Arms & Armour, new ed., 1976. Xii + 161 pp., double-sided cold., frontis., + various b&w photo & other plates. D.j., 23 x 16cm. FINE. The flight testing of the world’s first operational rocket-powered interceptor, the Me163, is one of the most dramatic chapters of aviation history. This story is told by one of the thirty pilots of "Erprobungskommando 16" (Test-Commando 16), who, under the veil of deepest secrecy, were entrusted with the operational development of the Me163 during World War II. With the Me163 the Luftwaffe might have been able to stem the tide of the Allied success in the air and beaten back the waves of day bombers that shattered the German armament industry. But too few were available and too late. However, when the rest of the world hardly ventured to dream about it, the men of Test-Commando 16 became the first human beings to edge up to the sound barrier. With two coloured plates and numerous photographs.