One of Reimar Horten's projects after the war began was an all-wing transport glider for the invasion of Britain. 

Not until August 1941 was Reimar asked to explore the potential of the Nurflügel as a fighting aircraft, and even then his work was largely clandestine, in an authorized operation arranged by his brother in the Luftwaffe.

In 1942 Reimar built an unpowered prototype with a 61-foot span and the designation Ho 9. After some difficulty the airframe was mated with two Junkers Jumo turbojets of the sort developed for the Messerschmitt Me 262. The turbojet was apparently flown successfully in December 1944, and it eventually achieved a speed of nearly 500 mph (800 km/h). After about two hours of flying time, it was destroyed in a February 1945 crash that killed its test pilot.

Its potential was obvious, however, and the Gotha company promptly readied the turbojet for production as a fighter-bomber with the Air Ministry designation Ho 229. (Because Gotha built it, the turbojet is also called the Go 229).

Supposedly it would fly at 997 km/h (623 mph), which if true meant that it was significantly faster than the Me 262 - let alone the Flying Wings that Northrop was building. Fortunately for the Allies, the Gotha factory and the Ho 229 prototype - the world's first all-wing turbojet - were captured by U.S. forces in April 1945


Like today's B-2 Stealth bomber (and unlike Jack Northrop's designs), the Go-229 had a comparatively slender airfoil, with the crew and engines housed in dorsal humps, and its jet exhaust was vented onto the top surface of the wing. The first feature made it faster than the stubby Northrop designs; the second made it even harder to detect, as did the fact that wood was extensively used in its construction.

One reason that the Ho 229 never got into production was that Reimar Horten was distracted that winter by another urgent project: the Ho 18 Amerika bomber. This huge, six-engined Nurflügel was supposed to carry an atomic bomb to New York or Washington, despite the fact that the bomb was mostly theoretical, the engines probably couldn't have lasted the journey, and the plane couldn't possibly have been completed before Germany surrendered. (At 132 feet, its span was a bit less than that of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, the largest warplane of World War II, but considerably shorter than the Northrop XB-35 that was in the works from 1941 to 1946.)

Several Nurflügels came to the U.S. as war booty, including the center section of the Ho 229. Four of them are now back in Germany for restoration, with one to remain there when the work is finished, while the other three rejoin the collection of the Air & Space Museum. A restored Horten sailplane is on display at Planes of Fame in Chino, California , which also owns a Northrop N-9M, a technology demonstrator roughly the size of the Ho 229, but much less sophisticated.

Northrop N-9M
A few items  don't make sense 

First, some excerpts from: The Horten Flying Wing in World War II: The History & Development of the Ho 229, by H. P. Dabrowski, translated from the German by David Johnson. (Schiffer Military History Vol. 47, ISBN 0-88740-357-3)

In February 1945 Heinz Scheidhauer flew the H VII to Göttingen. Hydraulic failure prevented him from extending the aircraft's undercarriage, and he was forced to make a belly landing. The resulting damage had not been repaired when, on April 7, 1945, US troops occupied the airfield. The aircraft presumably suffered the same fate as the H V and was burned.

The [H IX V1, RLM-Number 8-229] machine was sent to Brandis, where it was to be tested by the military and used for training purposes. It was found there by soldiers of the US 9th Armored Division at the end of the war and was later burned in a "clearing action."

Construction of the H IX V3 was nearly complete when the Gotha Works at Friederichsroda were overrun by troops of the American 3rd Army's VII Corps on April 14, 1945. The aircraft was assigned the number T2-490 by the Americans. The aircraft's official RLM designation is uncertain, as it was referred to as the Ho 229 as well as the Go 229. Also found in the destroyed and abandoned works were several other prototypes in various stages of construction, including a two-seat version The V3 was sent to the United States by ship, along with other captured aircraft, and finally ended up in the H.H. "Hap" Arnold collection of the Air Force Technical Museum. The wing aircraft was to have been brought to flying status at Park Ridge, Illinois, but budget cuts in the late forties and early fifties brought these plans to an end. The V3 was handed over to the present-day National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in Washington D.C.

From these excerpts we see that certainly by late April or early May, 1945, the US had not just knowledge but at least semi-functional examples of the Horten flying wing.  I'm recklessly assuming that the US would have wanted these craft back home for study as soon as was practical.

Lieutenant General Twining's (Commander of the Army Materiel Command) September 23, 1947 letter to Brig. General Schulgen (Commanding General Army Air Forces) states:

It is possible within the present U.S. knowledge - provided extensive detailed development is undertaken--to construct a piloted aircraft which has the general description of the object in subparagraph (e) above which would be capable of an approximate range of 700 miles at subsonic speeds.

Why only possible?  The Horten flying wing(s) had already been in our possession for two years.

Twining continues:

Any developments in this country along the lines indicated would be extremely expensive, time consuming and at the considerable expense of current projects and therefore, if directed, should be set up independently of existing projects.

Why expensive?  The design, prototype and development work had already been completed.  Is this a dodge for more money?

Twining points out:

Due consideration must be given the following:

The possibility that these objects are of domestic origin - the product of some high security project not known to AC/AS-2 or this command.

How likely is it that the AMC was unaware of the captured Horten flying wing(s)?

Twining states that:

This opinion was arrived at in a conference between personnel from the Air Institute of Technology, Intelligence T-2, Office, Chief of Engineering Division, and the Aircraft, Power Plant and Propeller Laboratories of Engineering Division T-3. 

How likely is it that these groups were unaware of the captured Horten flying wing(s)?

Phil Klass [SUN #26, March 1994] quotes Air Intelligence Report No. 100-203-79, December 10, 1948:

The origin of the devices [UFOs] is not ascertainable.  There are two reasonable possibilities: 

(1) The objects are domestic [U.S.] devices.
(2) Objects are foreign, and if so, it would seem most logical to consider that they are from a Soviet source.

Junkers EF-130

The Soviets possess information on a number of German flying-wing type aircraft, such as the Gotha P60A, Junkers EF-130 long-range jet bomber and the Horten 229 twin-jet fighter, which particularly resembles some of the descriptions of unidentified flying objects.

This report was prepared by the US Air Force's Directorate of Intelligence and the Office of Naval Intelligence and more than a year has passed since Twining's letter.

How is it that these agencies believe that it is the Soviets who have the captured Horten flying wing(s) or just information when, by this time, the US has had them for at least three years?  What value would there be in pointing the finger at the Soviets and suggesting that they have aircraft far in advance of our own?

Klass contends that the USAF Directorate of Intelligence and the Office of Naval Intelligence demonstrate no knowledge of a Roswell-related crashed object/disk because there wasn't such an incident.  Yet, three years after the fact, these same offices demonstrate no knowledge of the US possession of the Horten flying wing(s).

Klass can't have it both ways - and neither can the rest of us.

If these offices were not aware of the US possession of the Horten flying wing(s) then the so-called UFO cover-up exceeded their need-to-know and began before the Roswell incident.

If these offices were aware of the US possession of the Horten flying wing(s) then why would they not acknowledge such (in a Top Secret document that took 37 years to declassify)?

Roswell and the Horten Flying Wing

Lt Col Walker, at the Air Material Command, asked his operatives in the field to discretely track down the Horton brothers and ascertain whether their radical "Flying Wing" designs - developed during WWII - might be responsible for the rash of Flying Saucer sightings in 1947.

This is a document released under the Freedom Of Information Act





S-2 Branch
16 December 47

Subject: Horten Brothers (Flying Saucers)

To: Deputy Director of Intelligence
European Command, Frankfurt
APO 757, US Army


1. The Horten brothers, Reimar and Walter, are residing in Göttingen at present. However, both of them are traveling a great deal throughout the Bi-Zone. Walter at present is traveling in Bavaria in search of a suitable place of employment. It is believed that he may have contacted USAFE Head-quarters in Wiesbaden for possible evacuation to the United States under "Paper Clip". Reimer is presently studying advanced mathematics at the university of Bonn, and is about to obtain his doctor's degree. It is believed that when his studies are completed he intends to accept a teaching position at the Institute for Technology (Techniscbe Hochschule) in Braunschweig sometime in February or March 1948.

2. Both brothers are exceedingly peculiar and can be easily classified as eccentric and individualistic. Especially is this so of Reimar. He is the one who developed the theory of the flying wing and subsequently of all the models and aircrafts built by the brothers. Walter, on the other hand is the engineer who tried to put into practice the several somewhat fantastic ideas of his brother. The clash of personalities resulted in a continuous quarrel and friction between the two brothers. Reimar was always developing new ideas which would increase the speed of the aircraft or improve its manoeuvrability; Walter on the other hand was tearing down the fantastic ideas of his brother by practical calculations and considerations.

3. The two men worked together up to and including the "Horten VIII" a flying wing intended to be a fighter plane powered with two Hirt engines (HM-60-R) with a performance of approximately 650 horsepower each. After the "Horten VIII" was finished, one of the usual and frequent quarrels separated the two brothers temporarily. Walter went to work alone on the "Horten IX", which is a fighter plane of the flying wing design, with practically no changes from the model VIII except for the engines. Walter substituted the Hirt engines with BMW Jets of the type TL-004. The plane was made completely of plywood and was furnished with a Messerschmidt ME-109 Landing gear.

The model of this aircraft (Horten IX) was tested extensively in the supersonic wind tunnel (Mach No. 1.0) of the aero-dynamic testing institute (Aerodynamische Versuchsanstalt), located in Göttingen. The tests were conducted in the late summer of 1944 under the personal supervision of Professor Betz, chief of the institute. Betz at that time was approximately sixty years old and next to Prandtel (then seventy-eight years old), was considered to be the best man on aerodynamics in
Germany. Betz's attitude toward the flying wing is very conservative to say the least. Basically he is against the design of any flying wing. According to the official reports about the tests, air disturbances were created on the wing tips, resulting in air vacuums, which in turn would prevent the steering mechanism from functioning properly. This seems logical as, of course, neither the ailerons nor the rudders could properly accomplish their function in a partial vacuum created by air disturbances and whirls.

In spite of that, two Horten IX's were built and tried out by a test pilot, Eugen (now living in Göttingen) at Rechlin in the fall of 1944. One of the two planes, piloted by another test pilot, developed trouble with one of the jet engines while the pilot was trying to ascertain the maximum rate of climb. The right jet stopped suddenly, causing the aircraft to go into an immediate spin and subsequent crash in which the pilot was killed. Eugen, however, was more fortunate in putting the other ship through all the necessary paces without the least trouble. He maintains that the maximum speed attained was around 950 km per hour, and that there were no steering difficulties whatsoever, and that the danger of both head and tail spins was no greater that any other conventional aircraft.

After extensive tests, the Horten IX was accepted by the German Air Force as represented by Göring, who ordered immediate mass production. The first order went to Gothaer Waggon Fabrik, located in Gotha (Thuringia) in January 1945. Göring requested that ten planes be built immediately and that the entire factory was to concentrate and be converted to the production of the Horten IX. The firm in question received all the plans and designs of the ship. In spite of this explicit order, production of the Horten IX was never started. The technical manager of the firm, Berthold, immediately upon receipt of the plans, submitted a number of suggestions to improve the aircraft. It is believed that his intention was to eliminate the Horten brothers as inventors and to modify the ship to such an extent that it would be more his brain child than anybody else's. Numerous letters were exchanged from High Command of the German Air Force and Dr. Berthold, which finally were interrupted by the armistice in May 1945. When US troops occupied the town of Gotha, the designs of the Horten IX were kept in hiding and not handed over to American Military authorities. The original designs in possession of the Horten brothers were hidden in a salt mine in Salzdettfurt, but the model tested by Eugen was destroyed in April 1945. The original designs were recovered from Salzdettfurt by British authorities in the summer of 1945.

The Horten brothers, together with Dr. Betz, Eugen and Dr. Stüper (the test pilot of the aerodynamic institute in Göttingen), were invited to go to England in the late summer of 1945 where they remained for approximately ninety days. They were interrogated and questioned about their ideas and were given several problems to work on. However Reimar was very unwilling to cooperate to any extent whatsoever, unless an immediate contract was offered to him and his brother. Walter, on the other hand, not being a theoretician, was unable to comply and Reimar was sufficiently stubborn not to move a finger. Upon their return to Göttingen Walter remained in contact with British authorities and was actually paid a salary by the British between October 1945 and April 1946, as the British contemplated but never did offer him employment. Walter subsequently had a final argument with his brother and the two decided to part. Reimar then went to the university of Bonn to obtain his degree, and Walter organized an engineering office in Göttingen which served as a cover firm to keep him out of trouble with the labor authorities. Walter married Fräulein von der Gröben, an extremely intelligent woman, former chief secretary to Air Force General Udet.

In the spring of 1947 Walter Horten heard about the flying wing design in the United States by Northrop and decided to write Northrop for employment. He was answered in the summer of 1947 by a letter in which Northrop pointed out that he, himself, could not do anything to get him over to the States, but that he would welcome it very much if he could come to the United States and take up employment with the firm. He recommended that Walter should get in touch with USAFE Headquarters in Wiesbaden in order to obtain necessary clearance.

4. As can be seen from the above, most of the Hortens' work took place in Western Germany. According to our source, neither of the brothers ever had any contact with any representative of the Soviet Air Force or any other foreign power. In spite of the fact that Reimar is rather disgusted with the British for not offering him a contract, it is believed very unlikely that he has approached the Soviet authorities in order to sell out to them. The only possible link between the Horten brothers and the Soviet authorities is the fact that a complete set of plans and designs were hidden at the Gothaer Waggon Fabrik and the knowledge of this is known by Dr. Berthold and a number of other engineers. It is possible and likely that either Berthold or any of the others having knowledge of the Horten IX would have sold out to the Soviet authorities for one of a number of reasons. However, this will be checked upon in the future, and it is hoped that contact with the the Gothaer Waggon Fabrik can be established.

5. As far as the "flying saucer" is concerned, a number of people were contacted in order to verify whether or not any such design at any time was contemplated or existed in the files of any German air research institute. The people contacted included the following:

Walter Horten

Fräulein von der Gröben, former Secretary to Air Force General Udet

Günter Heinrich, former office for research of the High Command of the Air Force in Berlin

Professor Betz, former chief of Aerodynamic Institute in Göttingen

Eugen, former test pilot

All the above mentioned people contacted independently and at different times are very insistent on the fact that to their knowledge and belief no such design ever existed nor was projected by any of the German air research institutions. While they agree that such a design would be highly practical and desirable, they do not know anything about its possible realization now or in the past.


Roswell Saucer?

Horten Parabola in 1945, copied by the U.S. postwar?

1947 Parabolic disc over New Mexico
Note aircraft features, not alien