Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Horton HO-229 Flying Wing




The Horton HO-229 was another one of Germany's last ditch efforts to snatch defeat from the Allies. Unfortunately for Germany (or fortunately for the Allies), they lost before this HO-229 became operational.

The HO-229 (sometimes referred to as the Gotha GO-229) is a twin engined flying wing. Due to the apparent shortage of critical resources towards the end of the war, the bulk of this aircraft was made of wood. I think only the supporting structures were from metal. This had the side-effect of being slightly radar-proof for the radars of that era. Hence, had this flown and seen action, WW2 would have had the first stealthy flying wing!

Anyway, on to the model.

The card model is designed by Marek. Scale is 1:48.

The model is designed in three main portions:
  • The center fuselage
  • Left and right wings
Center Fuselage

I start with making the center fuselage's formers.

As you can see in the first photo, the fuselage is 'strengthened' by a 6 formers. Three along the fuselage, and another three across it. As with most tricycle landing gear type models, I add a little 'insurance' by gluing a couple of coins to the nose to ensure the model does not topple backwards.


Once I completed making the formers, I proceed to 'wrap' the skin around them to form what would eventually become the center fuselage.

The Wings
Assembling the wings was straightforward enough. Notice that unlike most 1:48 big winged card models, this one employs very little formers/spars. However, this did not affect the assembly of the wings.

Almost done! I did a sloppy job at wrapping the fuselage skin over the formers. Because of that, some of the formers stuck out and became obvious when the wings were fitted. Hence, I had to 'smooth' out those areas by sanding it with 800grit sand paper.

Completion
Though the model came with landing gears, it did not have provisions for wheel wells. This made assembly a lot easier at the expense of some missing details.
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