Messerschmitt Me P.08-01 (Amerika Bomber) Multirole Heavy Flying Wing Aircraft Proposal
The Messerschmitt Me P.08-01 Amerika Bomber was a German design study into the prospect of a multirole, long-range flying wing during World War 2.
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Even as early as 1938, Nazi Germany made plans for an eventual war against the United States. It was understood that the U.S. would come to the aid of its allies in Europe so, to force American attention on its own defense (and thus take resources away from allies in France and Britain), the United States would become a direct target of German bombers. The major problem for the Luftwaffe at this time was its lack of long-range heavy bombers capable of carrying out such a monumental journey with a full war load. Thus the foundation was set for the "Amerika Bomber" program requiring a bomb delivery platform capable of crossing the Atlantic and making the return home - an inherent range of 3,600 miles was the listed project goal. Targets of particular interest were along the American East Coast - New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, etc...
Ultimately there proved many takers in support of the program - Horten, Messerschmitt, Focke-Wulf, Heinkel, Junkers all threw their hats into the ring in one way or another - but the project did not gain official steam until early-1942 when the United States officially committed to the war effort. For its part, Messerschmitt developed the "Me P.08-01", a large, multirole "flying wing" which emerged from design work in 1941. It was thought that the massive aircraft would be worth the investment if it went beyond its expected heavy bomber role - serving the Luftwaffe as heavy-lift transport, an airspace denial platform, long range reconnaissance / maritime patrol system, and possibly "mothership" for towed glider-fighters.
The design utilized an all-wing approach, lacking any true, defined tail unit save for a sole vertical fin. The cockpit was seated at the apex of the "arrow" type shape and the wing planform had swept-back leading edges with a partially swept-back trailing edge design (the area near center mass was straight-edged). All of the crew sections were concentrated in the center mass of the aircraft with a hold separating the flight deck and rear quarters. The hold provided enough internal space to carry a combat tank, this loaded into the aircraft by war of a rear-facing ramp. A tricycle undercarriage was therefore a requirement of the design, adding enough ground clearance for the spinning propeller blades as well as enough overhead clearance for cargo to clear the belly of the aircraft when loading / unloading. It is assumed that there would have been various defensive armament positions in the form of cannon-armed turrets - either in the nose or tail of the aircraft (or both) - though nothing was defined regarding this.