I built my first scale Komet around
the mid-1990s from Jim Kiehl plans.
It was 1: 4.5-scale, had standard
balsa and plywood construction,
and included a fiberglass nose cone
and clear canopy I purchased from
Joe Saitta. Spanning 82 inches, the
Komet was a one-piece design and
did not have removable wing panels.
I powered it with a Super Tigre . 90
glow engine, and I was amazed by its
performance and flight envelope.
In 1997, I was honored to meet
Rudy Opitz (one of the original World
War II Luftwaffe test pilots involved
in the Me 163 Komet program). Rudy
met with us at a model airplane
event in Stratford, Connecticut, as
he lived nearby. We all had a great
time listening to Rudy relive his
experiences at the controls of the
Komet. Rudy was thrilled to watch
my model Komet fly and was very
happy to add his autograph to it.
Fast-forward to just a few years
ago and I built another Komet, this
time using a fiberglass fuselage (also
from Joe Saitta) and removable wing
panels for easier transportation.
This time, however, I chose a much
cleaner electric power system for
the Komet. The electric motor fits
nicely in the nose cone and is not
at all visible, giving a more scale
appearance to the model. I quickly
realized, however, that converting
the design from glow to electric was
not as easy as I had first thought.
Power and radio SyStem
I wanted to spin the smallest-diameter, highest-pitch propeller at
higher rpm for two reasons: limited
prop clearance and increased speed.
The vast majority of the larger
outrunner electric motors have low
kV ratings, which means they have
more winds of thinner wire and
will carry more volts at low amps
to produce higher torque while
swinging a bigger prop. I needed
Here’s my mini version of
Ready for takeoff! Notice there
aren’t any screws holding the
nose cone in place. It uses
The landing gear
is droppable after
takeoff, just as it
was with the full-size Komet.
I wanted to spIn
the smallest-dIameter, hIghest-pItch propeller at
hIgher rpm for two
prop clearance and