An experimental German aircraft without tailplane, which made its first flight in 1944, could have reversed the course of the Second World War, says National Interest magazine.
The American group Northrop Grumman recently announced the creation of a new stealth bomber B-21 for the US Air Force. The aircraft will most likely have the shape of a flying wing, a design that limits its radar signature. However, this design is far from innovative.
“The first jet of this type was designed by the Horten brothers who lived in Nazi Germany. He was even baptized “stealth fighter for Hitler”, recalls the magazine.
The design work of the Horten Ho-IX, often called Gotha Go 229, began after Hermann Göring, commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe and Minister of Aviation, declared that the Third Reich was to have a plane Capable of carrying 1,000 kg of bombs per 1,000 km to 1,000 km / h.
Brothers Reimar and Walter Horten, who had worked for a long time on a glider without a tail, presented a flying wing project to a commission of experts that quickly approved it.
The new aerodynamic design, which reduced air resistance, saved fuel and used jet engines.
Gotha soon received an order for 40 Horten aircraft. The first flight was made in March 1944. The first tests of series-produced aircraft took place in February 1945, but American troops, who entered Friedrichroda, Thuringia in April 1945, confiscated the experimental aircraft .
According to the magazine, rumors about the low radar signature of the Horten Ho-IX are exaggerated, “but the very application of the flying wing principle reduces the surface of reflection, which is typical for stealth aircraft.”
However, the Ho-IX surpassed the planes of its time especially by its speed. “It does not matter if the plane has been detected, if it can anticipate any interceptor,” notes the magazine.
“The Ho-IX could have become a real threat during the Second World War. But it was still far from being produced in series towards the end of the war, “the magazine concludes.
Source: Sputnik France