Monday 30th September 1929
Opel sponsored tests of rocket-boosted gliders began near Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. These involved a design by Lippisch, boosted by 16 powder rockets. With Fritz von Opel at the controls, the glider successfully launched itself from a 20-m long rail launcher, and he flew the aircraft for ten minutes. However the landing went badly – the design had a landing speed of 100 mph, and with a total weight of 270 kg, a high wing loading. Opel survived but the glider had to be written off. This was Opel’s last involvement with rocketry. General Motors, the majority owner of the Opel company, prohibited further rocketry work after the stock market crash. Fritz von Opel left the country and moved to Switzerland.