Time to (a) forget about VW, diesel and NOx and (b) take to the air in the plane for today, the Horten Ho 229. No, new to me too.

As proof that there’s little enough that’s new in the world, the Ho 229 was a stealth bomber from WW2, designed as a response to a request from the late Reichssmarschall Goering to build a “3*1000” bomber - able to carry 1,000 kg for 1,000 km at 1,000 km/h. The Horten brothers came up with a flying wing, believing that this would have sufficiently low drag to meet the requirements.

A non powered prototype was built, tested successfully, landed less successfully and the design was then handed over to another firm, Gotha, who built two further prototypes fitted with Junkers turbojet engines. The planes had ejection seats and had the oddity of having their middle section built of welded steel tubes to which were attached wooden wing spars covered with plywood, something which meant that considerable attention had to be paid to engine cooling. Hot engines sitting beside plywood wings doesn’t go well.


Prototype no 2 flew several times but was then lost due to engine failure, no 3 was the only other one built and was seized by the Allies after the war. It still exists and is held by the Smithsonian (although I haven’t seen any sign of the wings) who are in the process of restoring it.


Share This Story

Get our newsletter