Horten 229 Reconstruction Project
Frequently Asked Questions - Page 1
Why did you choose to rebuild this aircraft? - This aircraft was chosen because of its important historic significance, because we would like to check and document its performance capabilities, because we feel it is shameful to have this marvel grounded forever at the museum, because this can be an interesting project that is way overdue and finally because we can do this.
How long have you been working on this project? - The idea of rebuilding this aircraft came about 2 years ago. Since then a lot of digging was done and many plans have changed.
Are you planning to make it out of the wood just like the original? - No, this aircraft will be made from the modern aluminum alloys and other materials. The only reason why Horten brothers used wood to manufacture this aircraft was the fact that they could not find enough aluminum which was simply unavailable (and way too expensive to produce) during World War II.
Are you planning to reproduce center frame from the steel tubing? - No, steel and aluminum does not mix very well, combining both will eventually lead to a galvanic corrosion. In addition, steel frame require extensive welding which will surely weaken joints and make them susceptible to cracks & deformations after numerous operation cycles of the aircraft.
Are you planning to fly it supersonic? - We are not planning to test this aircraft above supersonic speeds. Horten 229 was not designed to go supersonic in the first place. Attempting to do so will jeopardize aircraft, pilot and people below.
Are you planning to make it invisible? Will it have any stealth technology? - We are not planning to rebuild stealth capabilities of this airplane. Stealth technologies are outside of our scope. In addition, current FAA rules prohibit operating aircraft without transponder, therefore rendering any stealth technology implemented useless. You should keep in mind that our current radars operate at much higher frequencies than the first World War II radars, so even if we rebuild this aircraft from wood using the original technology, it will still create a significant radar signature.
How long will it take to finish Ho 229? - our estimated time to completion is 12,000 man-hours or approximately 12 to 18 months.
What make you think you would be able to finish this project in 12 months? - During World War II Horten brothers were able to test Ho 229 V2 in just 6 months. They worked in a harsh condition employing furniture makers without any aircraft building experience and had severe shortages in every material you can imagine. In some cases they had to strip downed aircrafts for needed parts or even "borrow" supplies at night when no one was looking. On the other hand we have an abundance of all materials needed including reliable jet engines, access to laser cutters, CNC milling machines and other computerized equipment used for rapid development, prototyping and testing, FAA certified workers, luxury of the CAD design and simulation, and a professional production environment.
How are you going to manufacture complex parts that require production of unusual shapes like jet intakes? - The majority of complex shapes will be vacuum molded from the carbon fiber reinforced polymer.
Where are you planning to build it? - We are planning to complete main frame at Farmingdale in Long Island. In addition, we will run a production facility to complete various sub-assemblies in Long Island City, NY.
Where will it be flown during the flight tests? - Most of the flight test will be performed in Long Island, NY over the shores, beaches and waterfronts. If all goes well, we might consider traveling along East coast.
What are the plans once aircraft is complete? - Aircraft will be sold and all funds obtained will be used to build another World War II jet project.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions.