Reimar Horten: Nurflügel !!!

The magnificent collection of Nurflügel (only-wing) aircraft conceived by that maverick genius. The black ones in this drawing did take the skies (Ho IVa, Ho IX, Ho XIIIa, Naranjero…); the white ones remained “only” as might-have-been dreams.

PS: Some had fins, in fact, the I.Ae 37 was, to be precise, a Delta-winged design equipped with a fin.

13 thoughts on “Reimar Horten: Nurflügel !!!

  1. Actually, the I.Ae 37 did take to the sky’s of Argentina! But, like most of the Horten wings, in non powered glider form. Like many, I have always wondered what if Reimer had come to the USA instead, what incredible airplanes might we have seen in the sky’s?

    • 😉 …..”The black ones in this drawing did take the skies”.
      Reimar suffered badly the errors and flawed conclusions his captors made of his work. A missed opportunity that’s for damn sure.

  2. A September 1943 report from the Tailless Aircraft Advisory Committee noted that tailless aircraft had been built at almost every stage in the history of flying. They had flown reasonably well, but in general had failed to hold their own against other aircraft types. The reason form this was simple – the reduction of drag was not sufficient to outweigh the disadvantages introduced by difficulties of trim, control and stability. But there were two main arguments in favour of the tailless aircraft – drag was low and in military types the field of fire to the rear was excellent. The saving in drag over conventional types was very little if the aircraft was small because of the relatively large body, but it would increase as size increased. The tailless type also lent itself to the fitting of gas turbine engines and thus enabled full advantage to be taken of laminar flow wings. As far as the U K was concerned, research had moved forward very little from where it had stood in 1934 when development of the Hill Pterodactyl was abandoned.

    Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft proposed a jet-powered six or four-engine flying wing airliner design, using a laminar flow wing, during the Second World War.

    [image: Inline image 1] Armstrong Whitworth A.W.52G (Glider)

    This had to be a large aircraft in order to provide passenger head-room within the wing. The low-speed characteristics of the design were tested on a 53 ft 10 in (16.41 m) span wooden glider known as the A.W.52G; the glider was designed to be roughly half the size of the powered A.W.52, which in turn would be about half the size of the airliner. Construction of the AW.52G began in March 1943, with the glider making its maiden flight, towed by an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber, on 2 March 1945.

    [image: Inline image 2] A.W.52G

    In Britain in July 1943, the Tailless Aircraft Advisory Committee was set up under the Directorate of Scientific Research, within the Ministry of Aircraft Production.

    In May 1945 the Horten Brothers were interrogated in England, and final interrogation was carried out by a team sponsored by the Tailless Advisory Committee.

    This video shows a Westland-Hill ‘Pterodactyl’ Mk.1B (not Mk 1A) with ‘Armstrong Siddeley Genet-1’, a 5-cylinder, air-cooled, radial 65 hp engine.


    • Yep, that’s correct, yet both Jack Northrop and Reimar Horten, especially the later, were quite ahead of AW knowledge.
      In relation to the British flying wing story, in late 1947, while he worked at the Bonn University, Horten was approached by Sir Richard Fairey. Fairey wanted to get involved in British government’s quest to develop supersonic aircraft. Through Wilkinson’s report Sir Richard knew Reimar’s work on transonic flight and of his experiments with the Ho X and Ho XIII. Horten even visited UK, but some Fairey employees refused to work with a former enemy so….

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