A project to build a model of the Horten Ho 229 V3 cockpit in 1:1 scale. The purpose is to serve as a prop for an upcoming National Geographic documentary on the Ho 229.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Instrument panel support and seat framework

First, here's a picture of the original cockpit framework so you can better see what I'm aiming for. This is the Ho 229 V4, found in the state you see it by advancing allied forces at the end of the war.

Yesterday morning I finished the framework that supports the instrument panel. This framework also supported the rudder pedals in the real a/c, but since I've made it from PVC, I don't think it will be strong enough for that.

I also did a lot of welding and bending of the seat framework. Also made a jig/template out of press board. I set the template on fire several times :-) You can see the burn marks.

Bending this 3/4" steel tubing turned out to be easier than I thought. I was told the tubing would kink, but I found that with slow, careful application of heat and bending force, it could be done. I didn't need a very sharp bend.

The framework in the picture represents a good 4-6 hours of work. Cutting, grinding/shaping the tubing is the most time consuming part. The actual welding goes pretty fast. I'm starting to get the hang of the welding. Trick is to bring everything just to the melting point together, then it all flows nicely. Accomplishing that can be a bit tricky when you get odd angles and thinner/thicker material to be joined.

Planning to work on the stick and its supporting structure today and hopefully finish at least one side of the seat framework. There are still several interior cross-pieces to go into the framework in the picture. Considered leaving them out, what you see would be plenty strong enough. In the end decided to do it properly :-)

I'm hoping that this cockpit can be displayed by itself somewhere eventually. If so, you will be able to see the sides of the seat, which normally aren't visible through the cockpit opening of the actual a/c.


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