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Autore: Alessandro
Horten Ho-229A Brengun  1:144 Scale

Horten Ho-229A Brengun  1:144 Scale

Catalog number: BRP144007

Plastic injection kit

The Horten I Horten-Flugzeuge in the early forties. It was characterized by the all-wing layout typical of the Horten brothers and by the innovative jet propulsion.

HISTORY OF PROJECT

In the early 1930s, some German designers became interested in the all-wing configuration as a way to improve the performance of their gliders, including the Reimar brothers and Walter Horten. The German government was establishing many glider clubs, because at the time they were prohibited from building military aircraft by the Treaty of Versailles made after the First World War. The all-wing configuration removes all “unnecessary” surfaces and, at least in theory, reduces drag to the minimum possible. Therefore, a flying wing configuration allows, with the same performance, to build gliders with shorter and therefore more robust wings, without the friction caused by the fuselage.

In 1943, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring promoted the so-called 3×1000 request to produce a bomber that would be capable of carrying a load of 1,000 kg to a distance of 1,000 km and a speed of 1,000 km/h. Conventional German bombers could reach Allied command centers in Britain, but were suffering disastrous losses from Allied fighters. At the time, there was simply no known way to achieve these goals: the brand new Junkers Jumo 004B jet engine could provide the necessary speed, but was too fuel-hungry.

The Hortens were convinced that their low-friction flying wing design could meet the required objectives. Then I will propose to the government their personal (and jealously guarded) project: the Ho IX, as a starting point for the bomber. The government’s air minister (Reichsluftfahrtministerium) approved the Hortens’ proposal, but ordered the addition of two 30 mm cannons, because he believed that the aircraft could also be useful as a fighter, given its estimated top speed, which was much higher than any other Allied aircraft.

The first Ho IX V1, which was an engineless glider, flew on 1 September 1944. This was followed in December 1944 by the Ho IX V2, which was powered by a Junkers Jumo 004 (the original design called for the use of the more powerful BMW 003, but at the time this engine was practically unavailable). Göring believed in the project and ordered a series of 40 production aircraft from Gotha with the RLM (German Air Ministry) designation Ho 229 before the powered prototype had even flown. The program was not stopped even on 18 February 1945, when the only Ho IX V2 crashed to the ground due to an engine explosion after only two hours of flight: in fact, other prototypes and 20 pre-production aircraft were ordered. On 12 March 1945, the Ho 229 was included in the Jägernot Program for accelerated low-cost Wunderwaffen production.

Characterized by an innovative and unconventional layout, it reproduced the appearance of the full-wing aircraft designed by the Horten brothers, being developed initially by Horten-Flugzeugen and then by Gothaer Waggonfabrik, the only one of the two that managed to complete only three examples, however, failing to overcome the prototype phase. Although it was essentially made with non-strategic materials, wood and plywood, it used a special paint for its covering capable of absorbing radio waves, which, together with its shape, reduced its identifiability by the radar sighting systems of the era, anticipating many of the solutions adopted for the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.[2] Strongly supported by Reich Marshal Hermann Göring, it was the only model that managed to come close to the demanding specifications issued by the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) for “Project 3000”.

Intended for the Luftwaffe units, thanks to its expected high performance, an estimated speed of 1,024 km/h and a ceiling altitude of over 15,000 metres, the Ho 229 would have been a very formidable adversary for the Allied air forces.[2 ]

During the final stages of the war, the US military launched Operation Paperclip, which was an effort by various intelligence agencies to seize German research into advanced weapons and prevent it from falling into the hands of Soviet troops. A Horten glider and the Ho 229 V3, which was almost completely assembled, were secured and sent to the Northrop Corporation in the United States for testing. Northrop was chosen because of its experience with flying wings, as Jack Northrop had begun building all-wing aircraft starting with the 1939 Northrop N-1M.