The Amerika bombers

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Hornet_Driver, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. Hornet_Driver

    Hornet_Driver Member

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    I just finished looking at a program on Discovery about Nazi Germany's plans to drop a low-altitude dirty bomb (bomb section surrounded with radioactive sand/silica) on NYC or Washington towards the last part of the war in Europe. It was interesting to see the vehicles that the three engineer/scientists- von Braun, Horten and Sanger were each working on to deliver a single dirty bomb. Wow! The Horten Bros flying wing that was designed to use 6 turbojet engines was a beautiful design. The program said that at the war's end, that aircraft would have been fully operational within 2 years had the war stretched out that far. Think about it. Roughly 3,500 miles to NYC and the 3,500 miles back, as well as some slop added in the event the aircraft had to divert was really some very forward thinking at the time. Horten was relying on the flying wing's less drag design to be the thing to make it all possible. Von Braun's design was basically a V-2 with stub wings. The method to launch that thing into low orbit was something else. A rail system with a booster section to push the thing down the track until it reach approx 6,000 miles per hour, thus slingshoting the thing up 120 miles and re-enter on a suicide attack to explode over NYC. Sanger's design was way too advanced for the time. He was seeking to put the aircraft into a low orbit, drop the payload in an arc from Pittsburgh and then push on through to the other side of the world to land in Germany.

    If you haven't seen the program, definitely catch it.
     
  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    The US had a flying wing after WW2. Made by Lockheed? Anyway, they could never get it to work to it's promised potential. Tricky to fly, all sorts of problems. The Hortens were ahead of their time. Ahead of the technology too. Needed computers to make the sucker work. Light enough and powerful enough processors did not come around for a couple more decades.
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    There is a good book to read up on this called: Luftwaffe Over America - The Secret Plans to Bomb the United States in WW2 by Manfred Griehl. I highly recommedn you read this book.

    It discussed the different aircraft. The Germans had several prototype aircraft that flew before the war was over that had the range possible to make this happen, ie. Me 264, Ju 390, etc..

    Now having said this the project was cancelled for several reasons, one being it was not going to happen. It was too far fetched and the Germans even knew it.
     
  4. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I haven't seen the program. I'll try to check out when it's on next.
     
  5. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Actually, Jack Northrop's company, Northrop Aircraft, built the first prop-powered flying wing, including a sub-scale demonstrator. I don't remember the "Y" designator for the prop-driven version, but the next-gen jet-driven flying wing (also built by Northrop) was the YB-49.

    And, yes, they weren't very stable since they had no vertical surfaces; the B-2 is the first "stable" flying wing, and that's only because it's basically being flown by a (redundant) computer that's making corrections to the flight control surfaces several hundred times a second.
     
  6. Hornet_Driver

    Hornet_Driver Member

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    The Horten flying wing did make a flight. The model used had two turbojet engines, but somewhere during the maiden test and evaluation flight, the starboard engine suffered a flame out and the aircraft and the test pilot basically ended up doing flat arcs until the thing impacted. I suppose they were using the thrust to induce yaw and aid in banking. Goerhing supposedly ordered 40 of the Horten wings, regardless of the failed maiden flight. I guess this was one of his morphine-induced bright ideas.
     
  7. Hornet_Driver

    Hornet_Driver Member

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    Hell, computer-aided flight control correction is the only reason why our newest aircraft can even fly. Hence, they make mediocre pilots look like superstars.
     
  8. MP-Willow

    MP-Willow Member

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    Hello All! It has been a long time for me away, but I am now back. These bombers could have been ready much sooner, when they were needed to go over the Urals. Dose any one have thoughts on that? I know the 4 engine program was doomed when the general was kiled in a car accident, but that did not have to kill everything. I think that with some more work the Kondore would have worked. Could have been big trouble for the British, and would let the Me-110 be an escourt. Now you can all tell me how bad an idea that is :)
     
  9. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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    Horton wings were a lot more stable then USA and Dr Horton new why the wing was not stable a he come up with his bell designed to over come it.His design did have snaking but he solved this after the war.
     
  10. machine shop tom

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    If you are talking about the FW200, it wasn't that great of a warplane. As a converted airliner, it was fragile, had poorly protected fuel and control systems, couldn't carry large bombload, etc. As for the Me110 escort, well, that in itself would need an escort of Me109s or FW190, both short on range for a long-range bombing mission.

    tom
     
  11. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I dont think he was talking about the Fw 200. He was talking about the German bomber designs that were being tested Ju 390, Me 264 and so forth.
     
  12. machine shop tom

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    That's why I said "if". I wasn't really sure which one he was talking about and the FW200 Kondore (Condor) was the only one that was used to any extent.

    Cheers,

    tom
     
  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    The Fw 200 did not have the range to strike at the East Coast of the US.
     
  14. machine shop tom

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    Agreed. I was resonding to what MP-Willow said:

    ...I think that with some more work the Kondore would have worked. Could have been big trouble for the British, and would let the Me-110 be an escourt...

    tom
     
  15. mosquitoman

    mosquitoman Active Member

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    Nah, it was designed as an airliner and as such, wasn't strong enough to a) carry a significant bombload and b) not break up on landings, as many did with all the extra equipment on board
     
  16. Cub Driver

    Cub Driver New Member

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    The reason the U.S. put out the contracts for the XB-35 (Northrop Flying Wing) and the XB-36 (Consolidated Peacemaker) was precisely to bomb Germany from the United States in the event that Britain surrendered and we found ourselves in a war with Germany and no unsinkable aircraft carrier off the coast of continental Europe.

    In the event, neither the 35 nor the 36 could have made the round trip from Presque Isle, Maine, to Berlin, though the B-36 came close. That's why it, and not the Flying Wing, was chosen as SAC's interim Very Heavy Bomber until the B-52 came on line.

    The Northrop Flying Wings were never very satisfactory. The prop-driven XB-35 had seemingly intractable problems with its driveshaft, which was very long and high above the trailing edge of the Wing. So the airframe was pushed into the turbojet version, dubbed YB-49. (There was no X version, since the XB-35 was regarded as the experimental model, allowing the 49 to go straight into service test.)

    The 49 was a lovely airplane, and folks have great fun "proving" that the Northrop B-2 Stealth bomber is basically a modernized B-49, even unto the exact same wingspan. (Actually, it reminds me more of an enlarged Horten nurflugel.) But it was not a good flier; it had a tendency to make the bombardier seasick from Dutch Roll, and famously it killed Glen Edwards and several others when it apparently it flipped over backwards and went into a lateral spin near what is now Edwards Air Force Base.

    But even if those problems had been ironed out, the B-49 just didn't have sufficient range or payload to make it an adequate bomber for the 1950s.

    As for the Amerika Bomber, David Myhra goes into it (and the supposed nuclear bomb) in his The Horten Brothers and Their All-Wing Aircraft.

    Blue skies! -- Dan Ford
     
  17. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The -110 would never have been a satisfactory escort.
     
  18. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Yes, the Kondore was designed from the outset as a passenger aircraft for the Lufthansa. It was never designed to carry all of the extra "junk" that the Luftwaffe put in it.
     
  19. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    Apparently Glenn Edwards was warned about the stall based on a near fatal spin caused when doing a stall test - and that is what killed him.. stall, flip over nose to tail and flat inverted spin.
     
  20. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    I've seen a video in flight school of an F-14(I think) in an erect flat spin. They must have fallen 15,000' before ejecting. After the ejection, the bird came out of the flat spin. Apparently the downward thrusting moment produced at the cockpit from the ejection was enough force to enable the nose to lower, breaking the flat spin.

    Of course, the Tomcat just struck the ground with a nose low attitude thereafter.
     
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