German Flying Wing and Stealth Technology
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German Flying Wing and Stealth Technology

German Flying Wing and Stealth Technology

Image by Wikimedia Commons

In the modern world as we knew it, the Allies won the war. The Germans despite their superior firepower on land, sea and air boasting of technology the rest of the world still have to figure out or were still attempting to develop may have been plainly overwhelmed by their advantage that they let the Allies slipped through and later dwell on their very own inventions. But think about the twist of fate that Allied intelligence failed and the Nazis eventually succeeded in sending the rest of its squadron of turbojet powered flying wings laden with bombs capable of infiltrating the rest of the US skies and the world’s major cities undetected with stealth technology the US still have to realize and appreciate barely 4 decades hence?

The flying wing had been the Nazi’s secret weapon waiting to be released from its arsenals. Aside from the German U-boats claiming supremacy at sea accountable for lots of the Allies’ warship losses there were the equally lethal V-1 rockets (the early version of today’s cruise missiles) being launched by the Nazis from launch pads sending devastation over British grounds and the rest of Europe. The Horten Ho IX or often referred to as the Ho 229 or Gotha Go 229 was the brainchild of the Horten Brothers, Reimar and Walter Horten. Its inception could be traced as early as the 1930s as the Horten Brothers developed interest in the flying wing design realizing its increased performance in glider design applications. The request from German Luftwaffe chief Hermann Göring may have arrived short of schedule for this first flying wing of its type incorporating stealth characteristics to wreak further havoc among the side of the Allies. But had it made on time, history may have rewritten itself. Powered by two Junkers Jumo 004B turbojets rated at 8.7 kN (1,956 lbf) each, it has an estimated maximum speed at Mach 0.92, 977 km/h (607 mph) at 12,000 m ( 39, 370 ft), barely two hundred miles per hour faster than the Allies’ fastest fighters like the Soviet Yak-3 or the US P-51 Mustang and well beyond the ceiling of both fighters with her operational ceiling at 52,000 ft.

Asection of the Ho 229 seized from the Germans (Image by Wikimedia Commons)

The fate of this advanced German secret weapon became a victim of the US led intelligence effort to capture advanced German weapons research as initiated in “Operation Paperclip” which culminated at the final stages of World War II. With only one prototype Ho 229 V3 nearing completion, it was seized and secured and transported to Northrop Corporation in the US for study and analysis. The rest as we knew it was the basis for Northrop Corporation’s perfection of the flying wing design which Jack Northrop started himself with his version, the N1-M built in 1939. The B-2 Spirit (Stealth Bomber) took to the air in 1989 and her sleek, advanced design features may have deprive her of her crude history but it took the best minds of the Germans and Americans to put her altogether in one piece.

Image by Wikimedia Commons


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Comments (8)

Fascinating! I knew the Germans had created a jet fighter by 1945, but had not heard of the stealth bomber.

Another very professional article, my friend. It's amazing how fast technologies are growing in times of war...Thank you Will.

Great article on a fascinating subject. I only knew the version in Raiders of the Lost Ark, so it was great to read the real history behind the concept.

German Flying Wing and Stealth Technology - this is great.

Revisited. Your article is so much detailed. Thanks Will.

Very interesting and informative piece of historical information regarding this plane, fantastic work Will, that is why you are ranked # 1 for this category!

This is new info for me. Good job Will.

I learned something new from this article. Thanks Deepblue.