Ramming Aircraft with Breakaway Cockpit
This was a patent application by Walter Wundes of Gotha, and was applied for on October 10, 1944. There were two basic designs for the aircraft, both were designed to have the cockpit "ejected" or broken away at the moment of impact
Please see below for a translation of the five page document that accompanied this drawing:

Gotha Ramming Aircraft

This design depicts a ramming aircraft, fitted with a breakaway cockpit. A ramming aircraft can only successfully destroy an enemy aircraft when it impacts directly on the target aircraft.
In this case, both aircraft become entangled and will crash together.

To give the pilot of the attacking aircraft the opportunity to save himself, it is necessary that he can get free from his aircraft either shortly before or after the impact.

It is already known how to separate the pilot's seat from the aircraft by means of special devices. There is however no certainty
that the pilot can get free from the aircraft, because certain connections might be entangled by the impact.

If the attack occurs from underneath, then the pilot's seat must be ejected downwards.
If the attack comes from above, then only a separation of the pilot seat upwards can save the pilot.

To assure that in both of these cases the cockpit breaks away from the aircraft, it is recommended for the front of the cockpit to be designed as an armored cone. Such an aircraft will easily bore through the the assaulted aircraft with its armored cone.

The fuselage of the attacking aircraft will remain stuck in the assaulted aircraft, whereas the cockpit will detach itself like a projectile from the attacking aircraft.

The cockpit can also be attached outside the main fuselage, and the nose to be fitted with an explosive device which, at the moment of impact, bursts a hole in the assaulted aircraft, for the detachable cockpit to slide through. This explosive device can also be detonated at at will.

To give the pilot an optimal view during normal flight, it is recommended to design an adjustable seat to protect the pilot against debris. At the moment of impact, a device will assure the seat to recline automatic. It is useful to provide the seat with a device to hurl the pilot out of the cockpit.

Since, according to the design, the cockpit is in the front of the aircraft, it is possible to keep the actual fuselage as simple as possible, by providing an aerodynamically covered cross-shaped frame that serves as fuselage and wing. Such an aircraft can be built easily and at little cost. The strong frame can easily cut the attacked airplane into pieces.

The design is shown on the drawings in two examples.
Fig.1 shows a ramming aircraft in side-view and partial cross-section.
Fig.2 shows a view in direction 2-2 of Fig.1.
Fig.3 shows a ramming aircraft with a cockpit attached outside the fuselage.
Fig.4 shows a view in direction 4-4 of Fig.3

The ramming aircraft according to Fig. 1 and 2 has a fuselage (1) and wings (2) which are formed by the cross-shaped frame (3). In front of the frame (3), in flight direction, is the cockpit (4), which houses the pilot in a half lying and half sitting position. The cockpit is cone-shaped as a projectile and armored. The back of the seat (5) can be rotated about an axis (6), to give the pilot a good view during normal flight. Shortly before the ramming attack, the pilot reclines the back of the seat (5) to a lying position, as so to be protected against injuries during impact.
In front of the cockpit a safety device (7) can be provided, which automatic reclines the back of the seat at the moment of impact, in case the pilot is incapacitated. The cockpit is at (8) and (9) connected to the fuselage. These connections will be break at the moment of impact or by means of an explosive device. This will also disconnect any control connections  (10).

In the design shown in Fig.3 and 4 the cockpit (4) is attached outside the fuselage (1) and connected with this by means of an aerodynamic cover.

The fuselage (1) is made up out of a light trunk (11), which has ribs (12) welded to its side which has an aerodynamic covering and forms the wing (2).

With an aircraft like this, the pilot has the option of aiming the fuselage (1) at the assaulted aircraft, or use the cockpit (4) itself in the ramming attack. In both cases the cockpit (4) will separate from the fuselage (1) as a result of the impact.
The connection between the cockpit  (4) and the fuselage (1) can be designed that, by means of springs or an explosive device, the cockpit will automatic or at will be ejected in a forward direction. This gives the pilot the opportunity to eject with the cockpit even without a ramming action. In order to provide the pilot with the possibility to leave the cockpit during free fall, the cockpit has a spring or a similar device (13) which ejects the pilot after engaging the corresponding release mechanism.

The cockpit is provided in the front with an explosive device (14) which detonates either at the moment of impact or at random, and so rips a hole into the assaulted aircraft, through which the ramming aircraft's cockpit can slide.

The design can be build  powered or as a glider.


1. Ramming aircraft with breakaway cockpit. Distinguished by a cone-shaped, armored cockpit (4) which forms the front section of the aircraft.
2. Ramming aircraft as in 1, distinguished by a cockpit (4) attached atop of the fuselage (1).
3. Ramming aircraft as in 1 & 2, distinguished by an explosive device (14) provided in the front of the cockpit (4).
4. Ramming aircraft as in 3, distinguished by an explosive device (14) which can also be detonated at will.
5. Ramming aircraft as claimed in claim 1,2,3 or 4, where the cockpit (4) has a mechanism (13) for the ejection of the pilot
6. Ramming aircraft as in claim 1 to 5, where the back of the pilot's seat (5) can be reclined so that the pilot is protected by the cone-shaped cockpit.
7. Ramming aircraft as in 1 to 5, distinguished by that the back of the seat (5) reclines automatic at the moment of impact.
8. Ramming aircraft as claimed in any of the claims 1 to 7, which has, behind the cockpit (4) in flight direction, a cross-shaped frame (3) which is has an aerodynamic covering and forms fuselage (1) and wings (2).
Gothaer Wagonfabrik AG, Gotha.


My thanks go to the following for their help on translating the above document:

Silvain Domen
Chris Degand
Christian Julius
Hendrik Weise