Monday, 29 Jun, 2009 Technology
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Nazi Stealth Aircraft (World's First Stealth Fighter) Re-Constructed

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Experts in the field of stealth-plane construction decided to re-create an almost forgotten Nazi airplane called the Horten 2-29. The Nazi engineers did not make it on time to launch the jet into mass production during the World War II. The main idea of today's engineers, who developed the replica of the so-called stealth aircraft, was to test whether the plane was really invisible to the radar. During their work they found that Nazi engineers were really close to creating a stealth fighter so powerful that it could alter the course of the war.

In order to re-create the aircraft, the group of engineers from the Northrop Grumman defense-contracting corporation, decided to use the original Nazi plans and the only Ho 2-29 that managed to survive till nowadays. It is worth mentioning that the aircraft was stored in the United States government facility for over half a century. The Nazi stealth jet design resembled the contemporary B-2 bomber. It was made mainly from wood, being powered by jet engines. Initially the Nazi engineers planned to create a plane that could reach a speed of 600mph (970km/h).

The aircraft featured four 30mm cannons and two 500kg (1,100-pound) bombs. Its first test flight took place back in 1944, when the Nazis started losing the war. Thus the aircraft never made into the mass production and only a few prototypes remained. By discovering the real abilities of Ho 2-29, engineers hoped to tell how the history would have changed if the place went into mass production.

According to aviation historian David Myhra, the designer who worked on the original Nazi stealth aircraft was Reimar Horten. He was really into the all-wing design due to the options it provided "for low drag and exceptional performance." Mr. Myhra interviewed the Horten brothers several times between 1980s and the late 1990s. He says that Walter Horten lost a lot of men during the Battle of Britain that took place in 1940 and was unable to leave behind the memories of their death. He dreamed revenge and wanted his brother to develop a plane that would be invisible for the British radars.

In order to identify whether Ho 2-29 was really able to stay invisible to the radar, engineers analyzed the surviving aircraft and tested it with a portable radar unit that featured the technology used during the WWII. Afterwards during last year's fall and winter, experts started a full-scale re-creation of the plane. The work was made at a restricted testing facility located in the Mojave Desert, California. Using historic documents and technology of those times, the team created a replica of the jet, which however could not fly. In January of 2009 the team tested the jet on World War II-style radar, reports National Geographic .

The tests showed that the design of the plane could indeed make the aircraft somewhat invisible to the radars of those times. It seems that the Horten 2-29 was the first in the world aircraft with stealth capabilities.

"This design gave them just about a 20 percent reduction in radar range detection over a conventional fighter of the day," said Tom Dobrenz, a stealth specialist at Northrop Grumman that funded the experiment. The tests of the re-created replica of the plane, the World War II British radar would have been able to identify Horten. However, due to the great speed of the jet, the time needed to detect the plane and target it would have been reduced from 19 minutes to only 8 minutes, making it difficult for Allied defenders to react. Still the jet had a number of disadvantages. First of all, the engines used during the WWII were rather unreliable. In addition, the technology did not allow making precise shooting and accurate bomb delivery. The experts came to the conclusion that if the Nazi engineers had more time to continue developing the aircraft, the latter could have changed the course of the war, but by 1945 the Germans lacked not only time but pilots and petroleum as well.

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Comments:

4 votes

//18 Jun 05, 2012 02:06 PM | posted by: karthikbolla [InfoTOT]
US taken away every document that they found in nazi facilities.these are the very documents that helped americans and russians in their cold war time.one special news is that america has created a paper club that eventually paved way to the american space mission with a rocket that used the nazi supersonic rocket engiens.
truely nazi germaney is great. if they didn't pose to go for war they would have made world much faster than it is now.
6 votes

//17 May 25, 2012 01:00 AM | posted by: Bill
I built a plastic scale model of the Horten 229 decades ago before Al Gore invented the Internet. Always wondered why the landing gear was so huge. Discovered later, once on-line, that Horten used scavenged nose gear from downed B-24 Liberator bombers along with over components from US fighters.
6 votes

//16 May 25, 2012 12:46 AM | posted by: Bill
The Germans had several companies developing alternative aircraft that could be made cheaply. Many used parts scavenged from downed Allied aircraft since those were free and quite plentifull. These outfits got very little financial assistance from the Nazis so had no qualms turning themselves and their plans over to the Allies towards the war's end. They hoped to be able to continue their research and developement which some obviously did.
6 votes

//15 Mar 28, 2012 08:01 AM | posted by: khable cruz
we're lucky that the nazis are unable to put this stealth like jet up in the air!
7 votes

//14 Oct 01, 2011 04:12 PM | posted by: Alex Andersson
In fact, Northrop were testing flying wings over US skies for years before World War II even started. Just as an example... over the period of 1940-1941, Northrop performed over 200 test flights of the Northrop N1M flying wing, which is nearly identical in size to the Horten Ho 2-29. So stating that Northrop Grumman took Nazi technology and reverse engineered it to create their own programs is untrue. Northrop began their own flying wing/stealth-like aircraft program entirely independently of the German war effort.
8 votes

//13 Oct 01, 2011 04:06 PM | posted by: Alex Andersson
Flying wing technology was developed SIMULTANEOUSLY on both sides of the world before and during WWII. The United States began the piston-powered Northrop XB-35 flying wing bomber program in 1941, which led to the YB-35 and YB-49 jet-powered flying wing bombers of the mid to late 1940's and it is these large scale bombers that inspired the B2 Stealth bomber. In fact, the very first American flying wing, very similar in design to the Horten Ho 2-29, was successfully tested and flown in 1939, years before the Nazi's perfected the Horten design.
8 votes

//12 Mar 23, 2011 06:56 PM | posted by: SCPBS
SCPLAYBOYS X3
13 votes

//11 Jul 28, 2010 06:43 PM | posted by: Josie_411
Don't give props to the Germans! Give credit to the Jewish scientists forced to develop these ideas in Nazi labs. The only one to escape was Einstein! Imagine if his ideas were in the hands of Hitler! The atomic bomb would have been the end of the world. TRULY the end of the world.
14 votes

//10 Jun 22, 2010 01:33 AM | posted by: Hmmm
u just can't hate the Nazis.....
9 votes

//9 Apr 13, 2010 11:05 AM | posted by: jezzus
the gewrmaN are good but stupid hitler stoped the tanks at dunkirk
10 votes

//8 Feb 24, 2010 05:59 PM | posted by: jiugigyh
y did he do this
11 votes

//7 Nov 21, 2009 02:26 PM | posted by: agval06
lets be pragmatic. while we in the allied side want to bury the remnants of nazi germany, yet if we try to look the appearance of our modern aircrafts today, many are direct if not outright copy of germans aircraft projects in the later part of the war....
13 votes

//5 Oct 20, 2009 03:50 AM | posted by: Andreas
German science started everything we have today, even the space shuttle was on paper in Germany in WWII. They did not comprehend the physics of getting something into orbit quiet yet so their design was based on several v2 rockets launching the shuttle down rails and off a huge ramp.

The most mysterious German Secret I would like exposed is the so called "nazi bell". Research into the counter rotating vortex's was being done even with superconducting fluids. Then you have the Hans Coler devices that mystify scientists even today. I believe these projects went black after the war but do exist, I wish we would her more news on them.
12 votes

//4 Sep 08, 2009 08:46 AM | posted by: alcotrazz [InfoMANIAC]
yes, I agree that germans did a huge contribution to the technology. it was a major boost in science, development and technology. well, it was war going on and the war is the best cathalyst for science and technoloby. look around you! everything surrounding us today is the result of military developments a few years or several decades ago. I'm sure there's till much much more that's been already discovered but the public isn't just ready for this yet. btw, think of the Internet! Whose idea was it? Who designed it? Who was it for? PENTAGON! Look what it is now.
14 votes

//3 Aug 04, 2009 01:43 AM | posted by: t525
maxriter......thee carbon material that is part of surface on horten says that they were closing in on and under extreme circumtances i might add staying invisible ...i might add...their are still a lot of advanced items engineered by our german fiends that still are being hidden from the general public....thee a10 bomber is german design....the thermal round that penitrated our sherman tank and vaporized all that was in it.....the cruise miss..... the saturn veeee..was werner vaun brauns also go to luft46.com its an eye opener....we have reproduced thee me262 and it is flying.....
14 votes

//2 Aug 03, 2009 12:00 PM | posted by: Maxriter [InfoMANIAC]
The idea to reconstruct an old and rather odd jet sounds intriguing, but there's very little proof the plane wa the firth to have stealth abilities. I don't think it would've had any advantage during the war. it looks more like a disney land toy rather than a stealth fighter...
14 votes

//1 Jul 02, 2009 02:53 PM | posted by: manojfdo [InfoBIG]
awesome

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