Feb 252015

The National Air and Space Museum is, at last, working on restoring their Ho 229. The 229 was an interesting flying wing jet fighter built in Germany during WWII; it had great potential, but as with most such things its legend has been blown far out of proportion, with recent years seeing claims that it was designed as a radar-stealthy fighter (it almost certainly wasn’t) and that it was the source of the postwar Flying Saucer mythology (difficult to envision since none seem to have survived the war in flyable condition).

A website has been set up to document the restoration of the Ho 229. The plane needs a lot of work… construction was of welded steel tubing covered with plywood. The years have not been kind to the plywood.

 Posted by at 10:54 am
  • sferrin

    Did you know that we copied the Ho 229 to make the B-2? For seriously.

    • Scottlowther

      Don’t make me come over there and smack the crap outta ya.

      • Cthell

        I’m assuming he’s connected Ol’ Jack Northrop up to a dynamo and is trying for free energy

    • Nh_flier

      Mr. Ferrin, I must respectfully disagree, on two counts:
      The B-2 matches the size and planform of the XB-35 / YB-49. There is no indication that the B-2 uses the reflexes airfoil that set the Horten designs apart from other flying wings.
      The Ho-229 was, despite the rumors, not particularly stealthy. The Northrop techs in the National Geographic special reported that the radar signature was 1/3 that of a contemporary aircraft (presumably a fighter). This is not unexpected – it’s the same ratio found between a P-80 and a P-51 or P-47. Those props really bump up the signature.
      It is an interesting airplane, and it is fun to speculate on what might have been. But the flying prototpje only completed 2 flights. No performance or handling studies were even started, let alone completed.

  • gormanao

    OK, there went an hour. Thankfully a slow day at work.

  • Bruce

    Scott, if you look at the rear of the B-2 bomber you notice it has sort of a vertical tail on the
    back side of it to improve stability I think. If you look at a top view of the 229 and look at a
    top view of the B-2 I know where sferrin could be right. If I remember reading and hearing
    correctly the XB-35 and the YB-49 flew but they still had stability problems as well. Also
    I heard too that the 229 did have radar stealth capability as well.

    • CaptainNed

      The XB-35 was far more stable than the YB-49 (pre the addition of the vertical stabs) because the prop shaft housings acted as vertical stabs.

  • Bruce

    Sorry I will correct myself….I meant horizontal.

  • Bruce

    Sorry I will correct myself….I meant horizontal.

  • B-Sabre

    The important question is…did the Horten hear a Who?