Saturday 17th May 1930
Rocket-powered automobile pioneer Max Valier (35) was killed in Berlin, Germany when an alcohol rocket exploded during testing. He had worked with Fritz von Opel on a number of rocket-powered cars and aircraft. For von Opel, these were publicity stunts for the Opel company, and for Valier, a way of further raising interest in rocketry amongst the general population. It was Valier who enlisted the assistance of Friedrich Sander in these endeavours as the supplier of solid-fuel rocket motors. By the late 1920s, the VfR was focussing its efforts on liquid-fuelled rockets. Their first successful test firing with liquid fuel (five minutes) occurred in the Heylandt plant on January 25, 1930. On April 19, 1930, Valier performed the first test drive of a rocket car with liquid propulsion, the Valier-Heylandt Rak 7.