Tuesday, September 6, 2016

AvGeek Gamer History: The Horten Ho-229

The Air and Space Smithsonian magazine recently published an article on one of my favorite lost World War II aircraft, the Horten Ho-229 flying wing. I was priveledged to see this aircraft in the preservation center last year, where the lone survivor looked like this.
Wings are on the right.
That still looks better than when I first learned about this aircraft, from a pixelated cockpit in a game called Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe.

Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe DOS Go229 - Flying through B17 formation
Screaming through a B-17 formation.
(screenshot courtesy of MobyGames.com)

If I were to point to a game that really fired my love of weird late WWII aircraft, it would have to be SWotL. The Ho-229 (GO-229 in-game), DO-335, He-162, and others all took flight on an old 386DX computer and fired my imagination.

Seeing a survivor of these types, even in a partially assembled condition, is a rush. Here's hoping that the NASM can get their bird into display condition at some point. I'd love to see it in the gallery with the DO-335 and ME-163.

A more modern, and difficult, take on the Ho-229 can be found in IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946.
Over the top in IL-2.

In both game versions, the Ho-229 is imagined as what an operational version would have been: a fast bomber interceptor armed with a pair of 30mm cannons, and underwing hardpoints for air-to-air rockets or bombs for ground attack.

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