Horton HO 229 Vs Vampire...

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Seawitch, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    Had WW2 dragged on a year or two longer the the Horton HO 229 and early Vampire jets may have met, I note the Hortons higher cieling and speed, that said, which do you think is best and would have fared better if flown by equal pilots?
     
  2. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #2 GregP, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
    I'm not sure the Hortens could have even flown on one engine, much less been a fighter. I have yet to see a good flight report on it. Yes, I know it flew, but because it did does not mean it was suitable as a fighter or even as a service aircraft.

    That said, had it proven a good aircraft, then I'd take the Vampire in a dogfight simply because it has conventional controls and can be trown about the sky. Not too sure about the Horten. Our own (Planes of Fame) Northrop N9M-B Flying Wing flies OK, but it won't win any fights agianst a maneuverable aircraft. I think the Ho.229 was likely in the same boat.
     
  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    The HO-IX was never really put through combat trials, so any comparison would be pure speculation. It *should* have done well based on it's design and armament, but how well would it have handled battle damage? Again, it's anyone's guess but I would think without conventional control surfaces, it would not have sustained damage well at all.

    And you can't compare Northrop's N9M to the Ho-IX, that's like comparing the F-16 to a MiG-15. Instead, perhaps compare the N9M to the Ho-V, as both were identical in most respects (size, weight, engines, etc.)
     
  4. kool kitty89

    kool kitty89 Well-Known Member

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    It might have made a good interceptor, recon aircraft, and possibly fighter-bomber, but probably not great for fighter vs fighter combat. Then again, the Me 262 wasn't very good as a dogfighter (potentially good for boom and zoom bouncing and energy tactics against fighter formations and probably easier to push into some limited amounts of maneuvering than the 229, but still limited).

    The Ho 229 might have been able to manage a better sustained turn-rate than the 262 and better energy retention, but roll rate and high speed maneuvering (including performance for instantaneous high-G turns -not sustained) would be important to consider.

    Plus, stable as it might have been, flying wings tend to be tricky in extreme stall conditions and sudden cases of asymmetric thrust (like engine flameout). The drag/break rudder system for lateral control might have been good enough to allow at least reasonable performance as a gun platform, but likely less so during any heavy maneuvering. (so again, probably best for high-speed, linear passes)

    The BMW 003 might have been a better engine for it given the lower weight, greater reliability, better acceleration, better ability (longer TBO, better throttle control/limiter) to re-start in flight, and higher peak thrust with overrev. Plus the smaller size might have come in as an added bonus for better hiding radar reflections near the intake and exhaust.

    The later Jumo 004D and E models should have helped too.

    The other big problem was just manufacturing of both prototypes and preparing for mass production. Wood design or not, by the time it was nearing flight readiness, the manufacturing infrastructure in Germany meant the materials and labor resources were major hindrances to development and production. (the glue issues in particular wreaked havoc with every wooden aircraft design in the late war period) And then you had conflicting management/political issues between the Horton brothers and Gotha.
     
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #5 GregP, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
    I was mentally comparing flight characteristics, not performance numbers. The Horten and our N9M-B have very similar shapes and should handle quite a bit like one another.
     
  6. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    As discussed before, I do not think the the Go 229 was any where near prime time. As noted before, it had not gone through any rigorous testing and with zero yaw stability and tight pitch stability, I think that there would have been some major redesigns to fix unknown unknowns these types of design generated, especially pre design computer days. Vertical stabilizers ala XP-56 would probably be needed (Northrop had much more experience with flying wing aircraft). Most likely more sophisticated flight control systems would most likely have been needed to make this aircraft a viable fighter plane. In my opinion, it would not be viable until late 40s or early 50s. I may have had good potential at that time, but unlike the delta wing and the swept wing, the concept was not picked up by post war designers, maybe because of recognized problems.
     
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  7. Seawitch

    Seawitch Member

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    Thanks for these answerss, they are interesting. Kool Kitty...one Horton indeed crashed after an engine flame out. What prompted the question waas that the Germans put one up against a Messerschmit 262 which it out performed in some ways...see that in this video at about point 30.40

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqgfjXaJxV8
     
  8. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Don't think it actually DID outperform the Me 262 except on paper.
     
  9. ScreamingLighting

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    The Vampire out-turns the Horton at realistic early jet speeds. The Ho-229 probably had a better climb/dive, but the plane itself would be god-awful to fly. Technically it might have a better sustained turning radius than the 262, but its extremely high stall speed and lack of rudder severely hamper it. In the hands of Erich Hartmann vs a greenhorn, the Horton might win. But otherwise, I think the Horten is limited to a few brief hit-and-run passes before disengaging.
     
  10. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I think more realistically, you would have seen combat between the more conventional types like the Me262 (including the HG series), the He162 (and it's successors), the Ta183 and the P.1101. On the Allied side, the British had the Meteor and the Vampire and the U.S. had the P-80 and a few other types of mixed power in the works. Of course, if a better powerplant were available, the U.S. may have re-evaluated the P-59.
    The Soviets were a little behind the game, and the MiG-9 was reliant on captured German technology to make it happen much like the Su-9.

    The Ho-IX was certainly a capable platform, but there were other jets in the Luftwaffe that could perform any particular task better. This is all assuming, of course, that Germany were able to remain in the game long enough to make all that happen.
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The only evidence for this comes from Ziller's telephone reports to Reimar Horten. Ziller said that he had flown the H IX in joint manoeuvring tests with an Me 262. No details of the Me 262 are known, but it was probably one of the three that Ziller had flown as part of his jet training.
    Ziller claimed that the H IX could out turn and out climb the Me 262, but under what conditions we don't know. There certainly wasn't a rigorous series of comparative flights with proper data collection.


    A decision was taken to use the H IX V1 glider prototype to train the pilots of JG 400 for their planned transition to the Ho 229. One experienced pilot, Heinz Scheidhauer, reckoned that the Me 163, which he had flown as a glider, was more manoeuvrable and out turned the H IX.

    Opinions differ, but with so little data it is impossible to make any serious appraisal of the potential performance of a production version of any of the Horten designs. There are plenty of paper estimates but how good they are we'll never know. The Hortens estimated a top speed of 950-970 kph for their Ho 229 V2 and V3 prototypes. Ziller, their own test pilot, doubted they could make 900 kph.

    Jets fly fast and Reimar Horten admitted that, "in fast flight, the flying wing is only superior to a conventional aircraft when wing loading are equal." Post war he preferred to emphasise characteristics such as a high ceiling, low landing speed and manoeuvrability that the relatively low wing loading of his designs offered. He had no choice as by this time (1949/50) conventional aircraft were exceeding the performance goals set for the H IX.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  12. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    I have grave doubts on the claim that the Ho 229 proto would have ourmanoeuvred a Me 262, IIRC the proto crashed on its 3rd test flight killing Ziller, so the joint manoeuvring tests would have had been flown on the 2nd test flight, which is difficult to believe, especially when the proto in question was so radical. IIRC the document film says that the reproduction was tested against the frequency used by CH radars but the duty to pick up low level intruders was from 1942 onwards the job of CHEL stations (Types 13 and 14) which worked 3 GHz range (10 cm), so on entirely different frequency band than CH stations. IMHO not the most realistic docu.
     
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  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #13 stona, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
    Well, since Ziller and Horten are both dead you can either believe the account (which originates in Reimar Horten's post war interviews) or not. If Ziller did indeed manoeuvre the H IX with an Me 262 as claimed it would have been on one of the earliest flights. In any case it is hardly compelling evidence.
    Theoretically the H IX should easily have out climbed the Me 262. As for turning, there are far too many variables for Ziller's opinion, even if substantiated, to be any more than that...his opinion formed on one less than rigorous flight test.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  14. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #14 GregP, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
    I have absolutely no trouble believing the Horten could out-turn a 262. It is, after all, a flying wing and the Me 262 was NOT a dogfighter. I have trouble believing you could throw the Horten around the sky with abandon given the handling idoisyncrasies of flying wings without vertical tails. So once in a turn, yes, but the Me 262 would likely out-roll the Horten and have none of the handling problems if anything is a bit out of kilter, airflow-wise.

    I've never seen a real flying wing do aerobatics, even in old film clips, so I have no idea how they handle in hard-maneuvering flight. I HAVE seen a few RC flying wings do some amazing things, but the flying characteristics of an overpowered foam flying wing probably don't compare well with those of a real aircraft with turbojets in it. AT least I would not think so. And several people have been killed in them just trying to fly around in more or less level flight. Harry Crosby comes to mind.
     
  15. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Even a modern flying wing builder, Gilbert Davis, had difficulties with some of his aircraft, one of which suffered a mechanical failure, resulting in a crash that broke his back. It were these injuries that incapacitated him, preventing any further work on his aircraft and eventually caused led to his death due to complications.
     
  16. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    I don't have oppinion on that, what I doubt is that so radically new proto would have taking part in mock dogfight against a service fighter on its 2nd test flight. IIHUC Ziller wasn't in condition to telephone anybody after the 3rd and last flight of the V2.
     
  17. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    #17 stona, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
    Horten never claimed that Ziller had flown a mock dogfight against an Me 262. He specifically said they had done some 'joint manoeuvring', which is not the same thing. We can only guess what this might have involved, but given that the H IX was on one of its first flights Ziller was hardly likely to have pushed it far. He was initially under instructions not to exceed 500 kph or 4,000m altitude. On the third and fatal flight a speed of 795 kph at 2,000m was estimated from the ground.

    Suppose that the two aircraft flew at a given speed and altitude and then both climbed at their maximum rate under these conditions. The H IX should out climb the Me 262 from most starting points and that's what Ziller claimed. Likewise they may have made some turns together which gave Ziller the impression the H IX could out turn the Me 262. Whatever they did together, it was hardly rigorous flight testing.

    Ziller was also reporting to his boss who was after a contract, though the flights were observed by an engineer from the RLM (Franz Binder). The Hortens had made unsubstantiated claims for their designs before and Reimar would do so again long after the war. It worked because the order for the three prototypes (V3-V5) was confirmed along with ten 'Zerstorer' prototypes (V6-V15) and 40 initial A-0 series production aircraft.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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  18. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Stona
    I was commenting the claim on the video, which stated that there was a mock dogfight. I had seen the program earlier, shown here a couple yees ago and checked from the link that my recollection was right, in it they claimed a mock dogfight between V2 and a Me 262. That's what I find hard to believe. And thanks for the info on what Ziller really told.

    Juha
     
  19. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    No worries. I have seen that program and the dogfight claim is one of many that are 'economical the truth', in the words of a senior British civil servant.
    Like all the best myths such claims have a basis in fact. Extrapolating joint manoeuvring to a dogfight is something that many less aware of what the two terms really mean might find easy to swallow. Such things, and there are plenty more in that video, tend to stick in my throat :)
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  20. Milosh

    Milosh Well-Known Member

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    Is that a typo stona > H XI?
     
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