In 1941 Northrop was given a contract to develop a single long-range heavy bomber prototype, utilizing Northrop's flying wing design. It was given the designation XB-35, and while testing continued the contract was expanded to include a second prototype, then 13 test aircraft (designated YB-35), and finally an order for 200 production B-35s. Numerous engineering problems were encountered (including serious engine and propeller gear box difficulties), which delayed development to the point where the bomber would not be ready for WWII. Knowing this (and that upcoming jet bomber designs would soon make the XB-35 obsolete), the USAF canceled the production orders, and reduced the XB-35 program to testing only. Three of the YB-35s were then to be developed with jet engines, and these were re-designated YB-49s. The first flight of the XB-35 was finally made in June of 1946. With the YB-49s a more serious contender, the XB-35/YB-35 program was finally ended, with all prototypes being scrapped in 1949. The YB-49 program continued on into the 1950's, but it too was eventually canceled. Knowledge from these programs did not entirely go to waste, however, as some of it was used in the development of the B-2 Stealth bomber decades later.For more data on this aircraft, click here for Joe Baugher's webpage.
Type: heavy bomber Crew: 9 Armament: (first YB-35 only) 3 sets of 4 .50 cal machine guns in turrets two .50 cal machine guns each in 4 barbettes Specifications: Length: 20' 1" Height: 53' 1" Wingspan: 172' 0" Wing area: 4000 sq. ft Empty Weight: 89,560 lb Gross Weight: 180,000 lb Max Weight: 209,000 lb Propulsion: No. of Engines: 4 Powerplant: two Pratt & Whitney R-4360-17 radials two R-4360-21 Wasp Major radials Horsepower: 3000 hp each Performance: Range: 8150 miles at 183 mph with a 16,000 pound bombload 720 miles at 240 mph with 51,070 pounds of bombs Cruise Speed: 183 mph Max Speed: 391 mph at 35,000 feet Ceiling: 39,700 ft
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