Max Valier

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Max Valier
Image:Valier 1928.jpg
Max Valier circa 1928
Birth Name Max Valier
Birth Date Feb 9 1895
Birth Place Bolzano, Austria (Italy)
Date of Death May 17 1930
Place of Death Berlin-Britz, Germany
Occupation Engineer, Author
Nationality United States of America
Notable Works Der Vorstoß in den Weltenraum, Weltende, Raketenfahrt, Auf Kühner Fahrt Zum Mars



Max Valier RAK-6 footage (Jan 1930), RAK-7 (May 1930) and Pietsch-Heylandt rocket car (May 1931)


Some historical reports claim that the RAK-7 was powered by LOX and gasoline or benzene. This was not the case. It was after demonstrating the car using alcohol as the fuel that Valier chose to seek out a sponsor in the gasoline industry. He approached the Shell company who expressed some interest in providing him with much-needed sponsorship money but he would have to use Shell's products to fuel the car. It was during his early tests to run LOX and gasoline on a test stand that Valier was killed. Unknown to anyone at the time the effect of LOX on gasoline was to cause it to congeal into a gel-like paste. It was discovered that a slurry of gasoline gel congealed in the combustion chamber and when it broke loose the engine exploded. Valier was struck in an artery by shrapnel. He died moments later. His assistants Arthur Rudolph and Walter Riedel were spared, protected by a waist-high half wall.

Max Valier's RAK-7 liquid fuelled rocket car in the Deutsches Museum.

Heylandt/Riedel/Pietsch rocket car test firing engine 160kg thrust (c. April 1931).

The image above is taken at Heylandt factory in Berlin-Britz after Valier's death. Work continued with Riedel, Paul Heylandt, Alfons Pietsch and Arthur Rudolph. The car was designed by Riedel with a new injection system devised by Rudolph. Cylindrical fuel tank at front, large spherical oxygen tank in rear. The car was driven at the Heylandt works by Pietsch before being demonstrated at the Tempelhof airfield in May 1931.



Max Valier's Obituary, Dolomite May 24th 1930


Max Valier's rocket car patent