First Flights of the Northrop YB-49 Flying Wing
1948 (Digitally Restored)

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There was a picture of a Flying Wing on my kite when I was a kid, one of the coolest designs ever! This film was produced by the US Air Force and Northrop to show the first test flights of the YB-49 Flying Wing at Northrop' s Hawthorne, California facility, introducing it to the American public for the first time. The YB-49 was a redesign of the propeller driven B-35, upgraded with six GE Allison jet engines and various structural design improvements. The revolutionary design and almost other worldly, alien spacecraft-like lines of the jet powered Wing are highlighted in this very clean black and white footage. Its radar signature was very small. "The Wing" is revealingly shown at all angles, including up close on the ground and in flight. The YB-49s most memorable moment was dropping an atomic bomb on alien invaders in the 1953 classic SiFi film "The War of the Worlds."

The Northrop B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is a direct decedent of the YB-49. Modern "fly by wire" computer control helped overcome the handling problems that limited the effectiveness of the the original design. Northrop never gave up on the concept and it paid off.
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X-treme Bombers: The Northrop YB-49 Flying Wing
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Four films & two pilot's manuals

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