Northrop YB-49


  Base model:B-49
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1924-Present
  Basic role:Bomber
  First Flew:1947/10/21
  See Also:

  Length: 53.08
  Wingspan: 172
  Wingarea: 4,000.0 sq ft 371.5 sq m
  Gross Weight: 193,938 lb 87,953 kg

  No. of Engines: 8
  Powerplant: Allison J35-A-15

  Range: 3,155 miles 5,080 km
  Cruise Speed: 419 mph 674 km/h 364 kt
  Max Speed: 493 mph 793 km/h 428 kt
  Ceiling: 40,700 ft 12,405 m


Recent comments by our visitors
 Dennis Gordon
 Scribner, NE
I am looking for info on the Douglas/Northrop El Segundo model 9 flying wing medium bomber, Does ANYBODY have info or drawings or links? I am intending to build a balsa model, so ANY info would help.
06/20/2011 @ 15:52 [ref: 39688]
 Steve Anderson
 , NJ
I became facinated with the wing in 1976 and by maps and triangulation found the crash site in Dec. 1978. I think I was probably the first person to visit that site in many years. The area was strewn with hundred of turbine and compressor blades of whih I have maybe 100 or more. I also got parts of the altimeter, plexiglas canopy, and many more items. I know a large part of the leading edge of the center section was there up until the 1960s as they only took the engines, main structure and landing gear away. It was taken by a scrap metal dealer when he learned of all the aluminum there.

I found a lot about the crash from two Northrop techs who worked at Edwards on the wing. Al Word and Bill Chase, both of who are now gone.

Unfortunately I told a couple folks about the where abouts of the crash in the 80's and othe people found it too so I know it has been picked over and not too much remains. I'm glad I got there in 78 to see it and gather some of what was left of the good stuff.

I also worked as an engineer for Northrop in L.A. from 1981 to 1990 and was on the Chino restoration team for the N9MB.

12/12/2010 @ 13:34 [ref: 34193]
 RIch G
 , IL
Interesting web site about the original flying wing. A few comments here. The gearbox problem on the B-35 was caused by the use of counter rotating propellers. The fix was to go to a standard layout of only one prop per engine. The Arado flying wing was the AR 555. Revell made a kit, but it disappeared a few years ago.

Regarding the destructuon of all the flying wings. The US has a great history of not keeping significant airplanes. At the end of WW II, the largest land plane in the world was the Douglas b-19 prototype - it was cut for scrap. Have you ever seen a Convair Dominator or a Northrop Black widow? If there are any left, I'd love to know where just to see one.
06/03/2010 @ 20:02 [ref: 26542]
 , OTH
Russ Schleeh is indeed still alive, I had the pleasure of lunch with him in August and he confirmed that after being thrown from the wreck with a broken back he was well enough to stand up to try and stop the fire crews putting the fire out. Saying \"Let the bl**dy thing burn\"!
11/12/2009 @ 07:54 [ref: 25276]
 John Garner
 Terre Haute, IN
To the gentleman who wants to know the location of the gravesite of John Knudsen Northrop, the information on the website "Find-A-Grave" (google it) says...

John Knudsen Northrop

Birth: Nov. 10, 1895
Essex County
New Jersey, USA
Death: Feb. 18, 1981
California, USA

Chief Engineer for Douglas Aircraft in 1923. In 1932 he founded the Northrop Corporation in El Segundo California with the backing of Donald W. Douglas Sr.


Created by: Paul Kirsten
Record added: Jul 26 2008

If you find out where Jack Northrop's city of residence is you may be able to find more information in the newspaper archives obituaries. There are some VERY GOOD biography videos, one of which, "The Wing Will Fly" contains lots of good information. The cheapest was at ....


I hope this helps.

Good Luck!
09/05/2008 @ 18:54 [ref: 22617]
 Brian Lee Corber
 north hollywood, CA
The flying ing was not in the movie THEM, it was in the movie the war of the worlds, DIRECTED BY bYRON hASKIN, WHICH FEATURED FOOTAGE FROM THE COMMERCIAL FILM "THE STORY OF THE fLYING wING." The actor who played the pilot was James Lawry also known as James Seay. He died in the early 1990s. I think I read that the planes of fame's N-9MB is out of commission due to a fire in flight. Well, because of this site Robert Starling and I have communicated. I believe he produced the discovery channel show "The wing will fly." a great documentary.
06/30/2008 @ 14:19 [ref: 21728]
 Robert Starling
 Riverton, UT
Dear Fellow Flying Wing Enthusiasts,

I've been fascinated by the flying wing ever since seeing them in 1950's movies. I think it was also in the 1954 "Them" about giant ants.

Then I went to work for Northrop in 1984 and spent 9 years on the B-2 program as an audio-visual video producer. I was able to interview many Northrop employees (including the original Northrop YB-49 test pilot Max Stanley) for the 50th anniversary videos, etc. and of course I asked about the YB-49. (I have copies of the audio tapes!)

A touching side note: I was told that the Northrop Corporation executives got special clearance from the USAF which allowed them to visit Jack Northrop shortly before he died and show him a model of the B-2 (whose existence was still classified at that time). They said the 94 yr-old man broke down in tears to see that his dream of a flying wing bomber was finally going to come true. He reportedly said, "Now I know why God allowed me to live this long, to be able to see this".

I also want to see a movie made (similar to "Tucker- A Man and His Dream") about Jack Northrop and the flying wing. I was a consultant for the Discovery Channel's "The Wing Will Fly" and I got to accompany the producers on location to the home of one of Jack's sons in S. Calif. (By the way, Jack may be buried in Santa Barbara, CA where he retired to, but I don't know.)

Little known tidbits about Jack Northrop: He invented slot car racing, but someone stole his idea and made millions. He also invented an adapter "shoe" for outboard motorboats that cheaply and easily converted them into jet-boats. And he built the first ski resort in S. Calif. (Well, he and some friends would go to Snow Summit and put up a temporary rope tow powered by the back wheels of an automobile.

I really home myself or someone can do the movie about the flying wing. There's lots of skullduggery and intrigue involved in the story, possibly including sabotage of the YB-49 and even murder. What a story!

Robert Starling
Riverton, UT
starlingrd@msn.com (May 2008)
05/12/2008 @ 21:13 [ref: 20856]
 California City, CA
I live about 8 miles from Edwards AFB where the Flying Wing was based. I have visted the crash site and it very clear where the plane impacted the ground. You can dig around in the dirt and find bits of wiring and melted metal. I'm glad to see that the pilot's ring was returned to his wife. A few years ago I visited the Planes of Fame Airshow and saw the 1/3 model of the Flying Wing in action. It is truly an amazing airplane. For those of you who are interested in seeing more film of the Flying Wing there is a Popular Science DVD out that has a color segment on the Wing.
03/30/2008 @ 05:49 [ref: 20291]
 James Crowell, formerly of Hawthorn
 , IN
Sadly, it is becoming a bit too late to get first hand accounts in person, since the events took place approximately 60 years ago.

My adolescent years included knowing Mr and Mrs Crozier, he was the mayor of Hawthorne during the War and they owned a machine shop on Prairie Ave, Hawthorne, just north of the airfield, now Hawthorne Airport.

Mrs Crozier hired me (ten years old at the time) to do yard work. They had huge aviaries in the side yard, and I became enchanted with breeding parakeets, at one time having over 200 in my own backyard.

They were good friends with Jack Northrop, and did quite a few sub-assemblies for the company.

Another friend I had was George Dion, who worked on the planes following the War.

Prior to moving to Indiana in 2003, my family supported the Western Museum of Flight, in Hawthorne, located at the northwest corner of the airport. There was a goodly amount of information on the Wings there, as the museum was supported by Northrop. It is now located at Torrance Airport. Most of the large aircraft are stored offsite, though, due to space limitations of the new site.

My dad, Dwight Crowell, worked for North American Aviation, at the Los Angeles Airport location. He was part of the teams that developed the X-15, B-70, Apollo, and several proposals for fighter aircraft, including their version of the F-15.

Currently, models in 1/72nd scale of the Wings have been discontinued by AMT, but may be redone at some time in the future. On Ebay, they currently go for about $100-$130 each.

I plan on building the B-35, B-49 and RB-49 with the underslung engines, which reminds me of a throwback in looks to the early 30s.

The original building in which Northrop Aviation was chartered is still (?) on Hawthorne Blvd. It went from a hotel to a bowling alley to a school district office. If I remember correctly, it is located on Hawthorne Blvd between Rosecrans to the south and El Segundo on the north on the east side of the street. It is brick (?).
01/31/2008 @ 04:19 [ref: 19485]
 Mill Creek, WA
My father was a sheet metal engineer at Northrop, and worked on most of the major programs from the N3PB through to the F-5.
He always mentioned that the gearboxes on the B-35 engines were a constantly recurring problem which was never solved.
My mother, on the other hand always would remind him that when my brother was born, he was at Northrop Field watching the first flight of the B-35.
01/30/2008 @ 04:33 [ref: 19472]


Recent photos uploaded by our visitors