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Lippisch Gleiter Bombenflugzeug (GB)

Single-Seat Dive Bomber Glider Proposal

Lippisch Gleiter Bombenflugzeug (GB)

Single-Seat Dive Bomber Glider Proposal


The Lippisch Gleiter Bombenflugzeug would have carried a single large bomb and have been released by carrier ship just ahead of the target area.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Nazi Germany
YEAR: 1945
MANUFACTURER(S): Lippisch - Nazi Germany
OPERATORS: Nazi Germany

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Lippisch GB model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 28.48 feet (8.68 meters)
WIDTH: 13.48 feet (4.11 meters)
HEIGHT: 6.07 feet (1.85 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 5,512 pounds (2,500 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 7,716 pounds (3,500 kilograms)
SPEED (MAX): 808 miles-per-hour (1,300 kilometers-per-hour; 702 knots)
CEILING: 26,247 feet (8,000 meters; 4.97 miles)

1 x 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) conventional drop bomb held under the belly.
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Series Model Variants
• Gleiter Bombenflugzeug - Base Project Name


Detailing the development and operational history of the Lippisch Gleiter Bombenflugzeug (GB) Single-Seat Dive Bomber Glider Proposal.  Entry last updated on 5/11/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
Part of the German problem heading into the middle-to-later years of World War 2 (1939-1945) was the shipping lanes used to keep Allied forces resupplied in Europe from America and elsewhere. As such, these routes became battle zones for German aircraft, warships, and submarines to target, hoping to derail or halt any future deliveries of much-needed war-making goods. With this thinking came several novel approaches by German aircraft engineers like Alexander Lippisch to develop bomb delivery systems intended to combat surface ships. The Lippisch "Gleiter Bombenflugzeug" - or "GB" - was one of the promoted solutions but little ever came from the proposal before the end.

The purpose of the GB design was to supply the Luftwaffe with a cost-effective solution - the aircraft carried no internal powerplant, a utilitarian cockpit and relied on basic aerodynamics and controlling to see the mission through. At its core, it was a bombing glider that was to be attached to a "mothership" for its journey to the target. Aircraft like the Junkers Ju 88 / Ju 188 or similar bomber were slated to serve in the carrier role. Once near the target area, the GB would be released with the pilot controlling the high-speed diving action and bomb delivery from there. His return trip was to rely on the glider's inherent qualities as no method of official recovery was actually planned at this point - this most certainly would have limited the GB in terms of range and tactical value had it seen service in the war.

The design of the GB was rather simple yet unique. The pilot was held forward in a fuselage pod making up the cockpit. The aft end of the pod held a stem that ran aft which led to the tail control surfaces. The surfaces encompassed four planes arranged in a cruciform pattern that offered basic flight controls. There were swept-back wing mainplanes fitted to the fuselage pod which added the other necessary flight controls. Since the aircraft was to glide back to friendly territory under its own power, the fuselage could be kept quite compact and no undercarriage would be fitted (landing assumed to be accomplished by way of a belly skid in an open field). A large bomb - in the 1,000 kg range - would be slung under the fuselage of the GB.

In theory the GB attacker was to be released at an altitude of about 8,000 meters ahead of the target area. Diving from this altitude allowed the GB to reach speeds in excess of 800 miles per hour assuming the airframe could hold up to the pressures involved. Release of the aircraft would occur around 10 kilometers from the target in question and, once the war load cleared the dive bomber, a balloon held behind the cockpit would be slowly inflated and opened, retarding the high-speed fall of the GB to an extent.

While never pursued thoroughly this Lippisch design stands as one of the most unique of all the German wartime aircraft proposals. Its actual effectiveness in the grand scope of the war is left to the imagination but there were clearly many hurdles (both technological and operational) that would have to be cleared before the GB design could ever have been considered viable. At any rate, this showed the desperation brewing on the part of the Germans as the war closed in around Berlin. Its years of consistent successes on (and over) the battlefield were clearly behind it and it stood that designs like the GB had some chance in changing the German situation for the better.


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Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 1000mph
Lo: 500mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (808mph).

Graph average of 750 miles-per-hour.
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Unit Production (0)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
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Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
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Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
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Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
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* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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