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"The Flying Wing - 1946" Topic


14 Posts

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676 hits since 1 Aug 2017
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Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2017 2:14 p.m. PST

"….the swirl of controversy and regret about the Flying Wing and it's ill-fate attempt to become America's first true intercontinental bomber will never fade! Plenty of evil doing and dooers by Convair and corrupt politicians. But the long and short of it was that without modern computerized controls the tailess design would have been hell to control at the high altitudes that would be required for the nuclear mission."

picture

Amicalement
Armand

Augustus02 Aug 2017 7:32 p.m. PST

? First I ever heard of this issue attributed to Northrops project.

Old Wolfman03 Aug 2017 5:58 a.m. PST

Stock footage of her in the air can be seen in the 1953 version of "War Of The Worlds".

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2017 9:45 a.m. PST

You are right my friend!.


Amicalement
Armand

capnvic Inactive Member03 Aug 2017 10:08 a.m. PST

The Flying wing was a fine design, however there were stability issues that plagued the prototype of both the XB-49 and the XB-35. Yes there was some issue with Convair, and the politicians. It was left to the US Air Force to decide. When the B-2 Spirit came along, the technology to correct the inherent stability made it possible for this fine aircraft to come into production.
Unfortunately for Jack Northrop and his company, it was too little too late to save the company. For they had to Merge with Grumman.

coopman03 Aug 2017 10:29 a.m. PST

Years ago I watched a fascinating documentary about this project.

Old Wolfman04 Aug 2017 6:15 a.m. PST

And the design partly inspired by the German Horten aircraft .

Legion 406 Aug 2017 6:10 a.m. PST

And we have the modern version today … The B-2 Bomber, the "Bat Plane" some call it …

VonTed07 Aug 2017 3:54 a.m. PST

I vaguely recall the documentary of the B2, they brought in the earlier wing designer in his wheel chair to show him (after solving various security clearance challenges!). He wept. Pretty moving moment.

Legion 407 Aug 2017 6:10 a.m. PST

Yes, I saw that too … His dream became a reality …

Charlie 1208 Aug 2017 5:56 p.m. PST

And the design partly inspired by the German Horten aircraft .

Not really. More like 'like minds thinking alike'. Jack Northrop had been working on the flying wing concept since the late '20s. His company received the contract for the B-35 in 1941. As the concept was so new, a 1/3 scale prototype (the N-9M, which still flys today) was ordered and flown in 1942 for testing the all wing concept. This would lead to the eventual full scale XB-35 and the later XB-49. So the idea really owed nothing to the considerable efforts of the Horten brothers (which didn't come to light until after the war).

Charlie 1208 Aug 2017 6:01 p.m. PST

Unfortunately for Jack Northrop and his company, it was too little too late to save the company. For they had to Merge with Grumman.

Not true. Northrop Aviation would lose the bomber contract but went on build the F-89 (the last aircraft Jack Northrop directed the design of; he would retire in 1952), the F-5, the T-38, the YF-17 (competitor to the F-16 for the LWF competition) and the YF-23. Only after the Cold War ended (during the wave of mergers among defense contractors) would Northrop buy Grumman to form Northrop-Grumman.

Charlie 1208 Aug 2017 6:43 p.m. PST

I vaguely recall the documentary of the B2, they brought in the earlier wing designer in his wheel chair to show him (after solving various security clearance challenges!). He wept. Pretty moving moment.

In 1980 (just as the new Northrop-Grumman B-2 was beginning to take shape), Jack Northrop, 85 years old, was invited to a briefing by the USAF on the new bomber. Unable to speak and wheelchair bound, he wrote "Now I know why God has kept me alive for 25 years." 10 months later, he would die.

Old Wolfman14 Aug 2017 9:30 a.m. PST

Learn something new every day,Charlie.

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