Professor Hellmuth Walter experimented with torpedoes driven by hydrogen peroxide before beginning to design rocket engines for aircraft in 1935. Founded in the same year, the Hellmuth Walter Kommanditgesellshaft (HWK) developed and built rocket assisted take-off engines before developing engines for rocket-powered interceptor aircraft.

1935: HWK is founded to design rocket engines for aircraft.

1945: The end of World War II ends HWK.

Walter HWK 509

The HWK 509 liquid fuel rocket engine was developed by the Hellmuth Walter Werke to power the German Me 163 Komet. The prototype engine first flew in the second Me163B prototype in 1943.
At full throttle the HWK 509 could drive the Komet to a maximum speed of 593 mph. However, the Komet carried only enough fuel for 7 1/2 minutes of powered flight.


  • HWK 509A-2: 3748 lb (16.7 kN) thrust


  • Liquid-fuel rocket
  • Fuel: Hydrazine hydrate & methanol (C-Stoff)
  • Oxidizer: hydrogen peroxide (T-Stoff)

used by

  • Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet