Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Horten HO 2-229

 Keep in mind, this aircraft was built in the 1940's. It resembles our Stealth bombers of today. Had Hitler got these into production sooner, the world wouldn't be what it is today.
Just a Little History:
With its smooth and elegant lines, this could be a prototype for some future successor to the stealth bomber. But this flying wing was actually designed by the Nazis 30 years before the Americans successfully developed radar-invisible technology. Now an engineering team has reconstructed the Horten Ho 2-29 from blueprints, with startling results.

This full-scale replica of the Ho 2-29 bomber was made with materials available in the 40sA full scale replica of the Ho 229 bomber made with materials available in the 1940s, at preflight The plane could have helped Adolf Hitler win the war. 

First built and tested in the air in March 1944, 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 U.S. in its B-2 bombers. Thankfully Hitler's engineers only made three prototypes, tested by being dragged behind a glider tow plane and were not able to build them on an industrial scale before the Allied forces invaded. 

From Panzer tanks through to the V-2 rocket, it has long been recognized that Germany 's technological expertise during the war was decades ahead of the Allies. But by 1943, Nazi high command feared that the war was beginning to turn against them and were desperate to develop new weapons to help turn the tide. 

Nazi bombers were suffering badly when faced with the speed and maneuverability of the Spitfire and other Allied fighters. Hitler was also desperate to develop a bomber with the range and capacity to reach the United States . In 1943 Luftwaffe chief Hermann Goering demanded that designers come up with a bomber that would meet his requirements, one that could carry 1,000kg over 1,000km flying at 1,000km/h.
Inventors Reimar and Walter Horten were inspired to build the Ho 2-29 by the deaths of so many Luftwaffe pilots in the Battle of Britain. The 142-foot wingspan bomber was submitted for approval in 1944, and it would have been able to fly from Berlin to NYC and back without refueling, thanks to the same blended wing design and six BMW 003A, or eight Junker Jumo 004B turbojets. 

He thought the electromagnetic waves of radar would be absorbed and in conjunction with the aircraft's sculpted surfaces the craft would be rendered 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. The plane was covered in radar absorbent paint with a high graphite content, which has a similar chemical make-up as charcoal. 

After the war the Americans captured the prototype Ho 2-29s along with the blueprints and used some of their technological advances to aid their own designs. But experts always doubted claims that the Horten could actually function as a stealth aircraft. Now using the blueprints and the only remaining prototype craft, Northrop-Grumman (the defense firm behind the B-2) built a full-size replica of a Horten Ho 2-29. 

Luckily for Britain the Horten flying wing fighter-bomber never got much further than the blueprint stage.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

We are pleasantly surprised to occasionally receive messages from those who visit our Rochefort American High School blog.
There is a high number of people from all parts of the world who visit our site. . 

Read the most recent one:"What memories you brought back to me. While I wasn't in your school I was stationed at the Rochefort base. I was the signal officer and you showed pictures of the office just inside the arch. I hoped you might have my car in one of them but sadly no. Thanks for this site and bringing me wonderful memories. Lt George R Wallis  

To our visitors: We would like to hear from you and also let us know if you are somehow related to Rochefort. 

Miriam Ramirez - Administrator