Flying Wings - The Horten H.XVIII

The Horten H.XVIII, one of many proposed designs for an Amerikabomber able to attack the USA, designed by the Horten brothers was in many respects a scaled-up version of the Horten Ho 229, a prototype jet fighter.

Boasting a smooth blended wing body, the six turbojet engines that were to power the Horten design H.XVIII were buried deep in the wing and the exhausts centered on the trailing end. Resembling the Horten Ho 229 flying wing fighter, there were many odd features that distinguished this aircraft; the jettisonable landing gear and the wing made of wood and carbon-based glue, are but two.

The Horten brothers (with deep dissatisfaction) were forced to share design and construction of the aircraft with Junkers and Messerschmitt engineers and two variant's; the H.XVIIIB and the H.XVIIIC. were proposed. The B model was generally the same as the A model, except the four (down from six) engines and four-wheel retractable landing gear were now housed in underwing pods and the three-man crew housed under a bubble canopy. The C model had a huge tail and an MG 151 turret set in the middle rear of the wing with six BMW 003 turbojets slung under the wings. This was designed by Messerschmitt and Junkers engineers.

None of the variants were completed by the end of the war. In recent years, software modelling has suggested that the stealth and speed of the Horten's flying wing jet designs would have made interception, prior to bombing, difficult and unlikely.

General characteristics
Crew: 3
Length: 19.0 m (62 ft 4 in)
Wingspan: 40.0 m (131 ft 3 in)
Height: 5.8 m (19 ft 0 in)
Wing area: 150 m2 (1,600 sq ft)
Aspect ratio: 10.7
Empty weight: 11,000 kg (24,251 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 32,000 kg (70,548 lb)
Fuel capacity: 16,000 kg (35,274 lb)
Leading edge sweepback: 24.3
Aerofoil thickness: 16%
Powerplant: 6 ◊ Junkers Jumo 004 turbojet engines, 8.8 kN (2,000 lbf) thrust each

Maximum speed: 820 km/h (510 mph, 440 knots)
Cruise speed: 750 km/h (470 mph, 400 knots)
Never exceed speed: 900 km/h (560 mph, 490 knots)
Towing speed: 192 km/h (119 mph)
Landing speed: 136 km/h (85 mph)
Wing loading: 213 kg/m2 (44 lb/sq ft)
Thrust/weight: 0.17
Guns: 4 MG151/20 Cannon, 2 in a nose Barbette and 2 more in a top/aft turret
Bombs: 4,000 kg (8,818 lb) of bombs

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