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The Nazi's "stealth" bomber

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by rc36, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. My son, an inhabitant of the Interweb and avid seeker of the weird and wonderful, sent me this link the other day. It concerns the development of a plane, by the Nazis during WWII that MIGHT have had stealth capabilities (according to the report)


    Now, I'm pretty skeptical, mainly because it presupposes a pretty advanced knowledge of the application of radar, something that the supposedly technically-advanced Germans showed that they simply didn't have at the time.

    It's easy to re-write history in hindsight and put complexions on things that weren't even thought of at the time. It was the British who had radar sussed and it was, of course, their superiority in this field that had a marked effect on the progress of, and the ultimate winning of, the air war between 1939 and 1945.

    Having said that, this plane was very advanced and was remarkable prescient of the Northrop "Flying Wing" aircraft developed in America immediately after WWII.

    I found it fascinating.

  2. Good link. Thanks.
  3. Interesting stuff. Even if it'd somehow gotten into the air in 1944, pilots were pretty hard to come by and it would have been hard to make them at a decent enough rate.
  4. Yeah, it would take about 19 years for them to fully mature!!!!!!!! :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

    Of course the other issue was that, when Northrop designed and flew his flying wing aircraft, it was found to be almost impossible to control so exacting were the requirements to fly it. Political interference that finally scuppered the programme aside, it probably would never have made it into mass production.

    It is acknowledged now that, had Northrop had the availability of advanced computers and avionics systems, the plane WOULD have worked and worked brilliantly.

    Given that the B2 bomber of today is almost a carbon copy of it, I guess the experts are right.
  5. The Americans lost a lot of test pilots after the war due to stability problems. Basically a jet can't be manually controlled. People don't have the right combination of responce and damping needed to control a near sonic or super sonic jet.

    and I agree with you about the stealth capability. It would not have bean built with that in mind. It may have had a small radar image, but that would have not been the purpose of the design.
  6. What do you mean "manually controlled" there were a lot of aircraft around before "fly by wire" and computer assistance became the norm...
  7. Alright, I don't know too much at all about WW2 aircraft, but wasn't British Radar crucial to the RAF to intercept and destroy ME's in 1940? As in, having a low-visibility aircraft would have been important in 1944?
  8. You had to lean, like, a lot.
  9. Good find! The Germans seemed pretty more advanced than the Allies, generally speaking. I wonder if Hitler had held off starting the war for 10 years, if it would have had a different outcome - in terms of further advancement of German technology, etc.
  10. Indeed it was, however, two facts are salient.

    1. Despite the passage of the 4 years you mentioned, Germany's grasp of radar was still way behind the Allies.

    2. The plane probably WOULD have had some kind of "stealth" capability, but, since they didn't understand enough about radar to even develop a system capable of finding and predicting Allied bombing strikes over their territory, to assume that they could develop a "stealth" aircraft is stretching it somewhat.

    As far as "manual control" is concerned, all WWII aircraft were manually controlled in that input by the pilot was transferred mechanically and directly to the control surfaces. These days, of course, input from the pilot goes to the computer, then to the electronic servos and then to the control surfaces.

    Indeed, but Germany's ability to IMPLEMENT the technology was severely and ultimately fatally hampered by shortages of fuel, materiel and manpower. The fact that they were a landlocked country in the middle of hostile neighbours certainly didn't help.
  11. Yep. I wasn't thinking of "computer assistance" as such. More electronic and non direct hydro/mechanical control systems.
  12. But was the first "fly by wire" aircraft the F16 in the late 70's, there's an awful lot of very fast jets between 1945 and then...
  13. I think you're right, but "computer assistance" of sorts, was available long before that. I mean the X15 flew at 4000mph or something, didn't it?
  14. It was the war itself that drove the rapid scientific advances that both Germany and the Allies achieved, so delaying starting the war would not have affected the balance significantly.

    In fact, one of the major contributing factors to Hitler's rise and ability to take Germany to war was the economic hardship forced on it by the conditions of the Versailles treaty that ended WWI - so another 10 years of that and Germany would have been even poorer and shorter on resources than it was.
  15. Or have moved beyond the hardship, and so Hitler’s scaremongering politics may not have worked.
    Change one little variable and the implications could be phenomenal (The Butterfly effect)
  16. War always drives technology on, often exponentially.
  17. Well i think it's a giant boomerang, and after launching the first one and not having it come back, they abandoned their plans to build more of them.

  18. That link appears not to work. The link that I provided in my original post, however, does.