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Erprobungskommando

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Erprobungskommando

An Erprobungskommando (EKdo) ("Testing-command") was a variety of Luftwaffe special-purpose unit tasked with the testing of new aircraft and weaponry under operational conditions. Similarly-named Erprobungs-prefixed squadron (staffel) and group (gruppe) sized units also existed at various times in the Luftwaffe during 1939-1944 to service-test new designs, usually numbered with the RLM aircraft designation system airframe number matching the aircraft they were meant to test, with the three digit number following the "8-xxx" RLM airframe number designating the unit, as with Erprobungsstaffel 177 (contracted to E-Staffel 177), charged with testing the A-0 production prototypes of the Heinkel He 177A heavy bomber.[1] The similarly-prefixed Erprobungsgruppe 210 was meant to have service-tested the Messerschmitt Me 210 twin-engined "destroyer" and light bomber, but that design's early aerodynamic problems caused the unit's transformation and expansion into SKG 210, a dedicated "fast bomber" unit using Bf 110s instead.

Kommandos

Erprobungskommando 16

Erprobungskommando 16 was formed March 1943 in Peenemünde-West, as a test unit for the new Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket fighter. The unit was disbanded on 14 February 1945.

Commanding officers

  • Major Wolfgang Späte, February 1943 - May 1944
  • Hauptmann Toni Thaler, May 1944 - February 1945

Erprobungskommando 154

Erprobungskommando 154 was formed in November 1943 in Langenhagen, to test the new Focke-Wulf Ta 154 night fighter.

Erprobungskommando 162

Erprobungskommando 162 was formed in January 1945 in Rechlin-Roggenthin, to test the new Heinkel He 162 jet fighter.

Commanding officers

Erprobungskommando 262

Erprobungskommando 262 was formed in April 1944 in Lechfeld to test the new Messerschmitt Me 262. The unit was disbanded on 26 September 1944 and used to form Kommando Nowotny.

Commanding officers

Kommando Welter

Kommando Welter was initially formed in November 1944 in Burg bei Magdeburg as Kommando Stamp, flying the Me 262A-1a, as an experimental nightfighter unit, but was soon renamed Kommando Welter. The unit was redesignated 10./NJG 11 on 28 January 1945.

Commanding officers

References

  1. ^ Griehl, Manfred; Dressel, Joachim (1998). Heinkel He 177 - 277 - 274. Shrewsbury, UK: Airlife Publishing. pp. 55–62.  
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