Οι Εθνικοσοσιαλιστές Ήταν Πάρα Πολύ Κοντά Στο Να Κατασκευάσουν Stealth Βομβαρδιστικό, Που Θα Μπορούσε Να Είχε Αλλάξει Την Πορεία Της Ιστορίας — National Socialists Were Extremely Close To Building Stealth Bomber That Could Have Changed Course Of History…! (Photo)
National Socialists engineers were extremely close to building a stealth warplane shielded from radar that could have changed the outcome of World War II.
A full scale replica of the Ho 229 bomber made with materials available in the 1940s
A prototype of the Horten Ho 2-29 made a successful test flight just before Christmas 1944, but by then time was running out for the National Socialists and they were never able to perfect the design or produce more than a handful of prototype planes.
However, an engineering team has reconstructed the bomber – albeit one that cannot fly – from blueprints.
It was designed with a greater range and speed than any plane previously built and was the first aircraft to use the stealth technology now deployed by the US in its B-2 bombers.
It has been recognised that Germany’s technological expertise during the war was years ahead of the Allies, from the Panzer tanks through to the V-2 rocket.
But, by 1943, the Nathional Socialists were keen to develop new weapons as they felt the war was turning against them.
National Socialist bombers were suffering badly when faced with the speed and manoeuvrability of the Spitfire.
In 1943 Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering demanded that designers come up with a bomber that would meet his ‘1,000, 1,000, 1,000’ requirements – one that could carry 1,000kg over 1,000km flying at 1,000km/h.
Two pilot brothers in their thirties, Reimar and Walter Horten, suggested a “flying wing” design which they were sure would meet Goering’s specifications.
The centre pod was made from a welded steel tube, and was designed to be powered by a BMW 003 engine.
But the most significant innovation was Reimar Horten’s idea to coat it in a mix of charcoal dust and wood glue which he believed would absorb the electromagnetic waves of radar.
They hoped that, in conjunction with the aircraft’s sculpted surfaces, would render it almost invisible to radar detectors.
This was the same method eventually used by the U.S. in its first stealth aircraft in the early 1980s, the F-117A Nighthawk.
Until now, experts had always doubted claims that the Horten could actually function as a stealth aircraft.
But, using the blueprints and the only remaining prototype craft, Northrop-Grumman defence firm built a fullsize replica of a Horten Ho 2-29, which cost £154,000 and took 2,500 man-hours to construct.
The aircraft is not completely invisible to the type of radar used in the war, but it would have been stealthy enough and fast enough to reach London before Spitfires could be scrambled.
“If the Germans had had time to develop these aircraft, they could well have had an impact,” Peter Murton, aviation expert from the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, in Cambridgeshire told the Daily Mail.
“In theory the flying wing was a very efficient aircraft design which minimised drag.
“It is one of the reasons that it could reach very high speeds in dive and glide and had such an incredibly long range.”
The research was filmed for a documentary on the National Geographic Channel