Saturday, December 31, 2005

Whoosh - Northrop Flying Wing Exhibit

What is the coolest airplane of all time from a design standpoint?

Ok, I know that's hard to say, since there have been so many unusual and interesting designs. But one school of design worth special note is the "flying wing." (I have special affection for the Crusader, a small, futuristic, 1930's plane of which I shall write more in the future)

The Palm Springs (California) Air Museum, is a museum focusing on World War II combat aircraft and the role their pilots. From what I can see online, they have a very large collection of working aircraft.

Notably, they have a working flying wing.

The museum's website promises a flight demonstration of
Northrop N9MB Flying Wing Flight Demonstration on Feb. 25, 2006 at the
Palm Springs Air Museum
745 North Gene Autry Trail
Palm Springs, California 92262

from the museum's website:
The Flying Wing, designed by Jack Northrop during the early 1940's is a most significant historical aircraft. This radical design was the precursor to the Stealth Bomber. The object of a political controversy, Stuart Symington, Sec'y of Defense under President Truman, ordered the original 13 Flying Wing aircraft and plans destroyed. Original Northup employees restored this Flying Wing over an eight-year period.

If you go, please post pictures and event reports


Ken said...

The Northrop Flying Wing, an independent American development, is most assuredly one of the most innovative aircraft of history. I myself, however, would vote for the Horten HO 9/GO 229 flying wing. It was the culmination of research begun in 1931, when Walter Horten was 16 and a separate development, though coincidental with the Northrop work, of which Germany knew. This aircraft first flew, I believe, in December, 1944, though previous development models flew much earlier. It was designed for quick and cheap manufacture, incorporated primitive stealth technology, and could do almost 500 mph in level flight.

All the information you could ever want is at .

A beautiful rendition of the combat version is at . It makes a fine desktop.

The Nurflugels web site has a comprehensive bibliography to which I would add "Warplanes of the Third Reich", William Green, Galahad Books, 1970, isbn 0-88365-666-3. The GO 229 is on page 247.

cenoxo said...

The coolest design (on paper anyway) was Norman Bel Geddes' huge transoceanic flying boat, Air Liner #4, which he proposed in 1929.

It was more like a flying cruise ship, with a catamaran hull, 528' wing span, nine decks , 600 passengers (staterooms in the wings!), skylit lounge, and a 150 man crew.

Illustrator Andy Lacknow has a fine image of a #4 sailing over a Hugh Ferriss city.

Anonymous said...

As indicated by Ken's comment, Northrop is spelled with two O's and no U. You might want to correct this in your original post.

Anonymous said...

Puzzled my aeronautically-incorrect statement abotu the Northrop B-35/49 Wings I did 20 years of research through gov't microfilms, FOIA and biographies of persons involced in tis competition to manufacture the first dedicated atomic bomber... and fouond/exposed a cover-up, lies, sabotage, and corruption of first AF Secretary Symington by his friend Floyd Odlum, CEO of Convair which was almsot bankrupt... resulting in trashing of a squadron of Wing airframes which, I believe, cojuld have preveneted the Korean War and tamed the Cold War, and saved us taxpayers many billions. It's all in my 2008 book, at
Terrence O'Neill