USA: Experimental Aircraft: Northrop YB-49

Northrop YB-49

(USAF Photo)

The Northrop YB-49 was an American prototype jet-powered heavy bomber developed by Northrop Corporation shortly after World War II for service with the United States Air Force. The YB-49 featured a flying wing design and was a turbojet-powered development of the earlier, piston-engined Northrop XB-35 and YB-35. The two YB-49s built were both converted YB-35 test aircraft.

(USAF Photo)

Northrop YB-49 in flight over desert, probably in the vicinity of Muroc, California.

(USAF Photo)

Northrop YRB-49 Flying wing, a heavy bomber prototype. This was the sixth and last of the original flying wings flown by Northrop. Note the two jet engines on under-wing pods (one is visible here just forward of the leading edge).

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. (Wikipedia)

(USAF Photo)

Northrop YRB-49A flying wing bomber.

(USAF Photo)

Following the termination of the B-49 project, the Air Force opted to finance the conversion of the tenth YB-35 (42-102376) into a test platform for an unarmed, long-range photographic reconnaissance variant. This modified version was designated as the YRB-49A, also referred to as Model NS-41 by the company.The aircraft was outfitted with four 5000 lb.s.t. Allison J35-A-19 engines, with two engines per side integrated into the wings. Additionally, two more J35 engines were mounted in pods beneath the wing's leading edge.

(USAF Photo)

Northrop YRB-49A flying wing bomber.

(USAF Photo)

Northrop YRB-49A flying wing bomber, Muroc AFB, California, 1948.

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