Nazi Stealth Jet Could Have Won War for Hitler
Called the Horten 229, the radical "flying wing" fighter-bomber looked and acted a lot like the U.S. Air Force's current B-2 — right down to the "stealth" radar-evading characteristics.
Fortunately for the world, the Ho 229 wasn't put into mass production before Nazi Germany surrendered in May 1945.
But American researchers boxed up and shipped home the prototypes and partially-built planes that existed — and now the same company that builds the B-2 has rebuilt one.
Northrop Grumman Corp. spent its own time and money using the original German blueprints to replicate the wood-and-steel-tube bomber, right down to its unique metallic glue and paint, at its facility in El Segundo, Calif.
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Christopher John Ward - 7/12/2009
The longer Fox News/National Geographic item and the Long Beach Telegram are a testament to the ingenuity of the Northrop engineers in restoring a Horten Ho 229. However, it is drawing a long bow to suggest that the outcome of World War II might have been different. For example had Hitler not declared the Me262 should be a bomber, then allied air superiority would have been problematic and the invasion of Europe delayed.
Where Fox and other press outlets err is in the claim that the Me 262 was Germany's only jet aircraft in WWII.
The Arado 234 light bomber flew over Britain as late as April 1945 and other jet prototypes were built including the Heinkel He 280 and He 162 (Salamander) the Me P1101; Henschel Hs132 and the Junkers Ju 287.
The Horton was developed in several models: as a fighter and fighter-bomber. Anyone with aviation history in their blood should have acknowledged the Northrop development of the Horten brothers flying wing. For people with an interest the stealth profile is inherent in a design that dated from the 1920s and onwards.
Patrick Murray - 7/1/2009
All of this is nonsense as Mr. Wallenius and Mr.Beatty pointed out. The American flying wing eventually proved unstable. The B-2 bomber (which is a flying wing) works because of fly-by-wire technique that allows for computer adjustments that permit the aircraft to fly.
Also, the Eighth Air Force bomber attacks on synthetic fuel production and the Russian seizure of Romanian oil fields spelled the death knell of the German air force.
John D. Beatty - 7/1/2009
No single weapon can win a war, including an A-bomb. Even if Germany had managed the trick (they gave up in '42) deployment was always a problem, as was fuel and other resources. THe Showa Emperor gave up because of the totality of resources arrayed against Japan; the bomb was just one more.
Jaakko Juhani Wallenius - 7/1/2009
"Nazi Stealth Jet Could Have Won War for Hitler", hah!
I simply must comment on the stupid headline, as no new single new weapon system or even a dozen of them (excluding the A-bomb, that was beyond their reach at that point) could have saved the Nazi Germany in 1945, as it had simply already lost the war.
It simply did not have enough resources to fight a coalition of US, USSR and GB succesfully and the longer the war lasted the more imminent this disparity was.