Horten Ho 229

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Monkeyfume, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. Monkeyfume

    Monkeyfume New Member

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    #1 Monkeyfume, Nov 15, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
    I was reading about the Horten Ho 229 flying-wing jet bomber recently. Is it really as good as it sounds? The 3x1000 requirement seems pretty tough, and although it didn't make it, it was "close" (the only prototype that came anywhere near to it). Then again, despite all the hype the Arado Ar 234 seems superior to it in every way. Is there something I'm missing?

    Stats Ho 229 / Ar 234
    Max speed EDIT: 607 / 461 mph (sorry for the error)
    Range 620 / 1240 miles
    Payload 2200 / 2200 lb

    Apparently the Horten Ho 229 V3 was taken from its factory by U.S. forces to the RAE site to see if Derwent I engines could fit inside it (they could not)? I did not know this, it is correct?


    EDIT: Main advantage of the Ho 229 over the Ar 234 seems to be that it's faster while still being able to carry the same payload.
     
  2. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe that the Ho 229 was to be a bomber. Rather it was a fighter.

    There is something wrong with your numbers for the Ar 234 - the speed of sound at sea level is 761mph, so your numbers have the Ar 234 being supersonic.
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Horten Ho 229 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "The Horten H.IX, RLM designation Ho 229 (often called Gotha Go 229 because of the identity of the chosen manufacturer of the aircraft) was a German prototype fighter/bomber designed by Reimar and Walter Horten and built by Gothaer Waggonfabrik late in World War II. It was the first pure flying wing powered by jet engines."
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Did you perhaps mean KPH for those speed quotes?

    The Ar234's Max. Speed at 20,000 feet was 742kph = 461mph

    Also, the data for the Ho229V3 is estimated, it never flew. Only the V2 flew, but suffered an engine failure, caught fire and crashed before it was able to demonstrate it's full abilities.
     
  5. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    And the V2 flew with different, smaller, lower powered engines than the V3 was equipped with.
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    V2 was supposed to be equipped with the BMW003 but ended up using the Jumo004. Also, the V2 itself, was slighly smaller than the V3 airframe.

    The V3 had Jumo004B engines installed, although it was intended to have the Jumo004C as standard equipment.
     
  7. Monkeyfume

    Monkeyfume New Member

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    Then the Ho 229 only went 385 mph? Unless I'm doing something wrong, that's weak.

    EDIT: Out of curiousity, could it have flown if it had to, just the Germans ran out of supplies and/or time before they could do so?
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    V3 was VERY close to flight by the time the factory got over-run, V4 was under construction, but only the fuselage framing had been completed.

    Understand that the Ho229 was still a long way from being a production aircraft. Perhaps another 6 months would have seen them arriving at the front in limited numbers, but time had simply run out.

    As far as projected speed, the Ho229 was estimated to have a Max. speed of 607mph (977kph) at 39,000 feet. While 607 doesn't sound like much in today's terms, that was wicked fast for an aircraft of the day and was on the envelope of Mach flight.
     
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  9. l'Omnivore Sobriquet

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    #9 l'Omnivore Sobriquet, Nov 16, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
    The Arado had a full bombsight equipment that the Ho could'nt carry, nor use. It had room in the cokpit and downward vision. It was a real bomber even if light.
    Also it stood ready for a 4 engine upgrade which the Horten forbid, save for a complete redesign.

    The Ho IX / Go 229 was certainly an exciting aircraft with a good potential to 'do things', carry bombs and drop them at a minimum, a good card the Germans would have thrown in the arena when its time was to come.
    The Horten designer was confident about stability and possible controllability issues, and he had exceptionnal experience to back this.
    The Ho was also the only German jet to feature airbrakes.
    With good range it could have been a noted 'strategic harrasment' aircraft of some sort, probably replacing the Do-335 in the role.

    I'm quite certain that the pair of MK-108 canons placed right next to the turbojet's air intake would have shown unpractical at testing stages.

    It has been underlined already that the type would have required time to become an operationnal tool. I would leave two thoughts about this :
    - The Horten Company was a tiny familial structure with no experience whatsoever in operationnal requirements for a service aeroplane, nor with mass industry. One of the brother was an experienced fighter pilot but this alone is not enough.
    The Ho IX can very well be seen as an 'amateur' or 'week-end' builder's model scaled 1. Even if, again, the Horten designer mastered very well the aerodynamics of his 'home product', with years of work and testing on multiple models. This is why the whole thing was quite wisely transferred to the Gotha(/Zeppelin?) concern. Which in turn had its own views, rather looking down from up, on the concept. Yes it would have taken some time to translate all this into a series produced field weapon.

    - Doubtlessly however, in any what-if scenario allowing to show its qualities in warfare, the Ho IX would have been hurried in a still crude form into combat. This is no Republic Thunderstreak program here... Have those two bombs safely fitted underneath and throw them well into the Allied camp. Some sort of 'Volksbomber' scheme without even the name.

    I like the Horten IX very much because I'm an aviation enthousiast. Would have liked to see it come to, some life, in some numbers.
    It is also a fine familial/entrepreneur story...
    To equip a Lufwaffe have the Me-262, Arado 234, and Do-335 (yes!), which were the more serious stuff. Even the Henschel 132 was more thouroughtly concieved as a weapon.
     
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  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    No, that is incorrect.

    The Ho 229 V3 was shipped to the US on board SS Richard J Gatling, departing Cherbourg on 12th July 1945.

    The airframe that went to Farnborough was the remains of the earlier prototype H IX V2. It was flown to The Royal Aircraft Establishment from Binders airfield in a captured Ar 232 piloted (almost inevitably) by Eric Brown.
    The possibility of flying the aircraft with Avon turbojets was discussed as for reasons I don't have time to type here the British test pilots refused to fly the machine with Jumo engines, of which they already had some experience.
    It was soon established that the Rolls Royce engines would not fit without considerable modification to the airframe due to the British engines larger cross-section. This was considered pointless as the expected performance of the Ho 229 was not expected to warrant the effort and the programme was abandoned.

    Incidentally it has been generally assumed that the V3 aircraft which went to the US was never assembled, but this is not so. It did have the wings attached for display purposes and there is a photograph of it in this state taken at the Douglas factory in Chicago.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  11. Siddley

    Siddley Active Member

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    I don't think we will ever know the potential of the Ho 229 but given the poor stability and handling characteristics of contemporary ( and post war ) flying wing designs my personal feeling is that it probably had some nasty surprises waiting for it's pilots.
     
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  12. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    There were many unsolved problems with the Horten design. Aside from the stability problems and control harmonisation specified in a July 1944 DVL report there were fundamental design problems associated with an all wing design that were never solved. Lippisch solved them with a vertical fin on his Me 163 and Walter Horten wanted to do the same on one of the early prototypes (can't remember which) but was overruled. CoG problems meant that the V2 carried 232 Kg of lead ballast.
    Both brothers pretended to be unaware of Lippisch's work, despite the testing of his models in the Gottingen wind tunnels, the data from which the Hortens had access to.

    I think any idea that an operational version of an Ho 229 was even on the horizon for 1946 is a bit optimistic. After the successful V2 flights (unless your name was Ziller) the RLM ordered three more prototypes (V3-V5) and ten 'zerstorer' prototypes (V6-V15) to be followed by 40 8-229 A-0 aircraft. The first of all these prototypes was not scheduled to fly until November 1945 .

    Finally it is worth remembering that NO Horten aircraft was ever fitted with armament of any type. Their impact on WW2, even had it lasted for another year, was and would have been precisely zero.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  13. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Steve,

    Are you sure you don't mean the Ho IX V1, the glider? I can't imagine there was much left of the V2 after the crash.

    Jim
     
  14. fastmongrel

    fastmongrel Well-Known Member

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    How far along was the micro processor controlled fly by wire control system before the war brought development to a halt. Everything I have read on flying wings says they were an accident waiting to happen for anything other than flying straight and level and are only feasible with computer controls.
     
  15. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    No, I mean the remains of the H IX V2. It was this that was flown to Farnborough from Binders airfield, near Erfurt.

    Once the programme was cancelled and any possibility of rebuilding the aircraft with Rolls Royce engines abandoned the remains were displayed in the German Aircraft Exhibition in the 'A' Hangar at Farnborough. Contemporary photographs show that the cockpit in which Ziller met his demise was demolished and one wing was very badly damaged. There were no engines fitted.

    The British did test fly a Horten glider, the H IV, W.Nr. 25. This was given the RAF serial VP543 and flown, towed by a captured Fi 156 (RAF serial VP546) until 1950.

    The British also acquired the rather strange Horten H VIII. What happened to it is not known though it may have been shipped to the US.

    The H IX V2 did find its way to the US in late 1945 or early 1946, after the Farnborough exhibition, according to Eric Brown writing in 1982. Anyone know what happened to it?

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  16. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I know Shepelev and Ottens identified the Avon as the engine suggested for use with the Ho 229 V2, but I think this is unlikely. For one they identified the engine as a centrifguagl type, which the Avon is not.

    Also, the Avon first ran in 1946 on the test bench, so would be unlikely to be considered as a replacement engine for a highly experimental captured aircraft.

    The Avon was slightly larger in diameter than the Jumo but smaller than the cntrifugal types. It was shorter, heavier and some 2-3 times more powerful than the Jumo.

    The likely engine was the Derwent V.

    Another alternative may have been the Metrovicks F.2. The F./1 had flown in the Meteor in 1043, while the F.2/2 and F.2/3 had flown in a Lancaster test bed, the latter solving many of the reliability issues. The F.2/3 was similar in size and weight to the Jumo, and only slightly more powerful.
     
  17. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    The Luftwaffe's unter-, I mean ubermencsh pilots didn't need no stinking stability augmentation systems!

    Out of snark mode:

    It is not terribly difficult to make stable flying wings. It was done by, among others, Northrop and Fauvel. They do tend to have poor damping in pitch and yaw, which may cause problems (it did with the YB-49), and it can be difficult giving them decent low-speed handling (see: A-X program). It's also a bit difficult to find enough volume for any kind of payload, which is why just about the only flying wings in service are very expensive bombers. There are a few Fauvel sailplanes, but their payload is nil.
     
  18. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    With a bomber you may get by with a design that is "stable". With fighters you want the ability to switch back and forth. You want a fighter that is stable when you want it to be and unstable when you are trying to get it to change direction in a hurry, followed by a return to stable very quickly. Fighters have to able to return to a somewhat stable flight condition AFTER some rather gross changes in pitch and yaw. IF the wing/control system becomes ineffective past certain limits of angle of attack or yaw you may loose the aircraft. Bombers/transports seldom (if ever) operate at the angles of attack or yaw that fighters will. And fighters have to be careful with yaw. That is what caused the loss of some of the early F-100s, among others.
     
  19. KiwiBiggles

    KiwiBiggles Member

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    And here Swampyankee gets right to the heart of the flying wing. They're an aerodynamicist's idea of a plane, not an engineer's. To the aerodynamicist, the fuselage is just the stick that keeps the wing and empennage flying in formation. To the engineer, the fuselage is the whole point of the plane; it's where you put the bits that matter, like guns and bombs, cargo and cameras, passengers and pilots. All the other bits like wings etc are just there to get the important bits where they need to be.

    The flying wing starts from the position that, if we could just lose all the bulky parts, the wing could be pure and beautiful, a piece of art. Unfortunately, aeroplanes need to do something other than just fly - they have a job of work to do. And for that you need a fuselage. And it has to be stable when you want it to be, damped enough to be controllable, responsive when you need it to be; and for that you need a separate empennage.

    Flying wings make good toys for the very rich. We should be glad the Germans wasted resources on them.
     
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  20. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Might you know where I could get a copy of this photo? Can't find it in any of my books.
     
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