Luft-X LUFT001 German Gotha Go P.60A All-Wing Fighter (1:72 Scale)
"Hitler's instincts, as always, veered towards attack as the best form of defense. He looked, as did - impatiently and more and more disbelievingly - large numbers of ordinary Germans, to the chance to launch devastating weapons of destruction against Great Britain, giving the British a taste of their own medicine and forcing the Allies to rethink their strategy in the air-war. Here, too, his illusions about the speed with which the "wonder-weapons" could be made ready for deployment, and their likely impact on British war strategy, were shored up by the optimistic prognoses of his advisers."
- Ian Kershaw, "Hitler: 1936-1945 Nemesis"
In August 1944 the Gotha Aircraft Company was given the job of series production of the Horten brothers' Ho IX all-wing fighter, which would be known as the Horten Ho 229 . After receiving the plans and design data, Gotha engineers found some areas for improvement. The Ho 229 was limited in space to install new equipment or to add more crew members. More importantly, since the engines were to be enclosed in the wing, different engines could not be fitted without extensive aerodynamic testing, which was not possible time wise considering the worsening war situation for Germany.
The Gotha designers, led by Dr. Ing. Hnerjger, proposed an alternate all-wing design to the RLM in January 1945 which used many of the construction techniques as the Horten aircraft but had the advantage of being able to be modified with new equipment and engines without changing the flying characteristics greatly. The basic construction was to be a welded steel tube frame covered by plywood and "Formholz", a molded and formed wood sheathing.
The Gotha Go P.60A was a flying wing that was powered by two turbojet engines near the rear of the wing center section, one above the wing and one below. One advantage to this arrangement was that any jet engine could be fitted, and maintenance would be easier with the engines in the exposed nacelles. However, in the designed Go P.60A, two BMW 003A-1 with 800 kp (1763 lbs) of thrust were to be used at first. Three fuel tanks were enclosed within the wings, one 1200 liter (317 gallon) tank in each outer wing panel and one 1200 liter (317 gallon) tank behind the cockpit. The pressurized and armored cockpit, located in the extreme nose, held two men who were in a prone (lying down) position. The prone position had the advantage of allowing the crew to withstand G-forces better, and was researched in the Berlin B9 test aircraft. This system was also used in the DFS 228 high altitude reconnaissance aircraft and the Henschel Hs 132 jet powered dive bomber. The main landing gear legs retracted to the front and rotated 90 degrees to lay flat. The nose gear was offset to the port side and retracted to the rear.
To cure stall during landing, the wing leading edge was fitted with hydraulically activated split flaps. There were also a pair of conventional split flaps mounted at the rear which were installed with a 15 degree forward sweep and also could be used as air brakes.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Gotha Go P.60A All-Wing Fighter.
Release Date: July 2014
Historical Account: "Escape Artists Needed" - One of the main criticisms of the Go P.60A was the difficulty for the crew to escape while in flight. One solution was to mount both jet engines below the wing, and this proposed version was to be known as the Go P.60A-2 . Unfortunately, this configuration reduced the roll rate in combat and was eliminated. Although further versions were to have some sort of ejection device for the crew, the war's end prevented the completion of the Gotha Go P.60A.