Horten Ho 229

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The Ho 229 (or Gotha 229) comes from the Horten IX, the latest prototype of the Reimar brothers and Walter Horten, specializing in flying wings. After designing gliders in the 1930s such as Horten I, II, III, IV, and then the Horten V with piston engine, the Horten brothers were interested in a jet fighter.

The Horten IX was a flying wing with virtually no visible fuselage, the power plant and pilot capable of housing in the front part of the wing. The engines planned were BMW 003 but these too large were replaced by a pair of Junker Jumo 004. The central section of the wing was composed of a tube-steel structure to support both the weight of the pilot And all cockpit equipment and engines. The outer side of the wings is made of wood and agglomerated fiber, the whole, covered with a special coating to give the smoothest possible finish.

After successful flight tests, the RLM decided to start production, but unfortunately the prototype passed into the hands of Gotha when the Horten IX-V2 crashed during an attempt at landing. The firm Gotha then began in the summer of 44, studying the device now called Gotha Go 229, and corrected the few defects of the flying wing to reaction. For the armament, it was equipped with four Mk-103/108 guns of 30mm placed on the leading edges of the wings next to the engines. However, the Horten brothers still continued their studies on this device.

The first prototype of the series was the Gotha 229 V-3 or Horten IX-V3, but it was not completed before the arrival of the Allied troops. From the first flights, the Gotha 229 reached 950 km / h at sea level and 975 km / h at 12000 meters. But in April, the Friedrichsroda plant was taken by US forces.

There were many parts and aircraft being assembled, one of the Gotha 229s was seized by the American army and taken to the USA to study it, like many other aircraft and planes. The English tried to steal the aircraft and equip it with new engines, but the complexity of the aircraft made the project impossible. This prototype was therefore repatriated to the USA and kept at the National Air and Space Museum. Subsequently, Northrop's work was inspired in part by the technical progress of the Horten brothers.  

Specifications :  

General characteristics
Crew: one
Length: 7.47 m 
Wingspan: 16.76 m 
Height: 2.81 m 
Wing area: 50.20 m² 
Empty weight: 4,600 kg 
Loaded weight: 6,912 kg 

Powerplant: 2 × Junkers Jumo 004B turbojet, 8.7 kN each
Max speed: 977 km/h (estimated) (607 mph) at 12,000 metres 
Service ceiling: 16,000 m (estimated) 
Thrust/weight: 0.26
Guns: 2 × 30 mm MK 108 cannon
Rockets: R4M rockets

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