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Heinkel He 176

was the world’s first aircraft to be propelled solely by a liquid-fuelled rocket, making its first powered flight on July 20 1939 with Erich Warsitz at the controls. The He 176 was built to utilise one of the new Walter engines. It was a tiny, simple aircraft, built almost entirely out of wood and lacking even an enclosed canopy. It had a conventional, fixed, tricycle undercarriage, but relied on the weight of the pilot to actually rest on its wheels. Empty, the tail of the plane rested on the ground. Heinkel demonstrated the aircraft to the RLM, but official disinterest led to the abandonment of the company's rocket propulsion programme. The He 176 was placed in the Deutsches Technikmuseum ("German Technical Museum") in Berlin, where it was destroyed in an air raid during World War II.