Encyclopedia Astronautica

German surface-to-air missile which completed development at the beginning of 1945. However it was never produced in appreciable quantities. The name translates as 'Butterfly'.

In 25 September 1942 Goering authorised development of four types of surface to air missiles: unguided rockets (Taifun), target-seeking guided rockets (Enzian); operator optically-guidedockets (Rheintochter and Schmetterling); and radar-guided rockets (Wasserfall).

Schmetterling, dubbed the Hs-117 by manufacturer Henschel, was conceived by Professor Wagner in 1941. Work was accelerated in 1943. Although smaller than the Wasserfall, the specification was nearly the same, calling for intercept of aircraft flying up to 760 kph. The missile was equipped at first with a BMW 109-558 liquid propellant engine, but later switched to a Walther HWK 1090-729. The latter burned nitric acid and kerosene, augmented with furfuryl alcohol for initial boost. Two thrust regulation methods were tested to maximise range. The first used measured velocity to throttle the fuel flow to the engine. The second used a two-phase thrust program - boost and cruise - regulated to maintain constant velocity. Thrust of the engine was actually less at boost since the core vehicle was augmented by two Schmading 109-553 powder rockets. Flight tests began in May 1944, the first 28 launches being with the 109-558 motor. Altogether there were 59 launches, of which 29 were considered successful. Flight testing was considered completed in 1945, and production was to have begun of 3000 missiles per month, but only a tiny fraction of this was ever completed before the war.

Standard warhead: 41 kg (90 lb). Maximum range: 16 km (9 mi). Boost Propulsion: Nitric acid and kerosene. Cruise Thrust: 19.600 kN (4,406 lbf). Cruise Thrust: 2,000 kgf. Maximum speed: 262 kph (162 mph). Solid rocket boosters: 2 x 45 kg, 1.95 m x 0.156 m.

AKA: Butterfly.
Status: Cancelled 1945.
Gross mass: 460 kg (1,010 lb).
Payload: 41 kg (90 lb).
Height: 3.75 m (12.30 ft).
Diameter: 0.35 m (1.14 ft).
Span: 1.98 m (6.49 ft).
Thrust: 17.16 kN (3,858 lbf).
Apogee: 9.00 km (5.50 mi).

More... - Chronology...

Associated Countries
See also
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

  • Yeftifyev, M D, Iz istorii sozdaniya zenito-raketnovo shchita rossii, Vuzovskaya kniga, Moscow, 2000. Web Address when accessed: here.

Schmetterling Chronology

1945 January 27 - . Launch Vehicle: Schmetterling; Wasserfall; X4.
  • First meeting of Arbeitstab Dornberger in Berlin - . Nation: Germany. Related Persons: Dornberger. The group's first priority was to evalute the prospects for rapid development of an effective surface-to-air missile to combat the incessant Allied bombing raids. It had to be beam-riding instead of optically guided, in order to be effective at night and in bad weather. The group found there was no single 'wonder weapon' that would end the war in a few months. But Kammler still believed the Reich still could hold out for six months, enough time to develop and deploy a new weapon. Dornberger's team disagreed, but they had to try nevertheless. Therefore the Schmetterling, Wasserfall, and X4 missiles went into simultaneous final development and production. But realistically none of them could be mature enough to be sent to the front until early 1946. If the Reich could hold out that long, then it was possible it could slowly win back territory.

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