Sunday, November 6, 2011

Amerika Bomber

The Amerika Bomber project was an initiative of the Nazi Germany Air Ministry, to obtain a long-range strategic bomber for the Luftwaffe that would be capable of striking the continental United States from Germany, a range of about 3,600 mi. Though the concept was raised as early as 1938, plans were not submitted to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring until 1942.

The most promising proposals were based on conventional principles of aircraft design and would have yielded aircraft very similar in configuration and capability to the Allied heavy bombers of the day. Other proposals were far more exotic jet- and rocket-powered designs, e.g. as a flying wing. The Horten brothers designed the Horten Ho XVIII, a flying wing powered by six turbojets based on experiences with their existing Ho X design. The Arado company also suggested a six-jet flying wing design, the Arado E.555.

Other designs were rockets with wings. Perhaps the best-known of these today is Eugen Sänger's pre-war Silbervogel ("Silverbird") sub-orbital bomber. While the A4b rocket, winged version of the V-2 rocket and probably its successor A9 rocket were tested several times in late 1944/early 1945, the A9/A10 Amerika-Rakete, planned as a full 2-staged ICBM, remained a project. Various proposals were put forward, including using it to deliver an atomic bomb, but they were all eventually abandoned as too expensive.

Hitler was often swayed to spend more time, money and resources on his “miracle weapons” or projects that were exciting and new, but less likely to be successful. As a result insufficient attention was given to the Amerika Bomber project. The project failed to come to fruition, not because the transatlantic bomber was not feasible, but because the Nazis were unable to manufacture enough parts to produce the aircraft.

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