Hitlers stealth fighter Top stealth-plane experts have re-created a radical, nearly forgotten Nazi aircraft: the Horten 2-29, a retro-futuristic fighter that arrived too late in World War II to make it into mass production. The engineers’ goal was to determine whether the so-called stealth fighter was truly radar resistant. In the process, they’ve uncovered new clues to just how close Nazi engineers were to unleashing a jet that some say could have changed the course of the war. To replicate the Ho 2-29 late last year for a documentary premiering Sunday, a team from the Northrop Grumman defence-contracting corporation used original Nazi blueprints and the only surviving Ho 2-29, which has been stored in a US government facility for more than 50 years. The all-wing Ho 2-29 looked more like today’s US B-2 bomber – or something from a Star Wars prequel – than like any other World War II aircraft. Made primarily of wood and powered by jet engines, the plane was designed for speeds of up to 970 kilometres an hour (600 miles an hour). Armed with four 30mm cannons and two 500-kilogram (1100-pound) bombs, the planned production model was also meant to pack a punch. A Ho 2-29 prototype made a successful test flight just before Christmas 1944. But by then time was running out for the Nazis, and they were never able to perfect the design or produce more than a handful of prototype planes. Determining the Horten’s stealth capabilities could help reveal what might have happened if …
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