 1.700 kp
PERFORMANCE: Not available
COMMENT:The Sombold 344 “Schußjäger” (Shoot Fighter) was a rocket powered aircraft designed in 1943/44. It was originally intended as a parasite escort fighter, but its original design was changed in January 1944. The second version of the aircraft retained the two MG machine guns, but its front section was an ejectable explosive nose with stabilizing fins filled with 400 kg of explosives. The pilot sat in the cockpit near the tail which was in the back section. The plane would have been released from a mother plane upon reaching combat altitude. Then it would ignite its single rocket engine and dive towards the enemy bomber fleet at a 45 degree angle. Shortly before contact it would release its explosive nose, equipped with a proximity fuze into the center of the combat box formation in a way that it would damage as many bombers as possible. Then it would try to get away with the remaining fuel in its rocket engine and finally land on its fixed skid. A 1/5 scale model for aerodynamic tests existed when the works on the So 344 were abandoned in early 1945 (Ref.: 23).