Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hitler's top secret stealth bomber

Posted on June 26, 2009, 1:32 PM | Brian Saint-Paul

(Inside Catholic) Surprising to most, the U.S. military's space-age B-2 Spirit was not the world's first stealth bomber. That honor belongs to the Horton 2-29, an experimental jet created by Nazi Germany at the tail end of World War II. However, because it was never in wide use during the conflict, the 2-29's stealth capabilities were never given much of a test. That is, until now.

Researchers hired by National Geographic studied the last remaining 2-29 in existence -- locked away in a U.S. government hangar -- and built a replica. They then tested the plane's resistance to the kinds of radar active during the Second World War.

Radar tests on the replica show that the plane's radical, smooth design would indeed have given it a significant advantage against radar, according to Tom Dobrenz, a Northrop Grumman expert in stealth, or "low observable," technology, who led the Horten replica project.

In short: The Horten 2-29 looks to have been the world's first stealth fighter.

Here's a brief video of the researchers at work. Fascinating stuff. We can marvel at the genius of the German design, while being grateful that it came too late to help the Nazis.

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