Wonderfully Strange German Prototype WWII Aircraft

On July 19, 2014 by Muelo

German Prototypes Horton Ho X (10) Flying Wing Jet-Powered Fighter 2

I’m right next to Farnborough at the moment, the place where they have the international airshow. This means I’m seeing and hearing a variety of different planes on a daily basis.

As you might expect, being in the midst of all the aeroplanes has been a catalyst for me to research various things. One of them being Frank Whittle ‘the inventor’ of the jet engine. He did get a practical model functioning first, but I think the British, as you might expect, get quite a biased perspective on their contributions to jet plane flight, and don’t hear much about our German counterparts, or Mr Whittle’s German counterpart Hans von Ohain. Ohain developed his own jet engine without knowledge of anybody else doing it at the start of his endeavor.

Although the British did do sufficiently with war time craft, scoring a blinder with the Spitfire, and in the post war period have punched way above our weight with aviator engine and craft, the Germans were the first to get an operation jetplane in service. A significant amount of Brits will know that I think, and might consider that jet engines are only really much use if they are attached to a working plane in operational service. So really the Germans scored the big one with inventing the first jet plane.

German Prototype Planes The Blohm & Voss BV 141

I’ve been interested in aircraft from an early age probably because I grew up next to Heathrow Airport. My grandad used to take me to watch the planes, and my uncle and my dad’s friend worked for British Aerospace, so I got free posters and books and stuff. Then I moved to a town next to Farnborough airfield. So my environment was right for me to start to get to know about planes.

What I have only just discovered, is the extent to which Germany bashed out numerous designs of jet planes during the war. The British managed one jet plane design meant for combat, which went into prototype and service. The Germans on the other hand, managed endless designs, with (according to my superficial count) over 10 working prototypes of jet AND rocket planes. This tally was due to a bold, maybe desperate project the German’s initiated when things were looking increasingly bleak.

German Prototypes Arado Ar E.555 Long-Range High-Speed Bomber (1943)

This project lead to a number of unusual or possibly crazy designs that would not go into prototype. However, a lot of the designs would be taken up by the victors after the war and lead onto all the different shapes we would now associate with modern looking jet planes, as opposed to the shape of propeller monoplanes like the spitfire. Technological experimentation wise, apart from the atomic bomb, the Germans made the Allies look a bit slow.

German Prototypes Arado Ar E.580 Single-Seat Jet Fighter (1944)

Anyway, the reason I mention all of this, is because I thought you might appreciate the pictures of all the crazy planes and might like some back ground info on jet development and stuff. I don’t mean to patronise you with saying ‘you’ll probably mainly be interested in the pretty pictures’, If you do feel patronised, then you are on a higher level than me and I have mistakenly placed you on an equal footing with myself regarding this subject matter, as I mainly just dig the pictures…

German Prototypes Focke-Wulf Ta 183 (Huckebein) Jet-Powered Fighter (1945) German Prototypes Heinkel He P.1078B Jet-Powered Tailless Fighter  Interceptor  Night Fighter (1945) German Prototypes Heinkel Lerche (Lark) Fighter Interceptor (1944) German Prototypes Horten Ho IX  Horten Ho 229 Jet-Powered Flying Wing Fighter-Bomber (1945) German Prototypes Horton Ho X (10) Flying Wing Jet-Powered Fighter (1944) German Prototypes Hughes Model D-2 (XP-73 XA-37) Heavy Fighter Fighter-Bomber Fast Reconnaissance (1943) German Prototypes Lippisch P.13A Interceptor (1944) German Prototypes Vought XF5U (Flying Flapjack) Experimental Fighter (1943)

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