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Airframe Detail #8 – Horten Ho.IX/Ho.229

ISBN: 9781912932108

Valiant Wings Publishing

 

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After WWI Germany was prevented from having much of any form of military, including aircraft.  This led to a lot of glider flying in the period before the Nazi regime was ready to ignore the Versailles Treaty openly, and the Horten brothers were master glider builders, having a keen interest in the flying wing format that began a line of designs that improved the gliding experience by removing the drag associated with a traditional fuselage and tail plane assemblies, with the pilot buried within an all-wing structure and control provided by pop-out drag rudders and spoilers. 

 

After WWII began the brothers joined up to fight for their country, but when the RLM made a request in 1943 for a new fighter design with jet power, the remaining brother Walter (Wolfram was killed in 1940) began designing what was to become the Ho.229, with two jet engines buried in the leading edge of the wing either side of the cockpit and exhausting over the pointed trailing edge of the wing.  Using mainly non-strategic materials and recycled parts for the landing gear (Bf.109 main, and crashed He.177 for nose), it was in prototype stage by the end of 1944, when it flew as a glider.  By February of 1945 it was test flown under its own power, a crash later killing one of the test pilots, then when the Gothaer Waggonfabrik (Gotha) factory was overrun by the Allies, the V3 airframe was scooped up by the US forces and taken back to America for study.  Due to much neglect over the years the airframe is now in a sorry state of repair, with delaminated surface panels and a great deal of corrosion, plus a rather grim and inauthentic paint scheme that was applied by the Americans for reasons best known to themselves, probably propaganda.

 

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This book, by prolific author Richard A Franks, with profiles and plans by Richard J Caruana and example model produced by Libor Jekl is perfect-bound as usual and consists of 66 pages within a card jacket, printed on glossy paper stock throughout.  It is number 8 in the Airframe Detail series that concentrates more on the aircraft in question, with just a short section to the rear with an example build of the relatively recent kit in 1:72 from Zoukei-Mura models, which seems to have escaped my notice.  The book is broken down into sections as follows:

 

Introduction

1 Technical Description

Detailed coverage of construction and equipment

2 Camouflage & Markings

Colour side profiles, notes and photographs

3 Small Scale Horten

A build of the 1:72 scale Ho.229 kit from the recent combined 1:144 & 1:72 set from Zoukei-Mura by Libor Jekl

Appendices

i Ho.IX/Ho.229 kits

ii Ho.IX/Ho.229 accessory & mask list

iii Bibilography

 

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Despite there being only one airframe that survived the war in an embarrassing state, there are tons of photographs, diagrams and profiles, many of which are contemporary in black and white due to that being the predominant film format of the day, but with some colour photos from later periods.   The profiles are found in the 2nd section of the book, and show a number of what-if schemes of various nations for your consideration.  The sheer level of detail giving within the pages is perfect for the modeller, and will be of use to anyone from novice to super-detailer, with some of the photos and drawings showing the interior, subassembly layout, the instrument panel and other fine details that could improve your build, many of which I haven’t seen before.

 

Libor Jekl's build of the new ZM kit shows what can be done to the 1:72 model, and results in a lovely example that anyone would be pleased to have in their collection.  From a modelling standpoint there is scope for building and painting one of the other smaller scale such as the 1:144 Brengun, 1:72 ZM or Revell, or in 1:48 ZM or Dragon and ZM's highly detailed kit in 1:32 .

 

Conclusion

Another Excellent volume from Valiant, and an interesting one especially for those like myself that are interested in the experimental airframes that the Germans were working on at the close of WWII. 

 

Very highly recommended.

 

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Thanks for the review, Mike. If we ever get out of this current situation, I will be buying this one for my collection.

 

Cheers.

 

Chris.  

Edited by spruecutter96
Correcting a typo.
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