Congrats go all to just Tillerman this time! How does he do it, folks? Just how does he do it? It defies explanation! I bet he’d make a killing as a carny showman…
Yes, the correct answer to today’s quiz is the Horten Ho 229 V3, the only surviving example of one of the German super-weapons from World War II. It was made of molded plywood, steel internal struts, was jet-powered, and looked like something out of a current sci-fi film — only this was in 1945! You can read all about it here, here, here, here, and here — and watch videos about it here, here, and here.
I shot the top photos in the Smithsonian’s Paul E. Garber Facility, back in 2002 when it was open for small private tours. The Garber Facility was closed forever to tours in 2003 and in the years since then the staff has moved most of the aircraft under active restoration out to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near the Dulles International Airport in Virginia. If the photos of the Horten look junky in the top photos, that’s because it was — everything in the Garber Facility was chock-a-block filled to the rafters with little regard to display aesthetics — it was simply a restoration facility for the Nation’s Attic.
I’ve since learned that this aircraft has been moved out to the Udvar-Hazy Center for possible restoration and eventual public display, though it would take some serious effort to do so. In the meantime, all that is available for viewing is what others have posted online, like the images here.