Encyclopedia Astronautica
Valier



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Valier
Valier, Max (1895-1930) German Austrian engineer and early advocate of the use of rockets for flight. Opel supported Valier's rocket car tests as publicity. Valier died in a careless accident, in his laboratory in Berlin, when working on a rocket combustion chamber. It exploded and a small metal fragment hit his pulmonary artery.

Birth Place: Bolzano.


Born: 1895.02.09.
Died: 1930.05.17.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Bibliography
  • Ley, Willy, Rockets Missiles and Men in Space, Viking Press, New York, 1968.
  • Launius, Roger D, NASA Chief Historian, NASA History Office Home Page, Web Address when accessed: here.

Valier Chronology


1926 - . Launch Vehicle: Valier-Oberth Moon Gun.
  • Valier-Oberth Moon Gun - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Oberth; Valier. In the 1920's members of the VfR (Society for Space Travel) amused themselves by redesigning Verne's moon gun. In 1926 rocket pioneers Max Valier and Hermann Oberth designed a gun that would rectify Verne's technical mistakes and be actually capable of firing a projectile to the moon.

1928 - . Launch Vehicle: Valier-Oberth Moon Gun.
  • Von Pirquet Moon Gun - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Valier; Ley; Oberth. Further improvements to the Valier-Oberth gun were suggested by Willy Ley and Baron Guido von Pirquet of Vienna. To achieve the necessary muzzle velocity, it would be necessary to construct the gun with angled lateral chambers. These design concepts would be put to military use in the V-3 Hochdruckpumpe cannon of World War II.

1928 March 15 - . Launch Vehicle: Opel.
  • First rocket car - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Valier; Opel. Max Valier campaigned to get automobile magnate Fritz von Opel interested in rocket-powered automobiles. Valier proposed to use different combinations of compressed black powder rockets manufactured by Friedrich Wilhelm Sander of Wesermuende. Sander's rockets were 80 cm long, 12.5 cm in diameter, and could came in two versions. The centre-bore rockets provided 180 kgf for 3 seconds, while the end-burners provided 20 kgf for 30 seconds. Valier proposed to use combinations of these motors to first boost an automobile to high speed with the high-thrust rockets, then use low-thrust units to maintain velocity. This had no practical application but would demonstrate the potential of rockets to the German public, at the same time giving Opel publicity. The first secret test, at Ruesselsheim, used a one high thrust and one low thrust motor in a small stock Opel. The results were unimpressive - the vehicle went only 140 m in 35 seconds.

1928 April 12 - . Launch Vehicle: Opel.
  • Opel Rak - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Valier; Opel. After two tests the day before, which showed that a good fraction of Brander's rockets would either fail to ignite or explode, Valier made the first official rocket car run for the press. Of 12 rockets attached to the 'Rak' vehicle (a motor car stripped of engine and brakes), five failed to function, but the vehicle reached 110 kph and the press was mightily impressed. Opel received an unexpected amount of free publicity and funded Valier in further rocket car development.

1928 May 23 - . Launch Vehicle: Opel.
  • Opel Rak II - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Valier; Opel; Oberth. Fritz von Opel personally drives rocket-car Opel Rak II, equipped with 24 Brander powder rockets, to 200 kph at Berlin. The same day Oberth is debating the German scientific establishment, trying to overturn their belief that space flight using liquid rockets is theoretically impossible. The VfR regard Valier's experiments with Opel as publicity stunts, threatening the credibility of their society.

1928 June 23 - . Launch Vehicle: Opel.
  • Opel Rak III - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Valier; Opel. Summary: The third Opel rocket-car is mounted on railroad tracks near Celle. The first run, with 10 rockets, reached 290 kph. A second run, with 24 rockets, jumped the tracks and demolished the vehicle..

Summer 1928 - . Launch Vehicle: Opel.
  • Opel Rak IV - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Valier; Opel. Summary: The fourth Opel rocket-car is destroyed when one motor explodes, setting off all off the other motors simultaneously. The car jumps off the tracks at the start. Rail authorities prohibit further experiments and Opel Rak V never runs..

1930 April 19 - . Launch Vehicle: Valier.
  • Valier rocket car - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Valier. Summary: Valier has arranged for Dr Weyland to develop a new, powerful liquid rocket engine burning liquid oxygen and gasoline. The car made its first slow run this day, but combustion of the motor was poor and acceleration of the vehicle low..

1930 May 17 - . Launch Vehicle: Valier.
  • Valier killed in rocket engine explosion - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Valier. Summary: While working in Dr Weyland's laboratory on Saturday, the combustion chamber explodes, and a metal splinters pierces Valier's aorta, killing him immediately..

1930 May 17 - .
  • Death of Max Valier, as the result of a careless accident, in his laboratory in Berlin, when working on a rocket combustion chamber. It exploded and a small metal fr - . Nation: Germany; Italy. Related Persons: Valier. Summary: German Austrian engineer and early advocate of the use of rockets for flight. Opel supported Valier's rocket car tests as publicity. Valier died in a rocket motor explosion in 1931..

1931 May 3 - . Launch Vehicle: Valier.
  • Heyland motor - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Valier. Summary: Heyland completes development testing of the rocket motor intended for Valier's rocket car. It weighs 18 kg and is capable of producing 160 kgf for several minutes. Although powerful, the specific impulse is thought to be fairly low..

1939 March 23 - . Launch Site: Kummersdorf. LV Family: V-2. Launch Vehicle: A3.
  • Hitler visits Kummersdorf-West - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Valier; Dornberger; Hitler. This was the first time he became acquainted with liquid rocket engine technology. 300 kgf and 1000 kgf engines were fired in his presence. A colour-coded cutaway model of the A3 rocket was presented and its systems explained. Hitler was quiet throughout the exhibits and asked no questions. Afterwards, while taking lunch at the mess hall, he asked only about the development schedule (clucking when told), the range of the missile, and the impact on the schedule if synthetic 'Eisenbled' was substituted for light metal alloys in the rocket frame. Hitler spoke of deceased rocket pioneer Max Valier - he had known him in Munich, but dismissed him as a dreamer. Dornberger countered by comparing the state of rocket development to the early days of the zeppelin, when Lillienthal made the first primitive experiments. Hitler in turn dismissed airships as dangerous, filled with explosive gas . The Fuehrer finally departed with handshakes and few words. His summary of the day: 'Es war doch gewaltig' (it was impressive, nevertheless). The rocket team was dismayed - it was the first time a visitor had exhibited no reaction to the power the rocket engines when fired for their benefit. But on the plus side, Von Brauchtisch said he was astounded at the progress made by the team in only a few years. Dornberger believed Hitler was enthralled with artillery and tanks, and was unimpressed with rocket technology. He thought Hitler didn't understand the possibilities and didn't believe the time had come yet for development of the rocket as a weapon.

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