Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Horten 229?

Discussion in 'Aircraft' started by LouisJ444, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. LouisJ444

    LouisJ444 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi everybody!

    I red somewhere or saw somewhere that the Horten 229 design was revolutianary and that the germans would mass produce this jet fighter.

    Is this true?

    And if the design was revolutianary why didnt USA and the USSR build these planes?

    The only plane that I know that is based on the Ho 229 is the B2 Spirit.
     
  2. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,131
    Likes Received:
    315
    The Horton 229 never made it past the prototype stage as the only powered airframe crashed after several test flights, so how was it to be mass produced?

    As for US flying wings, see Northrop YB-35 and YB-49
     
  3. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    654
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama, US
    I would say the 229 was indeed revolutionary, a near flying wing, small tail extension but no rudder, with two axial flow jet engines. It appeared in flying form very late in the war and was being looked at for mass production but the war ended after only, I believe, three or less were produced or flown.but with the war ending everything obviously stopped. The US got the only remaining plane, still not flyable and brought it back to the US for study.

    Revolutional does not necessarily mean successful. No doubt the US, Russians and probably the British and French would have expanded on the concept if they saw greater potential. in the post war period.

    The Horton was intended as a fighter bomber, not unlike the ME 263 but the B2 was developed as a stealth bomber . Both have similar forms and indeed the 229 was harder for radar to spot in 1945. . No doubt is was studied but the two planes are radically different in actually while sharing that rather unique form.

    It is a facinating plane and indicates the philosophy of the Germans , to make up for quantity but technology wheras the Allies did the opposite.....not to say that technology was not developed by the Allies, it just was not as urgent.

    Many better aeronautical minds here can give a better or perhaps a more correct answer.

    Gaines
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    Flying wings are, from what I've read anyway, inherently unstable. If you have good enough computers this is not only not a serious problem it may be an advantage. Lacking the on board computers though it's a serious issue.
     
  5. LouisJ444

    LouisJ444 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2016
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    So what I've red was not really true?

    The Horten 229 wasnt the thing that changed Military tech of the present day.

    I said to my father of the revolutionary thing and he asked me:
    Why didnt the USSR and US used this plane design in their own jet fighters?
    So why is it revolutionary if it isnt produced and used in action by the countries.
     
  6. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    654
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama, US
    It depends on the definition of the term revolutionary. It implies a fundamental , perhaps radical change from what preceded . It may seem like that means good or successful but it may or may not be. . Lots of new ideas, revolutionary ideas either fade or outright fail.. A political analogy, The Russian Revolution, huge change, killed off the monarchy, was to redistribute wealth, everyone equal but could one say it was successful ? Theb 229 , as lwd, pointed out was ahead of it's time but had problems that were not resolved. . The US designed and I believe the russians did too, a fighter with the wings swept forward, deliberately unstable, not controllable. computers were to control it so it could be so maneuverable it would be hard to hit. So far they have not succeeded. One day it might.

    The 229 could be said to be ahead of it's time, a cliche, but cliches have elements of truth.

    I think of the 229 as a revolutionary idea but not successful.....almost a question of semantics.

    Gaines..
     
  7. ResearcherAtLarge

    ResearcherAtLarge Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    60
    Pure swept-wing tailless designs could be built that were completely stable, however there are limits to these designs that make them unattractive for fighters. Both the Americans and British had problems with early transonic aircraft and pitch oscillation - the Americans overcame it on the Bell X-1 by using stabilizer trim, but the British DeHavilland DH 108 came apart in mid-air due to pitch oscillation (I can't remember if the nose pitched up or down). The tailless design was clearly not superior at that time.

    Note that even modern fighters have some form of tail plane. They need more maneuverability than you can get from a tailless design. The B-2 is more of a bomb truck and has other aspects that allow for good maneuverability given its size. It trades maneuverability for stealth, so in that instance, a tailless design is clearly more superior.

    Each airplane is designed with a mission or purpose in mind. Different aspects have strengths and weaknesses, so there is no one "ultimate" design. The 229 was clearly a clean airframe and revolutionary in its own way, but the Northrup N-9M shows that it wasn't really the only "revolutionary" design.
     
  8. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper Patron  

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,225
    Likes Received:
    659
    Probably incorrect again, thought had read where the B2 had a long cable which trailed the aircraft in order to stabilize in flight, which also carried sensors. Kind of like a stingrays tail.
    Seldom if occasionally correct these days.
     
  9. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    451
    It's probably true that the Germans, that had an obvious need of compensating quantity with quality, were more prone to explore radical designs on the hope that "something may work", the soviet approach was at the other extreme, a design bureaux that "wasted" effort on an unsuccessful design was likely to meet a bad end, so discouraging high risk approaches. The western allies were in between, the companies wanted contracts, and preferred funded development contracts, but there were some pretty successful "private ventures", IIRC the P51 Mustang was one.
     

Share This Page