The Go 229 jet aircraft was the first operational flying wing airplane equipped with jet engines. In the history of aviation, it deserves a special place, along with the Me 262 and the Me 163. But the Go 229 is certainly the one that looked the more out-of-this-world.
The German started researching the flying wing aircraft concept in the Twenties. This idea had been explored by Alexander Lippisch, and was further developped by the Horten brothers.
At the end of the Thirties, a few prototypes of the aircraft had been built, with “pusher” propeller engines. The first flights were made in 1937. The beginning of the war served as a catalyst, accelerating the design.
In December, 1944, the German were still working on this strange aicraft, aiming at manufacturing a fighter-bomber equipped with Jumo jet engines. The end of the war in Europe prevented the Nazi from using the airplane against Allied targets.
Had it been used to attack the United Kingdom (which at the time was getting early warnings of invading aircraft thanks to the recently invented radar), the Go 229 jet aircraft would have been totally invisible to the radar waves. The German engineers knew it and so they can be considered as the inventors of the stealth aircraft concept, which would later on be developped by the Americans.