Movie Night – Rocket Flight


Date: 20 July 2017

Start Time: 7 pm
End Time: 9:30 pm

Venue: 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ

A rarely seen film, entitled ROCKET FLIGHT. The film, made by the RAF in 1945, details the development of Rockets and Missiles in Germany before, and during, the Second World War.

The film opens with a brief summary (taken almost entirely from the film RAKETENFLUG, of (mainly German) aircraft development from very early experiments (Lilienthal, Jatho, Wright Brothers, Ellehammer, Bleriot, Voisin, Grade and Etrich – still photographs only of many of these), through World War I (shots include a Fokker DVII and DRI, and a Gotha bomber), the inter-war period (Junkers W33, G 38ce, Ju 52, Dornier Wal, DC2, FW 200, etc.) and on to World War II. Film of early experiments in the 1920s with solid fuel rockets is then shown, including the skater with rockets strapped to his back, rocket aircraft (Opel, Volkhart etc.), rocket boats, rocket cars (Valier, Opel, Sander, Volkhart).

The work of Tiling in “postal” and other rockets is covered (there are some shots of public demonstrations), as are the early liquid fuelled rockets of Goddard and Winkler (still photographs are used for much of this section).

The further work of Oberth, Valier, and Heylandt is dealt with (again, stills are used for some of the footage).

Walter assisted take-off rockets on the He 111, He 116, He 112, BV 138 and Me 321 aircraft are covered at some length.

Brief details and trial firings of the Hs 293 and Hs 294 missiles are then shown, and the Me 163 rocket aircraft is shown (ground crew work and in flight). The film goes on to cover the development of BMW rocket motors. Trials of the A4 rocket (the “V2”) are shown, with some shots of two spectacular failures at the launch site, and then some footage from Operation Backfire – the British trials on the A4 at the end of the war.

Other missiles are shown: X4, Hs 298, and Enzian, and the survey continues with Hs 117, and the Wasserfall, and Rheintochter missiles.

The film then shows the PC 1000RS guided bomb, the Kurt bouncing bomb, Rheinbote, and finally take-off rockets for a DFS 230 glider. The film closes with a glimpse of the future using fantasy sequences and an excerpt from Lang’s FRAU IM MOND (taken from RAKETENFLUG).

The film is approx 1 hr 40 mins long and a discussion will take place at the end.

Bring your own refreshments

If you are a BIS Member or Fellow, you can make your free booking below. If you are not a Member or Fellow of the BIS, you can book for £10.00 via the Online Booking Form.

Be sociable; support the BIS!