Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks
Aviation / Aerospace

Gotha Go P.60C

All-Weather / Nightfighter Aircraft [ 1945 ]

The Gotha Project 60C jet-powered nightfighter was conceived of in the final months of World War 2.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/26/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Gotha Project 60C nightfighter was another late-war "paper airplane" design attempt intended to defend the Reich from the masses of enemy bombers attacking Germany with impunity in the waning months of World War 2. Like other similar late-war developments of the time, the aircraft was to be powered by turbine jets as well as rocket propulsion for exceptional performance at altitude and it would have been rushed into production should the war have been extended several more months. However, Project 60C never materialized beyond the design stage though many believe that the type would have received the "green light" should the war proceeded beyond the summer of 1945. With that said, no operational examples of the Project 60C were ever produced leaving the aircraft to the pages of military aviation history and nothing more.

By the spring of 1945, the war for Germany was turning into a noticeably losing effort. The daily and nightly Allied bombing campaigns were certainly taking a toll on all sorts of German war-making capabilities and the defense of Germany itself was now the primary concern - the Allies were closing in from the West and East now. As such, the German Air Ministry enacted what would become many last-ditch efforts to try to capitalize on the newfound technologies of rocket and jet propulsion in building a new generation of fighters and bombers. To help counter the Allied bomber scourge raking German infrastructure and factories, the Air Ministry sent forth a new requirement on February 27th, 1945 centering on the development of a specialized jet-powered, all-weather nightfighter. The aircraft would utilize two turbines for high-speed, high-level performance, cannon armament to contend with the large-target bombers and sport a radar facility for tracking and engaging targets in the dark of night or in adverse weather conditions. Top speed would have to be no less than 900kmh (approximately 559mph).

German aviation firms were quick to respond, knowing the potentially lucrative defense contracts that could follow. Five concerns submitted their designs and these included works from well-established firms - Arado, Blohm & Voss, Dornier, Focke-Wulf and Gothaer Waggonfabrik AG (or simply "Gotha"). A total of seven designs were actually submitted with Arado and Focke-Wulf each delivering two to further their chances at fulfilling the requirement. The Air Ministry was impressed with the estimated performance specifications of the Gotha submission (known as Projekt 60C) for they either met or vastly exceeded the required numbers. It was estimated that the Project 60C design could hit 974kmh (606mph) out to distances of 2,700 miles with a rate-of-climb nearing 3,500 feet per minute. The latter figure was of particular note considering the quick-reaction nature required of intercepting aircraft.

In essence, the Gotha design was a further evolution of their previous "Project 60B". However, the Project 60C was an enlarged and lengthened version of that preceding design and featured a crew of two or three seated conventionally. The Project 60B was dimensionally smaller and forced its pilot to lie prone - a rather unconventional way to fly an aircraft especially over long periods of time. The Project 60C was to be powered by a combination of turbine jet engines and a rocket booster. This pairing would enable the aircraft to reach exceptional speeds and altitudes in a short amount of time. Jet propulsion would be provided through 2 x Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 series turbine engines developing 2,866lbs of thrust each. Added power would be supplied by 1 x Walter HWK solid-fueled booster rocket managing an output of 4,400lbs thrust. The booster rocket would be used during the initial take-off action and assist the aircraft in achieving altitude within minutes. The engines would be paired in an "over-under" fashion at the rear of the fuselage and held externally for ease of maintenance and replacement by ground personnel.©MilitaryFactory.com
The overall aircraft design was to be more akin to a delta-shaped "flying wing" with only small vertical tail fins fitted near the wingtip trailing edges (for stability) for the wing elements and fuselage were well integrated into one another - as almost a single complete piece. The cockpit would be set forward in the design (just ahead of amidships) and consist of a lightly framed canopy. The undercarriage was to be tricycle in its arrangement with two single-wheeled main legs and a single-wheeled nose leg. The nose leg was ahead and under the cockpit floor while the main legs were set along the fuselage undersides - all three fully retractable. Radar would be housed in the nose cone assembly which forced the cockpit rearwards. The aircraft's wingspan measured at just over 44 feet. Aircraft weight estimates included 18,500lbs when empty and 25,100lbs when fully laden with fuel and ammunition stores.

Proposed armament for the Project 60C was to be a battery of cannon installations. This included 4 x MK 108 series autocannons in fixed, forward-firing mounts for engaging targets ahead of the aircraft. However, one of the more interesting additions would have been the 3 x MK 108 series cannons mounted to fire obliquely upwards. What this did was allow the crew to bring their aircraft underneath the lesser-protected portions of enemy bombers and engage nearly at will. Cannons had proven to the Germans of great value, particularly when trying to bring down large bomber aircraft that could absorb a great deal of punishment (when compared to machine gun-only arrangements).

While the Project 60C was the intriguing selection to win the Air Ministry contract, there were those within the ranks that saw fit to question the viability of certain design elements inherent in the Gotha submission. This included the rather unconventional placement of the engines at a time when it made sense to fit engines within the fuselage proper and, thusly, keep an aerodynamic shape in check. The argument centered around the airflow passing over the fuselage front and wing leading edges into a rear-set, externally-mounted engine fitting - therefore degrading the power of said engine. Gotha chief engineer Dr. Rudolf Gothert successfully argued the merits of his approach, citing improved performance at high speeds.

Despite the work already underway, the war for Germany had come to a close in May of 1945. Hitler was dead via suicide and the Germans were either surrendering in droves or fighting to the last. The Soviets had captured the heart of Berlin and the war in Europe formally ended. With the end of the war so too ended the hope of many designs still on the drawing boards of various German aviation firms. As such, the Project 60C only ever existed on paper and no known mockups or prototypes were ever built. While no clear winner of the Air Ministry proposal was ever declared, many observers suggest that the Gotha Project 60C held the most advantage and was a clear favorite to win the competition.

Beyond the nightfighting version of the Project 60C, Gotha engineers also drew up plans for a dayfighter version sans the radar facility. In this design, the nose was reworked to a more aerodynamically efficient "dart-like" hollow assembly (due to the lack of radar) and the crew would have been reduced to one or two personnel. Beyond that, the basic design layout would have remained largely the same.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

Nazi Germany national flag graphic
Nazi Germany

Development Ended.
1, 2 or 3


Gothaer Waggonfabrik AG - Nazi Germany
(View other Aviaton-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany Nazi Germany
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

35.8 ft
(10.90 m)
44.3 ft
(13.50 m)
Empty Wgt
18,519 lb
(8,400 kg)
25,133 lb
(11,400 kg)
Wgt Diff
+6,614 lb
(+3,000 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Gotha Go P.60C production variant)
Installed: 2 x Heinkel-Hirth HeS 011 turbine engines developing 2,866lb of thrust each; 1 x Walter HWK solid-fuel rocket providing up to 4,400lb of thrust.
Max Speed
605 mph
(974 kph | 526 kts)
47,244 ft
(14,400 m | 9 mi)
1,030 mi
(1,658 km | 3,071 nm)
3,480 ft/min
(1,061 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Gotha Go P.60C production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
4 x 30mm MK 108 fixed, forward-firing cannons
3 x 30mm MK 108 fixed oblique-angled cannons

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft automatic cannon

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0

Project 60C (Nightfighter) - Base Series Designation; crew of three.
Project 60C (Dayfighter) - Proposed day-fighting variant sans radar installationl revised nose assembly and crew of two.

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
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
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.

Images Gallery

1 / 1
Image of the Gotha Go P.60C
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons.

View day-by-day actions of the American Civil War with CivilWarTimeline.net. View day-by-day actions of World War II with SecondWorldWarHistory.com.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)