Secret Nazi experimental plane was an epic piece of vaporware


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/03/secret-nazi-experimental-plane.html


#2

Fly the Nazi skies? NO!


#3

Apparently when it’s all in one piece it looked like this:


#4

It wasn’t so much vaporware, just ahead of it’s time:


#5

Jack Northrop also had one of his early flying wings at the same time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_YB-35

…then there’s Vought with a flying pancake (which still exists):


#6

“Nazi politicians didn’t know aircraft or aerospace, but if it looked cool and weird and they had a piece of paper that said it will go a thousand miles an hour and defeat the Allied bombers, they were going to support it,” Lee says.

This explains a lot. There’s a huge catalog of weird Luftwaffe projects that were underway at the war’s end at Luft 46. The USA had some weird planes too, but it didn’t rival the Germans in terms of number or extremity.


#7

“The second added jet engines, and flew successfully on 2 February 1945, though it crashed after engine failure on another test flight a few weeks later, killing its test pilot.”
Engine failure being the crucial point here - Horten didn’t build the engines, they built the plane, which flew successfully. So the plane was, quite clearly NOT vapourware.
The coal-powered ramjet fighter was closer to vapourware, but the engine was built, and tested, and worked, but the plane only got as far as a wind-tunnel model that hadn’t been finished by the end of the war, US troops had the engineers finish the model, which was shipped back to the US for testing, and it would have been stable to 2.6 Mach, 1260 mph.


#8

I wonder if anyone had the guts to just skip the intermediate project and pitch the brass on “V Stoff”; the totally nazi-aerospace type of vapor renowned for its seemingly limitless capabilities inside tech demos.


#9

The Horton brothers were successful glider builders …


#10

“Nazi politicians didn’t know aircraft or aerospace, but if it looked cool and weird and they had a piece of paper that said it will go a thousand miles an hour and defeat the Allied bombers, they were going to support it,”

That whole fascist anti-intellectualism characteristic does have its advantages if leveraged in a clever way under the right circumstances. Just offer them a complex technology that promises to magic them out of whatever desperate pickle they’ve gotten themselves into and they’ll leave you alone for a while.


#11

“the one time they tested it with powered flight, it crashed and killed its pilot.”

Third test flight, sez the Whackyweedia.


#12

The Whackyweedia entry on the Diesel-Punk Lippisch P13b is sadly deficient and studded with "Citation Req"s.


#13

Back when I was learning to fly a Cessna I once made a landing at Chino airport, home to the “Planes of Fame” museum. (An awesome and unique air museum that keeps most of its planes in flying condition, and takes them out now and then.) Coming in for a landing on the left runway I looked over to my right and saw their Northrop N-9M coming in to land right next to me. One of my favorite flying experiences.


#14

I think I like it more as the brutal, rusty, wingless spaceship of our junk-filled future.
Nice Flash Gordon aesthetic, but ooh, bad team to fly for…


#15

Makes a lot more sense.


#16

I guess we know where Red Skull got the idea for The Valkyrie…


#17

Visited once, I second the recommendation. Terrific collection.


#18

Last time I was there, this was in renovations at the Smithsonian A&S Annex at Dulles. I have that same top down photo of the hulk, which I took from the viewing gallery.


#19


#20

Luftwaffe 1946 is also the name of a loopy Ameri-manga series which featured Nazi A-bombs, Alien abductions and a lady SS agent who wears skirts which are way too short.

https://comicvine.gamespot.com/luftwaffe-1946/4050-46663/