Dragon 1:48 Horton 229 Nachtjager
By: Anthony Manzoli
Almost unknown today, the all wing
twin-jet GO229 was probably the most startling and unconventional
warplane built during the WWII. It stemmed from the belief of the brothers
Walter and Reimar Horton that a flying wing was the most efficient form of
heavier than-air flying machine. They set out to prove this with a series of
gliders, beginning with the Horton I of 1931.From 1936 the brothers were
officers in the Luftwaffe, but continued their work, which led in 1942 to
studies for a flying wing jet fighter. Accordingly, work was hastened on two
prototypes, which was all the small team could contemplate. The Ho IX V1
was to fly as glider, subsequently being modified to install two BMW 003 A
turbojets. Gliding trails at Oranienburg began in about May 1944 ,and from the
start the handling characteristics were out slantingly good. In addition to V1
and V2 ,seven more prototypes were ordered, plus 20 production fighters. The
Go-229 V2 began it's flight test program at Oranienburg in January 1945. Take
off required less than 450 m and handling was superb. The 1000³ design concept:
carry 1000kg of bombs at 1000kph with penetration range of 1000km. The Ho-229
was made of wood to save weight and because wood was not a strategic material
and was painted with radar absorbing paint.
From SWOTL Instruction Manual
Power plant two Junkers Jumo 004-B1 turbojets
Thrust 1,962 lbs
Top Speed 590mph at sea level, 607mph at 40,000 ft, and 640 mph in a dive
Rate of Climb 4,430 ft/min
Ceiling 52,500 ft
Range 1,180 mph @ 393mph
Wingspan 45 ft, 11 in
Wing area 376.6 square feet
Length 24 ft, 6 in
Height 9 feet, 2 in
The kit features great mold quality, fine detail in a light grey plastic. There's just one sprue of photo etch, and unlike the single seat variation, no engine or "framing" detail inside. The canopy is very clean but one piece. The cockpit and nose wheel well is boxed in and provides some pretty nice details, and there are solid wing attachment points. Although short on the detail will make for a much quicker build project then the day fighter version.
Four early air-to-air missiles are included with the kit.
Only one scheme - is provided on the instructions, RLM 75 camouflage spots over RLM 76 with a matte black under surface.
Construction: I have completed steps 1-4 which included gluing together the pilot and radar operator's seats as well as attaching them to the cockpit floor. A square piece of photo etch has been added to simulate the radar and navigational controls. I have added some aftermarket seat and shoulder belts from Extra Tech and have painted the interior RLM 66. The fuselage halves have been glued together and there is no need for any filler. (Photos of the build up will be posted in the next few days.)
The next steps of construction included gluing the nose section to the main fuselage section, you must be careful because there is basically three areas that have to line up. What I found was that I could have spread the nose section out with a piece of sprue, so that the nose and body would have meshed up a bit better. I had to do a bit of sanding after running some filler around the entire join line. Once the body and nose section had been smoothed out I started on the wings. The first step with the wings was to drill out the four placement holes for the air to air missiles. Once all drilled out I carefully super glued the wing halves together. When they were dry I glued them to the fuselage. The fit of the wings to fuselage is decent and should only require a small amount of gap filler.
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