View Full Version : Beate Uhse

The Mistress
3rd Aug 2001, 01:58
From Time magazine 30 July 2001


Died, Beate Uhse, 81, former German World War II test pilot, who became a household name for her sex novelty shops; in Frankfurt. An air force captain who delivered planes to the front, Uhse later liberated Germany's attitude towards sex with her "orderly" approach to selling everything from pornographic videos to flavoured condoms and leather masks.

Slash - you were born too late, mate! :D

3rd Aug 2001, 09:04
"HER orderly approach"?

Beate was a SHE? I didnt know Germany had female test pilots in WW2!

Does that mean Dr Ruth was a P-38 instructor once?

[ 03 August 2001: Message edited by: Slasher ]

Travelling Toolbox
3rd Aug 2001, 09:15
Slash - the Me Komet (delta wing rocket plane) was test flown by a female. Damn can't remember her name, but did see her interviewed on Discovery one time. She was the same lady who flew a helicopter inside the atheletics stadium in 1936 (Blohm & Voss or maybe Messerschmidt(?) design I believe). She was test pilot on a number of very famous German aircraft in her career. Will try and track down her identity for you. :)

Arm out the window
3rd Aug 2001, 09:26
It was Hanna Reisch (spelling might be wrong).

There was an interview I saw somewhere with her telling how she taught herself to fly the prototype helicopter.
She was talking about introducing small amounts of power, with the stick in different positions, and noting small movements of the aircraft's wheels (on the ground) to find a neutral stick position.
Once she had that, she could then put in more power and get airborne.

"Then, I g-i-ive gasoline...in 15 minutes, I had it."

Very cool.

So remember, you don't just open the throttle, you 'give gasoline'!

Travelling Toolbox
3rd Aug 2001, 09:40
Brilliant!! Thanks Mr. Arm. :D :D :D

3rd Aug 2001, 09:46
Sh!t I never knew that. Learn something new every day. Thanks.

henry crun
3rd Aug 2001, 10:15
I have a strong feeling that Hanna Reisch was also involved in the initial manned flight testing of the V1 doodlebug. Can anyone confirm that ?.
She was involved with the testing of many other aircraft and, from what I have read, she was a committed nazi

[ 03 August 2001: Message edited by: henry crun ]

Nil nos tremefacit
3rd Aug 2001, 10:49

I think you're right about Hanna Reisch. I seem to remember seeing some wartime footage from Pienemunde where the tests took place.

I think the original helicopter is in the Helicopter Museum at Buckeburg (between Bielefeld and Hanover if I remember correctly).

Don't suppose Ann Summers flew for DERA? :rolleyes:

3rd Aug 2001, 11:22
She also was involved in the Me163 rocket fighter programme, but some-one higher up (Galland?) stopped her flying the production 163b as being 'too dangerous', a decision which she considered stupid as 'that's what test pilots were supposed to do'


3rd Aug 2001, 13:01
I think some confusion may have crept in re the V1. The Me163 was also tested at Peenemunde. It was first identified by PR observation of the scorch marks left on take-off from the grass. (Photo interpretation considered that Slasher may have been responsible but concluded; wrong era). I don't think the V1 was ever (wo)manned. Simply no provision for a pilot even if the payload was removed. They left that sort of thing to the Japanese. Hanna Reitsch was also involved in some daring last-minute aerial rescues from Berlin in a Storch during the last days of the Reich. Can't say that I've ever heard of Beate Uhse. What did she get up to? Aviatorily speaking, of course. She would be pretty young then, for a test pilot, even in war-time. :p

[ 03 August 2001: Message edited by: Yogi-Bear ]

3rd Aug 2001, 13:46
There is a manned WW2 rocket at Headcorn which I believe was flown by a woman.
It looks rather shoddy but is apparently "factory" condition. You really would have to be rather committed to strap a rocket to you @rse with a volatile payload up front. :eek: :eek: :eek:
It does seem as though the modern SLF payload is becoming more volatile too!

henry crun
3rd Aug 2001, 14:51
Yogi: I've now had time to check.
Hanna R did in fact fly the first flight of a piloted V1, modified with a small cockpit just forward of the pulse jet intake, basic instruments, ailerons, and landing skid. The war head was nor installed for these first flights.
A number of manned flights were undertaken before the idea was dropped.
They had ideas about using it as a manned weapon which would be flown to the target, aimed, and then the pilot would bail out.

[ 03 August 2001: Message edited by: henry crun ]

3rd Aug 2001, 15:16
Henry and Yogi,

try this:-

Fieseler Fi 103R

The Fieseler Fi 103R manned missile was one of the many desperate projects
conceived as the German situation became more hopeless.
Basically the Fi 103R was a piloted version of the V-1 flying bomb, powered by the same Argus pulsejet engine.

The Fi 103R's operation was codenamed Reichenberg and a total of about 175 manned Fi 103Rs
(R for Reichenberg) were made. The R-I, R-II and R-III were used for test and training, and R-IV
was to be the production model.
Two Rechlin pilots crashed while test-flying the Fi 103R, and afterwards trial flights were transferred to
DFR test pilots Hanna Reitsch and Heinz Kensche.
Flying the Fi 103R was quite simple, since the Fi 103R's unmanned version could fly without direct control.


3rd Aug 2001, 15:26
I'm intrigued by this. Pulse jets don't work below ca 200 mph which was why the catapult ramp was necessary. So they shot her off; the acceleration must have been something. The things were just an early cruise missile. Then what? With a wing loading like that a 200 mph approach? Me163s left skid marks all over Peenemunde but I've never read that V1s did. Any references please? Any insight into Beate Uhse? Ah, I see you have been at it VnV, whilst I was distracted. Ta.

[ 03 August 2001: Message edited by: Yogi-Bear ]

3rd Aug 2001, 16:11
Had to admit I hadn't heard of Beate Uhse until I saw a doco called "Wasps and Witches" about the role of Women Pilots in WW2. I can't remember much detail (it's been a while since I saw it) except that she was a test pilot, and at the end of the war managed to fly herself and her (two?) sons out of East Germany rather than surrender to the Russians. Her husband was also a pilot who was killed earlier in the war.
The doco is well worth a look if you can find a copy.
Rest in peace Beate.

henry crun
3rd Aug 2001, 16:18
Yogi: I think you are wrong about pulse jets not working below 200mph.
Miniature working versions are available which are started by a tyre pump.
Once sufficient air is passed through the shutters at enough velocity the process is self sustaining.
In the film I have seen of them being launched the pulse jet is going, so presumably they were started by compressed air prior to letting the handbrake off.
The catapult was only needed to get the airframe up to flying speed.
The details in my previous post came by phone from a third party but will try and get you a reference.
If the idea of a mini version appeals to you, don't even think about it unless you live at least 5 miles fom any other person, they make enough noise to wake the dead

[ 03 August 2001: Message edited by: henry crun ]

3rd Aug 2001, 17:22

Beate Uhse's last commercial endevour before her death was to further expand her chain of sex shops, this time by opening outlets in motorway services...

She is very well known in Germany for introducing sex shops to the former East Germany, with her first shop opening there only days after the collapse of the Berlin Wall....

itchy kitchin
3rd Aug 2001, 17:36
Hanna was also responsible for the testing of the Bochem Natter point defence weapon. A strange bit of kit. It was basically a vertically launched rocket with tiny wings and a flat nose stuffed with rockets. Some poor soul had to pilot that up to meet the advancing B17's and do ther best to knock a few down. But to actually test prototypes of untried concepts in the knowledge that literally anything could happen- you know about the dissolving pilots in the Me163- That takes borocajones of steel. A wonderful woman. I saw her on a documentary a couple of years ago. She was then an old woman, but i was struck by her youthfulness and enthusiasm for what she was did as well as her recollection of what she did down to the last detail.
I think it has to be said that modern aviation owes a great deal to the bravery of women like Hannah. Rather like NASA's reliance on Werner Von Braun to get to the moon. Werner was a boffin, but HR was a pioneer. Shame she was on the wrong side.

Cornish Jack
3rd Aug 2001, 17:39
Henry C
Yes, you're right about the pulse jets not needing forward speed to operate. They were used in model aircraft circles (Literally, for control line racing) as a sort of jet engine before the miniature gas turbines were produced. They are (maybe were, now) flown by at least two R/C model aircraft display teams at the larger Model meets and VERY impressive they were too. I was in the Trade stand hangar at Woodvale some years ago when the Dutch display team fired up their machine. I thought it was a very powerful piston engine right outside the hangar door. Went to look and found it was about half a mile away out on the airfield - NOISE like you wouldn't believe. Vertical climb to nearly out of sight and low level runs inverted, one of which had a fin scrape on the runway (at approx. 300kts or so) Have been away from the model scene for some years so they may well have given way to the new breed of gas turbines.

3rd Aug 2001, 17:55
Great guys, but, ahem.... Beate Uhse. ATA equiv. at 20, test pilot before she was 25. Isn't that remarkable? Anyone fill in more detail?

gravity victim
3rd Aug 2001, 19:07
Beate Uhse did actually ride one of her prototype vibrators, but I don't think she got it anywhere near 200 mph.
Hope this info helps. :)

The Mistress
3rd Aug 2001, 22:18
Yogi and gravity v

Looked up the lady on www.google.com - it came up with 65 PAGES of links to Beate. She was from East Prussia. She flew the Me109, Me110, Fw190, Ju87 and other front line aircraft. She flew for 15 mins on 19 April 1945 in a 2-seat Me262 trainer (first ever female jet pilot?)

There is an autobiography and she featured in a film "Water for Canitoga" around 1940.

http://home.snafu.de/barthel/serie/14bild1/html will give you a picture of the lady in flying gear with her aircraft. Yes she was VERY young at the time (n-n-n-n-19 - where have I heard that before).

http://home.snafu.de/barthel/serie/14bild3.html will give you a more recent piccie of the lady with a modern flying machine.

http://home.snafu.de/barthel/serie/Folge14.html will give you a history of some of the happenings at Strausberger Luftfahrt between 1913-1996

There are literally hundreds of links to her erotic sites. Over 18's only. Don't click onto them when the kids are around!!

[ 03 August 2001: Message edited by: The Mistress ]

Winston Smith
4th Aug 2001, 00:02
A few months ago there was a lengthy interview with Beate Uhse on the radio. She got the idea for starting her business when she was beleaguered by scores of refugees about contraceptive methods immediately after the war ended.

Hanna Reitsch was indeed a very courageous and admirable lady. I've got her autobiography, 'Fliegen - Mein Leben' (the English translation has the title 'The Sky My Kingdom', as I found out at amazon) to hand, but didn't have the time to read it yet.

itchy kitchin:

Even though Hanna was a remarkably gifted woman, she didn't possess any powers of divination and thus wasn't able to tell beforehand which side would later be officially declared to be the "wrong" one.

The Mistress:

The C172 is a nice and cute aicraft, but not exactly what I'd call a "modern flying machine"...

The Mistress
4th Aug 2001, 00:20
I meant compared to the stuff she flew in the 1940's. But you knew that.

Rest in peace Beate.

The Guvnor
4th Aug 2001, 16:03
I recall reading that the ME163 was powered by 'C-Stoff' and 'T-stoff B' Apparently, if the two mixed anywere than in the combustion chamber they would make a loud bang ... and T-stoff would literally eat anything organic - apparently one of the test aircraft had a mishap which spilled that particular Plofstoff into the cockpit, resulting in a rather abrupt end for the pilot.

Fascinating article on one of the testpilots on the aircraft here: http://www.flightjournal.com/articles/me163/me163_1.asp

Anyone know anything more??

[ 04 August 2001: Message edited by: The Guvnor ]

4th Aug 2001, 23:01
Thank you T.M. They will test my German but a fascinating story to discover. :)
Correction: ram jets need forward motion to function. Pulse jets have a multi-petal flap valve that combustion reacts against. I still think they need some forward speed to operate properly though. ;)
IIRC the P and T stoff in the Me163 was nitric acid and hydrogen peroxide. The gliding landing mishaps could be severe and the rubber suits the pilots wore weren't always enough to protect them. Ground crew arrived to find the pilot had melted! Such is war. :(

5th Aug 2001, 01:53
If I remember Rightly, the reason the V-1 never made tracks in the ground was because it was designed to fly to its target then explode....
The Piloted version, you were meant to bail out of before it blew up, but apparantly it wouldnt fly straight lon enough to finish off the target so it was, in essence a suicide weapon

tony draper
5th Aug 2001, 02:05
I thought Hanna Reitsch badly injured her back trying to land one of those piloted V1's
The germans also built a hydrogen peroxide powered u boat, very fast for its day.

5th Aug 2001, 04:51
The Me 163 used C-Stoff (meths and hydrazine) as fuel and T-Stoff (80% hydrogen peroxide) as oxidiser; former toxic and latter very nasty; I have seen clips from training films where they demonstrated both inadvertant mixing and action of T-Stoff on rags. They had an experimental engine using meths and nitric acid; slighty safer and cheaper, but this was never fitted to the Komet. There were piloted versions of the V1 (Fi103R) and although some were designed with warheads as suicide a/c; the only one Hanna Reitsch would have flown would have been an unpowered version to test its aerodynamics, ditto the Natter - the only known manned powered flight resulting in the death of the pilot when it broke up in flight.