10 Nazi Inventions Still in Use Today

The B-2 Spirit blew more than a few minds when it made its public debut in 1988. But America’s flying wing was not the first of such aircraft. In fact, one such plane nearly darkened the skies over Washington at the end of WWII with a nuclear present from the Fuhrer.

The Ho 229 (Ho stands for designers Reimar and Walter Horten), which is also commonly referred to as the Gotha Go 229 (because Gothaer Waggonfabrik actually constructed them), were single seater long range bombers capable of carrying two 1,100 pound (500 kg), nuclear tipped bombs clear across the Atlantic, drop them on DC, then fly back to Germany. The materials used for speed and fuel efficiency were impregnated with charcoal dust, which was one of the earliest forms stealth.

Though all but one of the 229 prototypes were destroyed before being completed, Operation Paperclip (which sought to spirit German scientists away to America at the end of the war) ensured that the technology was not lost. Today, the only Nazi jet prototype left on Earth is represented by a static model at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Paul E. Garber Restoration Facility in Maryland while the genuine item undergoes a piecemeal restoration.