Nazi and American space bombers

StilLearning

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Hi all, if this is in the wrong place or breaks any rules then mods please move/remove it, but I thought that fans and writers of historical sci-fi and/or alternate history stories might find this interesting, or even a jumping off point:

Nazi Germany had plans for 'mini space shuttle' space bomber - the Silbervogel ( Silbervogel - Wikipedia ) - that coud have bypassed all U.S.defenses of the time and dropped a 4000kg bomb on New York.
The thing could be dismissed as some scientist's fever dream, but America developed the design after the war (they had all those 'emigrated' German scientists after all) into the X-20 Dyna-Soar ( Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar - Wikipedia ), which would have been a shuttle-like spacecraft in 1963 - and Boeing been awarded the contract to build it, and had begun construction before it was cancelled in 1963 due to... well, general politics and being a touch too ambitious for the avionics and materials science of the time is the quick way I'd sum it up. Sorry the links are wikipedia, but it's a good non techical page for summing these quirky/terrifying ideas up.
 
Yes the Nazis certainly had really cutting edge ideas when it came to aircraft.
I have a 3 volume coffee table book set filled with artists impressions of there designs.
Of course most of the time when they were thought up it was too late.
All the factories had been flattened.
 
To be fair to the Nazis (There's a statement I didn't think I'd be making :confused::eek:) it wasn't 'their' idea and they seemed incredibly lukewarm on the whole thing. I think they actually recognised - a bit like their assessment for making an atomic bomb - that it was an interesting idea but would have taken vast amounts of resources and take too long to actually get to anything remotely useful.

Most of the work, it seems, was theoretical and solely the pen of Sanger and his future wife.
 
Eugen Sanger Hypersonic bomber bore a bit of resemblance to the Space shuttle. I think that vehicle needed 14 V2 Rockets to get it up into space ? Even with that many V2's, getting it off the the ground would alone have been a very difficult, and once in space ,there is the problem of how do you navigate?And then There is the issue of landing , they had no means of creating a protective heat shield to protect the vehicle from burn up upon reentry.
 
Addendum to my above post :)

I do realise that said sub-orbital plane is to be taken as a part of a fantasy 'what if' scenario.

I think I'm just gut-reacting to the Nazi 'fan boi''s who always seem to be posting 'well if this SUPER weapon had been properly developed then Hitler would have won the war' which after decades on t'interweb can get a bit tiring :p (Note, I'm not saying anyone here does this!)

The reality is that most Nazi 'Super' weapons were at best expensive white elephants that did squat all to help any war aims or were ludicrous pipe dreams that were never going to get off the ground. By contrast allied technical efforts were just as amazing, in many cases more so, but generally speaking were more...useful!

However, fair enuff if you want to spin a yarn of Nazi UFO's flying to Mars or bombing New York in 1944 etc.
 
Addendum to my above post :)

I do realise that said sub-orbital plane is to be taken as a part of a fantasy 'what if' scenario.

I think I'm just gut-reacting to the Nazi 'fan boi''s who always seem to be posting 'well if this SUPER weapon had been properly developed then Hitler would have won the war' which after decades on t'interweb can get a bit tiring :p (Note, I'm not saying anyone here does this!)

The reality is that most Nazi 'Super' weapons were at best expensive white elephants that did squat all to help any war aims or were ludicrous pipe dreams that were never going to get off the ground. By contrast allied technical efforts were just as amazing, in many cases more so, but generally speaking were more...useful!

However, fair enuff if you want to spin a yarn of Nazi UFO's flying to Mars or bombing New York in 1944 etc.

The Me 262 had some very large technical problems including shortage of titanium for the engines turbine blades and fuel inefficiency, but If they had gotten them into production a few years earlier then they did and in large enough numbers , they might have been able halt and prevent the bombings of their cities and would have inflicted untold loses on the allied air forces . They mouth have been able to slow down the dance of the Red army as well. But they still would have lost the wart just would have taken longer.
 
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From what I remember, the biggest problem with Sanger's design was that it would have burned up, because hypersonic aerodynamics wasn't really understood at that time and the shape was simply wrong for that flight regime (e.g. the shuttle's rounded nose vs Sanger's pointy nose). It would also have cost a lot of money to be able to drop a few tons of bombs on America, though the impact energy of the bombs could have done a lot of damage by itself.
 
Nazi flying saucers over New York? But I thought they all went to the moon...
 
Eugen Sanger Hypersonic bomber bore a bit of resemblance to the Space shuttle. I think that vehicle needed 14 V2 Rockets to get it up into space ? Even with that many V2's, getting it off the the ground would alone have been a very difficult, and once in space ,there is the problem of how do you navigate?And then There is the issue of landing , they had no means of creating a protective heat shield to protect the vehicle from burn up upon reentry.

IIRC it was to be fired at the sky from a rocket powered sled! There were Nazi plans for rockets that were just a hair short of a true ICBM, and navigation would have been less of a problem because the Silbervogel wasn't meant to fly ballistically but dip into the upper layers of the atmosphere and 'skip' across the top of it. I actually put this past an ex Nasa engineer who worked on the space shuttle. His opinion was that the first one might have managed to deliver its payload, but would have burned up when it re-entered. Once they realised they'd got that wrong it was, barely, possible they could have cnstructed an adequate heat shield with the materials of the time and hit on the right shape by trial and error with unmanned test flights. In short it was in principle, maybe, right on the edge of achievable - at incredible expnse, and to very little use as the beefed up heat shield would have been so heavy it reduced the size of the bomb it could carry to near uselessness. So,yes, a pipe dream of Sangers, and one that would have been both hugely wasteful and put to vile use anyway. But good things can sometimes grow from bad soil, and the Silbervogel did ultimately lead to the space shuttle and modern spaceplanes (no thanks to Nazi germany).
 
Ahem. Sorry, have to correct my correction:He was talking about them both: The silbervogel might have flown through space ok but would have burned up on re entry if flown as Sanger designed it. The dynasoar pwould probably have worked had it been correctly developed, with plenty of unmanned test flights, but was deemed too expensive, too complex, and the USAF didn.t need half the capabilities it offered.
 
The X-20 launch abort would have been... interesting... too. Because the thing had wings, an abort early in the launch required boosting it off the launcher until it was high enough to be able to glide back to the launch site to land.

AFAIR Neil Armstrong had to simulate that by flying vertical in a jet fighter, then cutting the engine and trying to glide in for a landing. Though they were sensible enough to simulate it at altitude, so he was trying to 'land' on a spot a few thousand feet in the air, rather than actually land on a real runway.

Vertically launching things with wings is just a really bad idea in general. At least the sled-launched Sanger would probably have been able to glide down to a rather dangerous crash near the launch site.
 
I think we're close to figuring our why they spent their money on ICBM's for weapons and capsules for space exploration instead :)
 

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