“Luft 46”: German experimental aircraft
Reading Phil Pignataro’s review of the Messerschmitt P.1099 heavy fighter (October 2010 FSM
) reminded me that Revell Germany has manufactured other “Luft ’46” kits. I believe one of them was the Horten XVIII “Amerika Bomber.” I remember seeing the box art, which showed the plane in flight with the Manhattan skyline in the background. Can you confirm this? And did Revell Germany indeed make other “Luft ’46” kits?– Gary Watson
Cramlington, Northumberland, EnglandA:
Thanks for the letter, Gary. I was unable to find any Revell Germany kit of the Ho 18 — I did find a 1/72 scale model by Sharkit
, and a 1/144 scale resin model by Anigrand
I also found Revell’s misnamed Go 229 (the G owes to Gotha, the manufacturer, but the plane’s designation, Ho, was for the Horten brothers who designed it). You can also see this 1/72 scale kit on Revell North America’s website
However, the cover you described sounded like that for Revell Germany
Arado Ar E555, another of several “Amerika Bomber” designs in addition to the Hortens’ Ho XVIII. Messerschmitt, Junkers, Heinkel, and Focke-Wulf also submitted designs in response to Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring’s call for an aircraft that could bomb the United States.
For readers who might still be wondering what “Luft ’46” is about, I would call it a sort of old-timey scientific fiction. True, these designs existed in one form or another, and some of them (such as the Ho 229) were prophetic. Others — such as Focke-Wulf’s Triebflügel
— seem completely preposterous. All of them are startling, especially when you remember it was the mid-1940s and almost no one in the world had ever seen a jet airplane.
Although the Luft ’46 concept considers what could have come to be if the war had not ended research and development, it’s safe to say none of the modelers or artists in this area wishes the war had continued or that the Nazis had prevailed. In their efforts to depict what might have been, one detects humor and a sense of relief that it never was. I prefer to call this genre “Weird and Wacky Weapons of the Third Reich.” It’s even better if you say it like Porky Pig.
See more of Luft ’46 and scale models of German WWII experimentals here