This Day in Aviation History
October 21st, 1947
First flight of the Northrop YB-49 jet-powered Flying Wing.
The Northrop YB-49 was a prototype jet-powered heavy bomber aircraft developed by Northrop Corporation shortly after World War II for service with the U.S. Air Force. The YB-49 featured a Flying Wing design and was a jet-powered development of the earlier, piston-engined Northrop XB-35 and YB-35. The two YB-49s actually built were both converted YB-35 test aircraft.
The YB-49 never entered production, being passed over in favor of the more conventional Convair B-36 piston-driven design. Design work performed in the development of the YB-35 and YB-49 nonetheless proved to be valuable to Northrop decades later in the eventual development of the B-2 stealth bomber, which entered service in the early 1990s.
With the XB-35 program seriously behind schedule by 1944, and the end of piston-engined combat aircraft in sight, the production contract for this propeller-driven type was cancelled in May of that year. Nevertheless, the Flying Wing design was still sufficiently interesting to the Air Force that work was continued on testing a single YB-35A production aircraft.
Among the aircraft later completed were two airframes that the Air Force ordered be fitted with jet propulsion and designated as YB-49s. The first of these new YB-49 jet-powered aircraft flew on 21 October 1947 and immediately proved more promising than….
Wikipedia, Northrop YB-49:
YouTube, The Story of the Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing – Restored Color – 1949: The Story of the Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing – Restored Color – 1949
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