Horten H.XVIII
Air Force
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The most ambitious German bomber was designed to strike New York

During World War II, the Nazis had a lot of different concepts in mind for Amerikabomber. If you haven't heard the term before, let us inform you that Amerikabombers was a program that began in Germany in 1942 and aimed at the acquisition of a strategic bomber aircraft, capable to strike the US (and especially New York) from Germany, without the need of refueling. The distance between these two destinations is almost 6km, so the range of the aircraft should be extended. Five prototypes were built before the program was ultimately abandoned. One of these, the Horten H.XVIII, would have become the first stealth bomber. 


What went wrong?

Horten H.XVIII was designed by the Horten bombers in the 1944 Christmas. In total, the aircraft had three versions: Horten H.XVIIIA, Horten H.XVIIIB, and Horten H.XVIIIC/B-2. The second one was the most viable and was ready to enter the production stage. The aircraft had a maximum speed of 850km/h with a range of 11,000km and would fly at an altitude of 15,000m. However, the end of the war meant the forever pause of the program and the aircraft never flew. But besides this reason, at that time the development was some months away from production. After the war, Reimar Horten continued its work in Argentina and achieved to fly the DINFIA IA 38. Its performance was poor due to its engines.  
Modern simulations have shown that if the aircraft had flown, its performance would be impressive. More specifically, many believe that it would be really difficult for the aircraft of this time to prevent the bomber from achieving its final goal, striking New York City. Theoretically, its stealth design in combination with its speed were the key features of the aircraft. 
However, Allies had a lot of proven strategies and technologies of air defense in their pockets. Due to advanced spying, it was possible that Allies already knew about the Amerikabomber and were already planning their countermeasures. They could strike German factories to slow down the production of the Horten or even aerial bases of the enemies to destroy the bombers. Also, most powerful Allies were already improving their radars and upgrading their capabilities in early warning and tracking of enemy aerial targets. Last but not least, considering the high altitude of the Hornet, Allies could perform frequent patrols at similar altitudes. We guess we will never find out what would happen in reality… 


Horten H XVIII
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