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Secret Weapons Of The Luftwaffe - Part II

by Jim "Twitch" Tittle

Article Type: Military History
Article Date: August 09, 2001

Back to Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe - Part I

The Go 229

Messerschmitt 262As and Arado 234Bs were operational as was the Me 163 Komet rocket plane. The He 162 Salamander jet was just being delivered to units when hostilities ended. Several surface-to-air, air-to-air and air-to-surface rockets and bombs were in service with more soon-to-be, but the Germans had next generation weapons in development too. There were dozens of futuristic designs that rival every shape we have since seen either in reality or design concept drawings over the past fifty years right down to near F-117 clones!

Ar 234C

If the Ar 234B Blitz was not enough with its 461 mph speed and 3,300 lb. bomb load the Ar 234C would have been. "B" models were already flying with impunity over England on recon flights at 39,000 feet and used in the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge) Counteroffensive in the winter of 1944-45. The 234's airframe was engineered to take more power than the two Jumo 004Bs had with their 1,980 lb. thrust. The next configuration was that of four BMW 003A turbojets with 1,760 lb. thrust each mounted each in its own pod beneath the 46' wings. The arrived upon layout, however, was that one nacelle housed two engines.

The Ar234C could and did fly recon missions at 42,000 feet and hit 542 mph down at 19,700 ft. On internal fuel it could manage a 920-mile range though its two 66-gallon tanks would extend that. Climb to 32,810 ft. was only 11.9 minutes. The single-seat recon/bomber weighed only 20,600 lbs. loaded. Bomb load was the same as the "B" and the two 20mm tail guns with 250 rpg fired by the pilot using a periscope were retained but two more Mg 151 20mms with 250 rpg were added to fire forward.

Beyond that was a scheme to tow with a semi-rigid tube or mount piggy-back above the fuselage, an 880 gallon tank that would greatly extend the range to some 1,800-2,000 miles maximum. This was a forerunner of the B-58's detachable fuel/weapon pod it carried on the belly seen years later. This developed into the work-up for a Fi 103 (V-1) to be attached in the same manner and towing of an Hs 294 air-to-surface guided bomb. With an Hs 294 in tow the Ar 234C could still make 510 mph at 26,250 ft.

In advanced assembly were the two and three-man "P" series with night fighting radar and assorted mixes of 20mm and 30mm cannons including the oblique mount of the Schräge Musik.

E.560 - Lean & Clean

On the Arado drawing board was the swept-wing E.560/4 bomber with four BMW 003E turbojets each with 2,646 lbs. thrust each that would put it in the near 600 mph speed range able to travel about 1,300 miles. The E.560/11 proposed using four BMW 018 with 5,071 lbs. thrust each with speeds and ranges we can only guess.

Ju 287

Another jet bomber? That's right. Junkers began development in 1943 for a three-seat medium jet bomber that flew in the summer of 1944 with a converted He 177 fuselage and forward swept wings! The design was to attain good low speed flight characteristics that swept-back wings did not possess. The Ju 287 V1 had four Jumo 004B 1,984 lb. thrust engines—two on the wings and two alongside of the cockpit on the forward fuselage. The V2 had a new fuselage and was to have six He 011As of 2,866 lbs. thrust—four under the wings—but the BMW 003A1sof 1,760 lbs thrust each were installed due to Heinkel's development delays.

The 65' wingspan would have lifted an 8,800 lb. bomb load for delivery 1,175 distant and a 4,400 lb. load 1,335 miles. The V2 was sent to Russia by invading the forces where it ultimately flew in 1947.

The Ju 287B-1 or V3 prototype was begun but never completed. It was to have had four (two pods) He 011As under the wings (The B-2 would have had two 7,700 lb. thrust BMW 018s). Estimates of the performance were a top speed of 537 mph at 16,400 ft. with a 35,400 lb. loaded weight. Climb to 19.700 ft was to have been 10.5 minutes and to 32,800 ft in 33.0 minutes. It was envisioned that a 4,166-mile range could be achieved hauling 6,600 lbs. of bombs by shut down of certain engines once altitude was attained in the six-engine configuration.

Go 229

We haven't flown it virtually since Lucas Art's Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe flight sim of long ago, but the Gotha Go 229 was an awesome concept—a jet powered flying wing fighter.

Reimer and Walter Horton began work on the Horton IX in 1942 with the machine flying over 500 mph in the summer of 1944 powered by two Jumo 1,890 lb. thrust engines. It subsequently crashed and the next airframes were not completed for flight before the end of the war. But it was to have two Jumo 004Cs of 2,200 lbs. thrust each for a top speed of 640 mph at 21,000 feet. Flying at its ceiling of 51,000 ft. it would have been a UFO to all who saw it in 1945. Climb would have been 4,300 fpm and range 1,180 miles, though it could be extended to 2,485 miles by shutting down one engine once desired flight level was attained.

Four Mk 103 30mm cannons were to provide its sting and up to 2,200 pounds of bombs could be attached under the 54' wingspan. Several variants were near completion including a two-seat night fighter and a trainer.

It must be noted that Northrup engineers paid a visit to the National Space & Aeronautics Museum in Maryland, where an un-restored Go 229 is warehoused, before the B-2 first flew.

Ta 183

Alongside of the Go229 would have been the revolutionary Focke Wulf Ta 183 designed by Kurt Tank. With jet engine power rapidly advancing, the feasible thrust needed would have soon been fulfilled in the BMW 018 with 5,071 lbs. thrust. The projected performance was borne out in Tank's Pulqui II (Arrow) built in Argentina under his direction and flying in 1950 using a 4,565 lb. thrust Rolls-Royce Nene.

Pulqui II- Son Of The Ta 183

Looking for all the world like a MiG 15, the 40-degree swept-wing fighter secured a 646 mph speed at 16,400 ft. The 12,210 lb. craft enjoyed a climb rate of 5,870 fpm and could top out at 49,530 feet. It was roughly the same size as the MiG with a 34' wingspan. The more advance MiG 15 had a 6,750 lb. thrust engine allowing for just a bit more top speed at 683 mph, but a climb rate of 10,400 fpm with a ceiling of 51,000 feet.

Since the Russians captured a full set of blueprints of the Ta 183 it can be assumed that the MiG 15 was modeled on them. The resemblance is not a coincidence.

Proposed armament for the Ta 183 was four Mk. 108 30mms. The Pulqui had four 20mms. Projected speed for the Ta 183 was 600 mph using a He S 011 of 3,520 lb. thrust for power. For all intents and purposes the Pulqui II WAS the "what if" Ta 183. Even P-80s and Meteors would have had a tough time of it if they'd met.


Messerschmitt had its P.1101 eighty percent complete when American troops overran the Oberammergau assembly complex in late April 1945. A Jumo 004B was installed but specs called for the forthcoming He S 011 of greater thrust which was expected to propel the fighter to speeds of 650-670 mph between 20-23,000 feet with a range of some 930 miles. Weights were estimated at 6,600-7,200 lbs. Armament considered was two or three Mk 108 30mm cannon and four of the new X-4 air-to-air wire-guided missiles. Of note were the swept wings that could be adjusted on the ground for variable sweep settings of 35 or 45 degrees. Their span was only 23.5'.

P.1101- Father Of The X-5

The Bell X-5 high-speed research craft was designed directly from the captured P.1101's layout.

Do 252

We know about the unique Do 335 Pfeil (Arrow) with one engine pulling and one pushing but the Do 252 was a parallel development for almost the same role specifications, albeit the Luftwaffe dictums demanded jet power design submissions for a three-seat radar-equipped night fighter in January 1945.

Do 252- A Better Pfeil

Instead of the Do 335 engine arrangement the 252's plan was to mount two 1,750 hp Jumo 213J V-12s in tandem coupled to a prop shaft that drove contra-rotating props. MW 50 would boost power to about 2,250 hp for short periods. With a swept-wing span of 51' and a length of 56' it would have been larger and heavier at 27,116 lbs. loaded. Ceiling was projected to be 41,000 ft. and speed/climb an optimistic 577 mph and 4,100 fpm respectively. Armament was substantial with four 30mms firing forward and two more firing obliquely upward.

The design was rejected since it was not jet powered much to the dismay of Dr. Claude Dornier.

The F55 SAM

F55 Feuerlilie

Another surface-to-air missile being developed was the F55 Feuerlilie (Firelily) measuring 15.7 feet in length with an 8.2' stub wing. The rocket was to be powered by a liquid fuel motor but tests were made with four solid-fuel Rheinmetall 109-505s accelerating it to 932 mph that gave it a short range of about 15 miles carrying a 220 lb. warhead. Two test firings were made.

BV 246

The Blohm & Voss BV 246 Hagelkorn (Hailstone) was a long-range glide bomb 11.5' long with sailplane-like narrow wings spanning 21.0' and a twin-rudder tail. Imagine the V-1 without engine and sailplane wings and you see the BV 246. Weighing 1,615 lbs. with a 960 lb. warhead it could be attached to even an FW 190 for launch 60-100 miles from target and guided by radio. Though 1,000 were produced only ten were tested and none used operationally. With the British able to jam radio frequencies so well the Germans rightly believed the glide bomb would have not been successful.


You know the V-1 and V-2, but how about the V-3? It was not a rocket but a super gun designed as a multiple-chambered cannon of 15cm caliber with a 460'long barrel. It was built into the earth and not a moveable artillery piece. There was a conventional breech and a pressure chamber at the rear end. Several auxiliary chambers were constructed and arranged at 45 degrees to the main barrel at intervals of about 40 meters. When a shell was fired it passed the auxiliary chambers where additional charges would be fired to produce extra gas to boost the speed of the shell.

With all these additional boosts, the shell would leave the muzzle at the super high velocity of about 5,000 ft/sec. The shell would continue into the stratosphere, where the thin air offering less resistance would permit the projectile to reach a range of about 175 miles. The greater London area would have been the target of the weapon fired from near Calais where it was destroyed by air attack before becoming operational. Its remnants can still be seen today.
“The shell would continue into the stratosphere, where the thin air offering less resistance would permit the projectile to reach a range of about 175 miles.”

Sound Cannon

This sounds like WWII sci-fi but it was real enough. It consisted of several firing chambers tubes where a mixture of methane and oxygen was ignited continuously to produce high-intensity shock waves that were directed by several 10' parabolic dishes at enemy soldiers. At fifty yards a thirty-second dose would be deadly and at 250 yards the exposure would incapacitate. For unknown reasons it was never put into use. Examples were captured by American forces.

Mr. Freeze

Feasibility studies were conducted on the concept of a bomb or other devise that would produce, instead of a heat blast, an immediate, intense but temporary cold so as to kill all living matter within a mile radius but not appreciably affect inanimate objects. This was the neutron bomb concept before atomic weapons. Though tests were carried out on animals the implausible idea proceeded no further. The Soviets captured the material regarding the idea and it was alleged that they had some success. Is that why the winters have been so cold?
“Feasibility studies were conducted on the concept of a bomb or other devise that would produce, instead of a heat blast, an immediate, intense but temporary cold so as to kill all living matter within a mile radius… ”

Got Gas?

Biological and chemical agents were investigated but, of course, never used. Clostridium botulinum, a bacterial agent, is one of the deadliest substances known to man. It could have easily been cultured. A couple of pounds of it could have destroyed the entire population of the British Isles!

The Sarin nerve gas that was used by terrorists in Japan was a German invention dating back to 1938. A particle the size of a large, course grain of sand is lethal enough to kill a human. 7,000 tons were discovered stockpiled in Germany.

Tabun nerve gas quickly forces the brain to lose control of body function and death soon follows. It was manufacturered from its discovery in 1936 to 1945 when the Red Army overran the factory. There lay 500,000 artillery shells and 100,000 aerial bombs armed with the gas!
“The Sarin nerve gas that was used by terrorists in Japan was a German invention dating back to 1938.”

Soman was cultivated in 1944 but was never manufactured. Its effects are the most dangerous and deadly of all the nerve gas derivatives. Like the aforementioned toxins, artillery, rockets or Luftwaffe aircraft could have delivered it.

German secret weapon research catapulted the world greatly forward and much is owed to the groundwork that was made during WWII for many of the aircraft that exist today.


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