Natter manned rocket. This is a German Bachem Ba 349 (Natter) rocket aircraft, captured by the US Army towards the end of World War II. Based on a design by German engineer Erich Bachem (1906-1960), it took off vertically as a rocket and then glided once it reached cruising height. The single pilot would aim the gliding aircraft towards enemy bombers and press a trigger to fire missiles from the nose cone. The pilot would then eject and land by parachute. Unmanned tests were successful, but the first manned flight in March 1945 failed, killing the test pilot Lothar Sieber. The remaining Natters never saw action, as they were either captured by US ground troops or destroyed by the Germans.