Tuesday 14 April 2015

Horten Ho 229 V-3 at Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center (nr. Washington DC) - Zoukei-Mura 1/32nd Horten Ho 229 build review

some great pictures via Cynrik de Decker of the Horten Ho 229 V-3 at Udvar Hazy (nr. Washington DC), in restoration last week. Thanks to Cynrik for these great images; click on the images to view large

" ..Surrendered in 1945 in incomplete condition. A year later, at Freeman Field, the Americans estimated it would take 15 000 man hours to put the flying wing in the air. However, in this condition, it remains one of the most iconic aviation relics I ever saw..."

 The Horten Ho 229 being restored at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (photo credit Cynrik de Decker)

The Horten was essentially a pair of Jumos mounted in a tubular centre section framework enclosing the cockpit with wings attached.  Essentially a flying wing,  NASM's example is the V-3 prototype. Only one of the prototypes flew, and it crashed, but the Horten brothers had proven the basic concept with smaller, but similarly-shaped gliders, so it was probably only a matter of time and resources before the Ho 229 jet-powered variant was perfected for combat. American forces captured the V-3 in the closing days of the war and shipped her back to the US for evaluation. The aircraft is based upon a steel frame, but the exterior cladding is mostly plywood, which is in quite poor condition with significant de-lamination in places.

Below; three views of the fuselage centre section of the Horten as reproduced on the Zoukei Mura Horten Ho 229 kit built by Paul Higgins

"..ZM state in the instruction manual that the frame design gave the structure good strength, in part this is because of the triangular nature of the framework and also because this framework points towards the centre in order to disperse the load..."

Much of the aircraft structure is fabricated from wood; again this is very evident on Paul's build of the Zoukei Mura kit

 ".. my only slight query would be on the instruction sheet's suggestion that the internals should be RLM 02 or pale green, when, with a little additional searching on the internet, they would have seen images of the real thing and the fact it is clearly wooden inside.."

"..This kit has indeed been a revelation to me. By far and away, it is the best produced model I have built. As an example, the Trumpeter '262' is also a fine kit with great detail, but with some kits you have to have a little bit of a struggle somewhere along the line. However, I did not encounter anything like the expected difficulty I had envisaged and I am seriously impressed with Zoukei-Mura's production and construction qualities. I can highly recommend this model to those of you thinking of buying one. For the full build article proceed over to www.hyperscale.com. Go to the 'Discussion Forums' section and when you have your menu down the left side of your screen, select Plastic Pics, then do a search using this title: Zoukei-Mura Horten Ho 229. You'll see Parts 1-8...."   Paul Higgins