Thursday 12th April 1928
The first official Opel rocket car test run was made for the press. Of the 12 rockets attached to the ‘Rak’ vehicle (a motor car stripped of engine and brakes), five failed to function, but the vehicle reached 110 kmph (60 mph) and the press were appropriately impressed.The Opel-RAK 1 was followed by the Opel-RAK 2, which was fitted with short, inverse wings to hold it to the ground as it sped along. Opel-RAK 2, fitted with 24 rockets and with Opel himself at the wheel, sped down a track in Berlin on May 23, 1928, at a speed of 143 mph (230 km/h). These tests were followed by the RAK 3 railway-car experiments in June and October 1928. The first, conducted between Celle and Burgwedel, were powered by 24 large powder rockets that accelerated the car to well over 100 mph. The second series of tests, using 30 solid rockets, was held between Blankenburg and Halberstadt. One run was successful, reaching a speed of 157 mph (254 km/h); the other, with a larger and heavier payload, was not.