Gotha Go 229

The Horten H.IX, RLM designation Ho 229 (often called Gotha Go 229 due to the identity of the chosen manufacturer of the aircraft) was a late-World War II prototype fighter/bomber designed by Reimar and Walter Horten and built by Gothaer Waggonfabrik. It was the first pure flying wing powered by a jet engine and designed to be more difficult to detect with radar - the first aircraft to incorporate what is now known as stealth technology. It was a personal favorite of German Luftwaffe chief Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, and was the only aircraft to come close to meeting his "3x1000" performance requirements, namely to carry 1000kg of bombs a distance of 1000km with a speed of 1000km/h. Its speed was estimated at 1,024 km/h (636 mph) and its ceiling 15,000 meters (49,213 ft).

The first prototype H.IX V1, an unpowered glider, flew on 1 March 1944. Flight results were very favorable, but there was an accident when the pilot attempted to land without first retracting an instrument-carrying pole extending from the aircraft. The H.IX V1 was followed in December 1944 by the Junkers Jumo 004-powered second prototype H.IX V2; the BMW 003 engine was preferred, but unavailable. Göring believed in the design and ordered a production series of 40 aircraft from Gothaer Waggonfabrik with the RLM designation Ho 229, even though it had not yet taken to the air under jet power. The first flight of the H.IX V2 was made in Oranienburg on 2 February 1945. The test pilot was Leutnant Erwin Ziller. Two further test flights were made between 2 and 18 February 1945. Another test pilot used in the evaluation was Heinz Scheidhauer. Reportedly displayed very good handling qualities, with only moderate lateral instability (a typical deficiency of tailless aircraft). There are reports that during one of these test flights, the H.IX V2 undertook a simulated "dog-fight" with a Messerschmitt Me 262, the first operational jet fighter and that the H.IX V2 outperformed the Me 262.

Despite this setback, the project continued with sustained energy. Ho 229 A-0 day fighters, of which 20 machines had been ordered. V3 was powered by two Jumo 004C engines, and could carry two MK 108 30mm cannon in the wing roots. Work had also started on the two-seat Ho 229 V4 and Ho 229 V5 night-fighter prototypes, the Ho 229 V6 armament test prototype, and the Ho 229 V7 two-seat trainer.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 7.47 m (24 ft 6 in)
  • Wingspan: 16.76 m (55 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 2.81 m (9 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 50.20 m² (540.35 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 4,600 kg (10,141 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 6,912 kg (15,238 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 8,100 kg (17,857 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2× Junkers Jumo 004B turbojet, 8.7 kN (1,956 lbf) each

  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.92, 977 km/h (607 mph) at 12,000 m (39,370 ft)
  • Combat radius: 1,000 km (620 mi)
  • Ferry range: 1,900 km (1,180 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 16,000 m (52,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 22 m/s (4,330 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 137.7 kg/m² (28.2 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.26

  • 2 × 30 mm MK 108 cannon
  • 2 × 500 kg (1,100 lb) bombs
  • R4M rockets

** Gotha Go 229 - Warbird Fare

Other Warbirds

Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Delicious Digg More Favorites

Back To Top