There some very real and direct links between the German design effort and later planes/projects. This is very different from thinking the Germans
were on the cusp of building and flying these designs, but the roots are there. A huge amount of post war design and development went into making
these ideas workable, not to mention that it is often forgotten that most leading German designers were re-employed in the postwar aircraft industry
anyway, there were even a couple of Germans working on the design of Concorde while working for the British and French industry - doesn't make it
German though, or mean it evolved from a wartime design .
The most striking of the aircraft that flew, in relation to direct predecessors in the German design effort, are the Northrop X-4 (Lippisch), Bell
X-5 (Messerschmitt), Martin B-51 (Messerschmitt), SAAB 32 Lansen (Messerschmitt), Douglas B-42 (Focke Wulf), Vought Cutlass (Arado), Gloster Javelin &
P275 (Lippisch - but thankfully the latter was unflown), HP Victor (Heinkel), Boeing B-47 (Junkers), (while even something as late as the SAAB Draken
can be traced back to a wartime Arado concept of strikingly similar configuration.
Except for the Bell X-5 (Me P.1101) absolutely none of the above aircraft were direct rip offs of a pre-existing German design and they merely
represent the application of 'speculative theory' to a NEW design in the real world for the first time, but in each case the design path that was
followed is nevertheless plainly obvious.
Or so you would think, however it is easy to assume that all such developments came this way, which is not the case. For instance although the X-4 was
based on a Lippisch design for a jet fighter, German design was not a feature of their own large flying wing bombers, this advanced layout was one
which Northrop had spent just as much time testing as Horten for instance and although comparisons were of interest, the technology was not
There is also a design for a large pusher engined Messerschmitt flying wing bomber called the P.08.01, which is identical to a Handley Page design for
a flying wing bomber in all respects except the German one has a single fin while the British one had wingtip mounted twin fins - the relationship
would appear to be obvious. Except the HP design was in fact a four engined scale up of the HP 75 Manx (to be more accurate the HP 75 was a scale down
of the bomber for test purposes) and this had already accumulated many hours of flight testing before the war ended and the P.08.01 was discovered, so
there is actually no possible link unless the Germans copied the HP 75! I have also seen it claimed that the Focke Wulf Flitzer 'influenced' the DH
Vampire, taking no account of the fact that the Vampire flew in 1943 while the Flitzer was still a mock up when the war ended in 1945.
Spotting which one are the influences and which ones are coincidences would make for a great card game; Junkers EF128 and Hawker P.1077? SNAP!
EDIT; before anyone else throws in the FMA Pulqui II, its not quite the same as Kurt Tank went to Argentina and did this one all by himself
[edit on 23-10-2007 by waynos]