The Flying Wing Aircraft

The Flying Wing aircraft.

The Flying Wing (in German: Fliegender Flügel) is a fictional aircraft featured Raiders of the Lost Ark.

It was part of the Nazi contingent deployed to Tanis in 1936. Its experimental shape had a forward cockpit for the pilot and a tail gunner position, and some cargo space.

After the Ark of the Covenant was recovered, Colonel Herman Dietrich planned to transport the treasure back to Germany in the plane. However, Indiana Jones and Marion Ravenwood destroyed the plane in an attempt to commandeer it while it was being prepared for takeoff, killing one of the two German Mechanics working on it and the pilot in the process.

With the plane destroyed and Jones on the loose, the Nazis decided to move the Ark from the camp by truck instead.


  • The Nazi Flying Wing was not a real plane. Film production designer Norman Reynolds designed the plane for the film, based on historical Northrop Corporation designs and drawings by Ron Cobb of the Horten Ho 229, a German fighter-bomber developed near the end of World War II. The fake plane was built by Vickers, and was painted in London at EMI Elstree Studios. In order to ship the unwieldy prop to Tunisia, it had to be disassembled and sent piecemeal before being reconstructed on location.
  • Hasbro had also planned to release a Flying Wing for their 3 3/4" action figure line; the cancellation of the Hasbro line, however, has made the release of the toy unlikely in the foreseeable future.
  • After the Flying Wing was destroyed in the film in 1981, the remains of the plane sat quietly in the Tunisian desert, where parts of it was salvaged by prop collectors. In 1991, ten years after the production of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Flying Wing was finally bulldozed and its remains destroyed.
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