Northrop YB-35 / YB-49 / B-2 Flying Wings PDF eBook + Aircraft Flight Manuals

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February 1986

  • North American XB-70 Valkyrie
  • Northrop’s YB-49 Flying Wing

December 1988

  • Northrop’s top secret flying wing interceptor, the XP-56 Black Bullet
  • Mission from Da Nang, Vietnam
  • Air defense, the new Air Guard mission

February 1990

  • Interview the designer of the B-2 Stealth Bomber

April 1996

  • Replacing SAC Air Combat Command
  • How Spitfire & Typhoon were Converted for Tactical Close Support

April 1997

  • Northrop’s Flying Wing Prototypes
  • 1937 Army Air Corps Maneuvers
  • Conquering the Arctic, the Great 1929 Trans-Siberian Flight

July 1998

  • Rocket-powered Kamakazes, Japan’s last ditch suicide flying bombs
  • XP-56 Black Bullet, Prototype Mustang
  • Flying Wing Bombers
  • F-89 Scorpion
  • SM-62 Snark

March 2000

  • America’s Fighter War in the Pacific
  • The Great SuperBomber Fly-Off

March 2004

  • World War II Bombing
  • X-15 Accidents
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Passenger Helicopters
  • Cross Flying Wing Concept

March 2005

  • Me-262 – First Jet Fighter, the real story
  • Boeing’s Flying Wings – Would they have had a chance in World War II?
  • Factory Fresh: F-104 Starfighter
  • Caravelle! World’s first rear-engine jet

May 2006

  • British aviation firsts – VTOL fighters to jet airliner to aircraft carrier deck
  • Did Pratt’s biggest engine power the XB-35 flying wing?
  • Douglas RB-66 – Secret recon jet of the cold war
  • R-4360 WASP major

Manuals & Photos

  • XB-35 Pilot’s Handbook
  • XB-35 Erection & Maintenance, 1947
  • YB-49 Flight Handbook, 1949
  • YRB-49A Flight Handbook, 1950
  • YB35-YB49 Parts Catalog, 1948
  • Over 375 photos of the Northrop X324, MX334, N1M, N9M, XP79, XB-35, YB-49, and B-2 Flying Wings

Northrop Flying Wings

Northrop YB-35

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 9: pilot, copilot, bombardier, navigator, engineer, radio operator, three gunners
  • Length: 53 ft 1 in (16.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 172 ft (52.2 m)
  • Height: 20 ft 3 in (6.2 m)
  • Wing area: 4,000 ft² (371.6 m²)
  • Aspect ratio: 7.4
  • Fuselage diameter: 9 ft 6 in (2.9 m)
  • Empty weight: 89,300 lb (40,590 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 180,000 lb (81,647 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 209,000 lb (94,802 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360-17 and 2× R-4360-21 radial engines, 3,000 hp (2,237 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 393 mph (632 km/h)
  • Range: 8,150 mi (13,100 km)
  • Service ceiling: 39,700 ft (12,100 m)
  • Rate of climb: 625 ft/min (3.2 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 45 lb/ft² (220 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.07 hp/lb (0.11 kW/kg)


  • Guns: 20 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M3 Browning machine guns
  • Bombs: 51,070 lb (23,210 kg)

Northrop YB-49

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 6
  • Length: 53 ft 1 in (16.18 m)
  • Wingspan: 172 ft 0 in (52.43 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 2 in (4.6 m)
  • Wing area: 4,000 ft² (371.6 m²)
  • Airfoil: NACA 65-019 root, NACA 65-018 tip
  • Empty weight: 88,442 lb (40,116 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 133,569 lb (60,585 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 193,938 lb (87,969 kg)
  • Aspect ratio: 7.2
  • Powerplant: 8 (6 J35-A-19 on the YRB-49A) × Allison J35-A-15 turbojets, 4,000 (5,000 for J35-A-19) lbf (17 kN) each


  • Maximum speed: 493 mph (793 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 365 mph (587 km/h)
  • Range: 9,978 mi (16,057 km) maximum[19]
  • Combat radius: 1,615 mi (1,403 nmi, 2,599 km) with 10,000 lb bombload
  • Service ceiling: 45,700 ft (13,900 m)
  • Rate of climb: 3,785 ft/min (19.2 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 33 lb/ft² (163 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.23


  • Guns: 4 × .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns (to be mounted in rotating “stinger” tail cone on all production aircraft)
  • Bombs: 16,000 lb (7,260 kg) of ordnance

Northrop-Grumman B-2A Block 30 Spirit

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 2: pilot (left seat) and mission commander (right seat)
  • Length: 69 ft (21.0 m)
  • Wingspan: 172 ft (52.4 m)
  • Height: 17 ft (5.18 m)
  • Wing area: 5,140 ft² (478 m²)
  • Empty weight: 158,000 lb (71,700 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 336,500 lb (152,200 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 376,000 lb (170,600 kg)
  • Fuel Capacity: 167,000 pounds (75,750 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × General Electric F118-GE-100 non-afterburning turbofans, 17,300 lbf (77 kN) each


  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.95 (550 knots, 630 mph, 1,010 km/h) at 40,000 ft altitude / Mach 0.95 at sea level
  • Cruise speed: Mach 0.85 (487 knots, 560 mph, 900 km/h) at 40,000 ft altitude
  • Range: 6,000 nmi (11,100 km (6,900 mi))
  • Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,200 m)
  • Wing loading: 67.3 lb/ft² (329 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.205


  • 2 internal bays for ordnance and payload with an official limit of 40,000 lb (18,000 kg); maximum estimated limit is 50,000 lb (23,000 kg).
    • 80× 500 lb class bombs (Mk-82, GBU-38) mounted on Bomb Rack Assembly (BRA)
    • 36× 750 lb CBU class bombs on BRA
    • 16× 2,000 lb class bombs (Mk-84, GBU-31) mounted on Rotary Launcher Assembly (RLA)
    • 16× B61 or B83 nuclear bombs on RLA (strategic mission)
    • Standoff weapon: AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) and AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM).

B-2 Aircraft Status

Air Vehicle No. Block No. USAF s/n Formal name Time in service, status
AV-1 Test/30 82-1066 Spirit of America 14 July 2000 – Active
AV-2 Test/30 82-1067 Spirit of Arizona 4 December 1997 – Active
AV-3 Test/30 82-1068 Spirit of New York 10 October 1997 – Active
AV-4 Test/30 82-1069 Spirit of Indiana 22 May 1999 – Active
AV-5 Test/20 82-1070 Spirit of Ohio 18 July 1997 – Active
AV-6 Test/30 82-1071 Spirit of Mississippi 23 May 1997 – Active
AV-7 10 88-0328 Spirit of Texas 21 August 1994 – Active
AV-8 10 88-0329 Spirit of Missouri 31 March 1994 – Active
AV-9 10 88-0330 Spirit of California 17 August 1994 – Active
AV-10 10 88-0331 Spirit of South Carolina 30 December 1994 – Active
AV-11 10 88-0332 Spirit of Washington 29 October 1994 – Severely damaged by fire in February 2010, repaired.
AV-12 10 89-0127 Spirit of Kansas 17 February 1995 – 23 February 2008, crashed
AV-13 10 89-0128 Spirit of Nebraska 28 June 1995 – Active
AV-14 10 89-0129 Spirit of Georgia 14 November 1995 – Active
AV-15 10 90-0040 Spirit of Alaska 24 January 1996 – Active
AV-16 10 90-0041 Spirit of Hawaii 10 January 1996 – Active
AV-17 20 92-0700 Spirit of Florida 3 July 1996 – Active
AV-18 20 93-1085 Spirit of Oklahoma 15 May 1996 – Active, Flight Test
AV-19 20 93-1086 Spirit of Kitty Hawk 30 August 1996 – Active
AV-20 30 93-1087 Spirit of Pennsylvania 5 August 1997 – Active
AV-21 30 93-1088 Spirit of Louisiana 10 November 1997 – Active
AV-22 through AV-165 Cancelled

Northrop N-1M

General Characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 17 ft 11 in (5.46 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 8 in (11.79 m)
  • Height: 4 ft 11 in (1.50 m)
  • Wing area: 350 sq ft (33 m2) (approx)
  • Gross weight: 3,900 lb (1,769 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Lycoming O-145 four-cylinder horizontally opposed air-cooled piston engines, 65 hp (48 kW) each (original engines)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Franklin 6AC-264F2 six-cylinder air-cooled horizontally opposed piston engines, 117 hp (87 kW) each (after reengining)


  • Maximum speed: 200 mph (322 km/h; 174 kn)
  • Range: 300 mi (261 nmi; 483 km)
  • Service ceiling: 4,000 ft (1,200 m)

Northrop N-9M

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 1 observer (N9MB)
  • Length: 17 ft 9 in (5.4 m)
  • Wingspan: 60 ft 0 in (18.3 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 7 in (2 m)
  • Wing area: 490 sq ft (45.5 m2)
  • Airfoil: NACA 65-019
  • Empty weight: 5,893 lb (2,673 kg)
  • Gross weight: 13,946 lb (6,326 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Menasco C6S-4 “Buccaneer” 6-cyl. supercharged inverted air-cooled in-line piston engine, 275 hp (205 kW) each (N-9MB) 2x Franklin XO-540-7, 300 hp (224 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 258 mph (415 km/h; 224 kn)
  • Range: 500 mi (434 nmi; 805 km)
  • Service ceiling: 21,500 ft (6,600 m)

Northrop XP-56 Black Bullet

General Characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Length: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
  • Wingspan: 42 ft 6 in (12.96 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 0 in (3.35 m)
  • Wing area: 306 ft² (28.44 m²)
  • Empty weight: 8,700 lb (3,955 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 11,350 lb (5,159 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 12,145 lb (5,520 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-29 radial, 2,000 hp (1,492 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 465 mph at 25,000 ft (749 km/h)
  • Range: 660 miles (1,063 km)
  • Service ceiling: 33,000 ft (10,061 m)
  • Rate of climb: 3,125 ft/min at 15,000 ft (953 m/min)
  • Wing loading: 37 lb/ft² (181 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.18 hp/lb (0.96 kW/kg)


  • 2 × 20 mm (.79 in) cannons
  • 4 × .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns

Northrop XP-79B

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 13.98 ft (4.26 m)
  • Wingspan: 37.99 ft (11.58 m)
  • Height: 7.58 ft (2.31 m)
  • Wing area: 278 sq ft (25.8 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 5.19
  • Airfoil: NACA 66,2-018
  • Empty weight: 5,842 lb (2,650 kg)
  • Gross weight: 8,669 lb (3,932 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 300 US gal (250 imp gal; 1,100 l)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Westinghouse 19B axial flow turbojet, 1,150 lbf (5.1 kN) thrust each


  • Maximum speed: 547 mph (880 km/h; 475 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 480 mph (772 km/h; 417 kn)
  • Range: 993 mi (863 nmi; 1,598 km)
  • Endurance: 2.45 hours
  • Service ceiling: 40,000 ft (12,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 4,000 ft/min (20 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 31 lb/sq ft (150 kg/m2)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.27 lbf/lb (0.0026 kN/kg)


  • Guns: 4x 0.5 in (12.70 mm) machine-guns


  • NS-12 – Northrop company designation for the MX-324 programme.
  • NS-14 – Northrop designation for the XP-79 programme.
  • MX-324 – The “secret” designation for the powered version of the MX-334 glider. Only used for the no.2 glider, when powered by a single 200 lbf (890 N) Aerojet XCAL-200 liquid-fuelled rocket engine.
  • MX-334 – The designation used to describe the pure glider version ( including the no.2 aircraft before it was fitted with the rocket engine).
  • MX-365 – The USAAC project number for the XP-79 programme
  • XP-79 – The initial design for a rocket powered fighter, to have been powered by 2 x 2,000 lbf (8,900 N) Aerojet XCAL-2000 liquid-fuelled rocket engine.
  • XP-79B – Three aircraft were ordered but only one was completed, crashing on its first flight on 12 September 1945.

The Story of the Northrop YB- 49 Flying Wing, 1949

The Flying Wing was the brainchild of Jack Northrop, who started work on the concept in the 1930s. Northrop advocated “The Wing” as a means of reducing drag and structural weight. It may be hard to believe today, but the original Northrop Flying Wing’s innovative design was often used against it by detractors from competing aircraft companies. So, Northrop Aircraft produced this information film to extol the Wings virtues and answer her critics. The result is a film that gives a compelling overview of the principles of advantages of the Wing design, delivered by Northrop’s Director of Engineering, Harrison F. Burke. You’ll see color film of the jet powered Wing in operation, supplemented by an extensive use of instructive animations. You’ll learn about the role of drag in flight in relation to efficiency in aircraft design, the advantages of a swept wing, the inherent advantages in structural integrity of the Wing design, simplicity and ease of maintenance, the role of center of gravity in tail design and more.

Northrop YB-49 Flying Wing Promo Film – 1948

Flying Wings – John K. Northrop’s Final Interview, 1979

Northrop Flying Wing Flight Testing from N-1 to B-2

Bill Flanagan presents the history of flight testing the Northrop Flying Wings from the N-1 to the B-2.

A Tribute to Jack Northrop and His Flying Wings

Roy Wolford shares stories, photographs, and videos from his 61 years with Northrop, including 40 years as photo department manager. He flew in chase aircraft to photographically many historical test flights.

History of the Flying Wing, with Larry Rinek

Larry Rinek has spoken previously at various CAF – Golden Gate Wing dinner events in Alameda, reviewing famous USAF aircraft from the Cold War era. He is a published aviation historian, a guest lecturer in aero engineering for five universities, a former USAF officer, and a Senior Technology Consultant at Frost & Sullivan in Mountain View, CA.

Northrop YB-49 “Flying Wing” – Taxing, Take Off & Flight Operations, 1947

The Wing Will Fly

The story of the wing prototypes which became the test bed for even the most advanced aircraft of today namely the B-2 Stealth Bomber. Was sabotage really responsible for the crash of the XB-79 and YB-49?

First Flights of the Northrop YB-49 Flying Wing, 1948

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 YB-49s most memorable moment was dropping an atomic bomb on alien invaders in the 1953 classic science fiction film “The War of the Worlds.”

Restored 1943 Northrop Flying Wing Demonstration

This video is of the fourth (and last) 1/3-scale flying wing (the N-9MB) built by Northrop in 1943 to support the development and testing of the full-size flying wing being built at that time, the XB-35. This aircraft is the sole survivor of the original four N-9s. The N-9MB was used for testing the flight characteristics of the flying wing design and to familiarize pilots in the handling of this unusual aircraft. The N-9MB was restored by volunteers of the Planes of Fame Museum (Chino, CA) over a period of about 13 years and now (2011) is flown to many California air shows. It is powered by two Franklin aircooled, 8-cylinder, 540 cubic inch, horizontally opposed, 300-hp engines, of which only three are known to exist today of the 27 originally built. The propellers are driven by extension shafts that utilize fluid-drive couplers (torque converters). The couplers help to reduce engine/propeller vibration problems associated with the long propeller shafts. The top speed is about 258 mph and the range is about 500 miles.

Northrop XP-79B Prototype and Hermit Project

Video is best viewed with your sound muted. Film from the Gerald Balzer Collection, Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum, which was digitized by the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

Northrop Flying Wing Buzz Bomb N-9N

Film from the Gerald Balzer Collection, Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum, which was digitized by the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

Northrop XP-56 Black Bullet

The XP-56 Black Bullet was a unique prototype fighter interceptor built by Northrop. It was one of the most radical of the experimental aircraft built during World War II. The idea for this single-seat, initially tail-less, airplane originated in 1939 as the Northrop N2B model. It was designed around the Pratt & Whitney liquid-cooled X-1800 engine in a pusher configuration driving contra-rotating propellers. Design was ordered on June 22, 1940, and a prototype aircraft was ordered on September 26, 1940. Shortly after work had begun, Pratt & Whitney, however, stopped development of the X-1800. The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine was substituted, although it was considered not entirely suitable. In parallel, flight trials of the configuration were conducted on the Model N1M airframe with a wing similar to that planned for the XP-56. Two small Lycoming engines powered this aircraft. These trials confirmed the stability of the radical design and the need for a second prototype, which was ordered on February 13, 1942. Taxi tests of the XP-56 began in April 1943 during which a serious yaw problem was discovered that was thought to be caused by the wheel brakes. Manual hydraulic brakes were installed and the aircraft flew on September 30, 1943 at Muroc Air Base in southern California. After a number of flights, the first XP-56 was destroyed when the tire on the left gear blew out. A number of changes were made to the second prototype, including re-ballasting to move the center-of-gravity forward and increasing the size of the upper vertical tail, and the plane flew on March 23, 1944. The pilot had difficulty lifting the nose wheel below 160 mph. This flight lasted less than eight minutes but subsequent flights were longer, and the nose heaviness disappeared when the landing gear was retracted. Only relatively low speeds were attained, however. While urging NACA to investigate the inability to attain designed speeds, further flight tests were made. On the tenth flight the pilot noted extreme tail heaviness, lack of power, and excessive fuel consumption. Flight testing, then, was ceased as too hazardous, and the project was abandoned after a year of inactivity.

Inside the B-2 Stealth Bomber

The Northrop (later Northrop-Grumman) B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, is an American heavy strategic bomber, featuring low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses; it is able to deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons. The bomber has a crew of two and can drop up to eighty 500 lb (230 kg)-class (Mk 82) JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400 lb (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs. The B-2 is the only known aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.

B-2 Stealth Bomber

Take a never-before-seen look inside the world’s most powerful and most deadly aircraft – The B-2 Stealth Bomber.

B-2 Flight Test

Northrop Grumman B-2 Chief Test Pilot Don Weiss and Aerospace Systems Sector Chief Test Pilot Troy Johnson present an overview of 25 Years of Flight Test on the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Northrop N-9M Flying Wing, Northrop XP-56 Black Bullet Test Flights

Film from the Gerald Balzer Collection, Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum, which was digitized by the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

Northrop N1M & N1M-2 Flying Wings

The Northrop N1M and N1M-2 Flying wings. Extremely rare color video of the first flight and following flights of the Northrop flying wing prototypes.
This film was shot in 1940. These aircraft were the pioneers of flying wing design in America and were the foundation for the N9M series of flying wings and eventually evolved into the modern day B-2 Spirit bomber. The ultimate flying wing. This genius design is thanks to Jack Northrop, who designed and built the YB-35 and YB-49 flying wing bombers of the 1940’s. The YB-35 was developed from the XB-35 and was designed to eliminate drag and weight to maximize ordinance load and range. The YB-35 was powered by 4 Pratt-Whitney R-4360 Radial engines powering a contra-rotating Prop system in the pusher configeration. The YB-49 was derived from the YB-35 airframes modified for jet engines. When the government cancelled the flying wings, all remaining flying wings were scrapped. The only airframes to escape this fate were the original prototype aircraft, the N1M and the later N9M. The N1M is on display at the Air Force museum and the N9M was stored in Marina Del Rey until it was obtained by Ed Maloney, a pioneer of American Aviation museums and was painfully restored over a 10 year period. Dad also spent many years on the restoration project for the N9M as one of the few people still around at that time who had any actual experience in construction of the original flying wings. The N9M is currently in flight status, is owned and being flown by the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California. Visit the Planes of Fame air museum web site at: