Northrop XB-35 "Flying Wing"

XB-35 sideview XB-35 bottom view

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.
USAF archives on this aircraft, click here.
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia here.
(updated February 2009)

Northrop XB-35 "Flying Wing"
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

	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

	No. of Engines:	4
	Powerplant: 	two Pratt & Whitney R-4360-17 radials
		 	two R-4360-21 Wasp Major radials
	Horsepower:	3000 hp each

	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

(go to Northrop page)

If this page does not have a navigational frame on the left, click HERE to see the rest of the website.