Walter and Reimar Horten Interviews [Myhra]

Collection ID:
Myhra, David
1913 -1998
bulk 1982-1988
Physical Description:
7.91 Linear feet
20 boxes
This collection contains interviews with Reimar and Walter Horten that were recorded by David Myhra.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection contains interviews with Reimar and Walter Horten taped by David Myhra, author of
The Horten Brothers and Their All-winged Aircraft
. It includes various topics relating to the Hortens, and comprises sixty original tapes donated by Myhra, as well as two copies made by NASM, one consisting of sixty-one master reel-to-reels, and another of 120 reference CD-Rs. A box of "transcripts" for some of the tapes is also included in the collection, although it is unclear which transcripts go with which tapes.

This finding aid was generated from the original recording labels. Mr. Myhra labeled most of the tapes, but each group of tapes is labeled differently. Dates are included when provided but the list does not follow a chronological order, which is irrelevant anyway considering the wandering nature of Mr. Myhra's interviews. The finding aid is arranged in groups, which roughly correspond to each set of interviews. In addition, NASM has given each tape a new number which runs consecutively from one through sixty. The original number given by David Myhra is listed in the description of each tape. The new NASM numbers for the original tapes correspond to the NASM reel numbers and the NASM CD-R numbers as to make locating each copy more convenient.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Reimar Horten and his brother Walter, two largely self-taught aircraft designers, were born in Bonn, Germany; Walter on March 3, 1912, and Reimar on March 12, 1915. Their interest in aircraft began as early as 1925 when they joined a fliers' club in Bonn. In 1932 Reimar and Walter commenced work on their first piloted all-wing sailplane the Ho I. The basic concept of the flying wing dates from the dawn of aviation, but the Horten brothers became the virtuosos of this aircraft. The Horten all-wing sailplanes were gliders without a fuselage or tail section. Because the fuselage and the tail section of a regular plane produced 30% to 50% of an airplane's drag, the benefit of the sailplanes was clear. During the time preceding World War II the brothers improved upon the Ho I glider, creating other models including the Ho II, Ho III, and the Ho IV--none of which had any engines. Reimar and Walter joined the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) during the course of the war where Walter flew Messerschmitt Bf-109s for six months and Reimar worked for Operation Sea Lion, whose objective was the invasion of England. Upon the cancellation of this operation the Horten brothers went on to continue their projects, developing many enhanced versions of their original flying-wing. In 1942 Reimar began working on the Ho VII at the Luftwaffe's request, a machine equipped with two pusher-type propellers and a pulse jet engine. However, the Ho VII was not strong enough to fly safely at the greater speeds made possible by the jet, so the brothers began work on the new Ho IX (code named "Go 229"), the first functional jet propelled flying wing. The arrival of the American army in 1945 ended the construction of this type of aircraft. After the war, Reimar moved to Argentina where he continued to develop his unorthodox aircraft designs; Walter stayed in Germany. Walter died in 1988 and Reimar died in 1994.

M. Beth Lee
Immediate Source of Acquisition
David Myhra, Gift, 1998
Processing Information
The conversations with Walter and Reimar were taped by David Myhra at different times, however NASM received these items as one complete collection. It seems that Mr. Myhra had no set of specific questions to ask these men during the various interviews, so the conversation often leaps from one topic to another sporadically. This tendency made processing the contents of the collection fairly difficult.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Preferred Citation
Walter and Reimar Horten Interviews [Myhra], Acc. 1999-0065, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
World War, 1939-1945 -- Germany -- Refugees Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gliders (Aeronautics) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Horten IV Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Horten III (108-250) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Horten II (1935) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Horten I Glider (1931) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Horten, Walter, 1912-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Horten, Reimar, 1915-1993 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151