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Rockets & Wings

Opel RAK2 replica at the Sinsheim Museum in 2004 (picture 24Valve.com) 

On May 23rd, 1928, Fritz Von Opel attempted to break the land speed-record at the famous Avus-track in Berlin. He tried to do that in a car that was equipped with 24 solid-fuel rockets with 6000 kilograms of thrust. A car that had no gears but did have adjustable stabilization wings. Watched by thousands of spectators, Fritz von Opel reached a top speed of 238 km/h at a distance of two kilometres and was celebrated enthusiasticly by the audience after the drive. But what the spectators did not recognize was that Fritz von Opel only just avoided a disaster. Near the end of the run, at high speed, the front of the car lifted because the wings did not create enough downforce to keep the car on the ground. Although the wings were adjustable, Von Opel wasn't able to that because he had to steer with both hands. The car went skidding, but Von Opel managed to regain control over the car. Despite the event- and successfull run, the attempt itself was not succesfull, the landspeed record (334 km/h at that time) was not broken.

The reconstructed RAK2 was presented to the Deutsches Museum in Munich by Fritz von Opel in 1968. And now, this car is available as an 1/87 scale model from that same Museum. The model is made from a zinc-alloy and is the product of demonstrations of the museums 20t pressure-moulding machine. 

The model comes together with a little booklet and set of decals and is available at the museum only. (It does show up at Ebay.de regularly though).