Northrop MX-334 and MX-324

Steve Pace

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The MX-324 was the rocket-powered prototype of the proposed Northrop XP-79 Rocket Wing. Here's a photo of an MX-334 in the NACA wind tunnel at Langley, VA. -SP
 

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Stargazer2006

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Great picture! Don't forget to mention that the MX-334 (seen in the picture) was the glider version.
 

Steve Pace

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From what I understand the MX-324 was the unpowered glider, the MX-334 was the powered one. It was a common mistake as told to me by the late Northrop historian - Ira Chart. Note exhaust nozzle in cropped photo and the the MX-324 glider in color (terrible picture).
 

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Stargazer2006

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Then all the sources I've read so far are wrong, because they ALWAYS give MX-324 as the rocket-powered version and MX-334 as the glider. Whether books or articles, whether on Northrop flying-wings or on US designations, they all agree...

I have never seen anyone say differently about that point, so unless you can come up with solid evidence of that (which I'd love to see, of course), I'll stick to that version, sorry Steve!
 

Retrofit

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XB-70 Guy said:
The MX-324 was the rocket-powered prototype of the proposed Northrop XP-79 Rocket Wing. Here's a photo of the MX-334 in the NACA wind tunnel at Langley, VA prior to its first flight on 5 July 1944.

This aircraft seemed to be without vertical fin during the wind tunnel tests!
Somobody knows when this braced vertical fin has been added and how many sets of wires were installed (from the color picture, it seems that one set of wires is running from the vertical fin top to the wing tips?

Thanks in advance
 

hesham

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Hi,

the MX-324 and MX-334.
 

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Stargazer2006

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hesham's scan goes against the MX-324 rocket-powered version theory., but let me say once again that this is incorrect.

From Andreas Parsch's work on MX- and WS- designations:

MX-324 Northrop Rocket-propelled flying-wing research aircraft; test vehicle for XP-79; see also MX-334 and MX-365
MX-334 Northrop Flying-wing glider (unpowered version of MX-324)
 

Johnbr

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[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Number of units built , three gliders MX-334. The MX-334 # 2 will be further equipped with a rocket engine and redesignated MX-324.[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Main construction material : wood (structure of the front section of welded steel tubes).[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]General Requirements: The MX-334/324 was a flying wing to overcome the back of a vertical stabilizer (multiple configurations and dimensions drifts were tested) and equipped with aerodynamic trailing edge (two elevons and two rudders crocodile ). The driver was lying on his stomach in the body, head forward.[/font]


[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]The first MX-334 used a four-wheeled trolley for take-off and landing skis. The other two MX-334 were equipped with tricycle landing gear. The MX-334 was a glider towed by a Lockheed P-38 Lightning. The MX-324 also used the P-38 for takeoff and climb in altitude. He then detached the tow rope and lit its rocket engine for powered flight.[/font]




[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]MX-324 engine : a rocket engine Aerojet General XCAL-200 90 kg of thrust, burning a mixture of fuming nitric acid (oxidizer) and monoéthylaniline (fuel).[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Maximum speed of the MX-324: 480 km / h.[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Project timeline:[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]September 15, 1942 : Northrop submits readily to the USAAF P-999 project on an interceptor driven and inspired work in Germany ( 176 Heinkel and Messerschmitt 163 Komet ). This is a flying wing powered by a rocket engine thrust of 910 kg (XCAL-2000). The project was accepted by the Air Force under the designation XP-79.[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]December 1942 : the construction of three flying models MX-324/334 scaled the XP 79 is determined to validate the aerodynamic configuration in flight and engine planned for the interceptor.[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Late spring 1943 , the first glider MX-334 is finished and headed the laboratory of NACA, Langley (Virginia), to be tested in a wind tunnel.[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]September 4, 1943 : the first hop of the MX-334 # 2 in Muroc (pilot Harry Crosby), towed by a truck.[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]October 2, 1943 : First flight of the MX-334 true # 2 in Muroc (pilot John W. Myers). towed by a P-38. Total time: twenty minutes.[/font]


[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]November 9, 1943 : First flight of the MX-334 # 3 in Muroc (pilot Harry Crosby), towed by a P-38.[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]November 10, 1943 : Second and last flight of the MX-334 3. The glider caught in the turbulence of the P-38 is destabilized. Driver (Crosby) manages to extract the carrier and parachute, while his plane crashed to the ground.[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]November 30, 1943 : First flight of the MX-334 No. 1 at Muroc (pilot Harry Crosby).[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]June 20, 1944 : early ground testing of the MX-324 (ex-334 MX-2) equipped with a rocket engine at Harper Lake (California).[/font]


[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]July 5, 1944 : first ignition of the rocket motor MX-324 (pilot Harry Crosby), at an altitude of 2440 m. Duration of powered flight: five minutes maximum speed: 400 km / h. First flight of a U.S. rocket plane.[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]July 11, 1944 : second powered flight MX-324 (pilot Harry Crosby).[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]August 1, 1944 : Project abandonment MX-334/MX-324 (causes: limited performance rocket motor XCAL-200-2000 XCAL abandoned for propulsion duXP-79).[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Drivers : John W. Myers, Harry Crosby and Alex Papana (Northrop).[/font]

[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]Museum: a priori, the MX-334 No. 1 and MX-324 were destroyed. Other sources claim that the MX-324 would be in the reserves of the National Air and Space Museum[/font]


[font=tahoma, calibri, verdana, geneva, sans-serif]· · Dimensions: 1980 x 889 · [/font]
 

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roadrunner2

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Tests of the Northrop MX-334 glider airplane in the NACA full-scale tunnel

http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc62631/m1/1/
 

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Dear all:,
I've probably already posted this question, but my memory is not what it wasonce ....
In this wellknown photo of the Northrop MX-324/334 in the background on the right we can see the Bell XP-77 but the plane on the left left?
Nico
 

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CiTrus90

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Nico said:
Dear all:,
I've probably already posted this question, but my memory is not what it wasonce ....
In this wellknown photo of the Northrop MX-324/334 in the background on the right we can see the Bell XP-77 but the plane on the left left?
Nico

I'm not 100% positive, but it looks like a Nakajima Ki-44 to me.
 

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In fact I had the same idea but I was not at all sure...
Thanks
Nico
 

hesham

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My dear Nico,

maybe it was a Republic Aviation Corporation design ?.
 

CiTrus90

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Nico said:
In fact I had the same idea but I was not at all sure...
Thanks
Nico

I'm digging some more about it.

With full certainity I can say the XP-77 is 334915 (916 was lost in an accident), with this scheme applied on:
xp77-1.jpg


The other one seems to be indeed a Nakajima Ki-44, most probably TAIC-SWPA 11:
ap-taic11-1.jpg

ap-taic11-3.jpg


TAIC-SWPA stands for Technical Air Intelligence Centre - South West Pacific Area.

From http://www.j-aircraft.com/research/David_Trojan/Technical%20Air%20Intelligence%20Wreck%20chasing%20in%20the%20Pacific%20during%20the%20war.pdf:
General Hap Arnold ordered the preservation of four of every type of aircraft used by the enemy forces. One of each was to be for the USAAF, USN, RAF and Museum purposes. By the end of 1945 the TAIU’s had completed their search of the Japanese Mainland and other territories and gathered together the examples at Yokohama Naval Base. Approximately 115 aircraft were shipped to America by the end of December 1945. The aircraft were divided between the Navy and Army Air Force, with 73 going to Army bases and 42 to naval bases. All remaining war service equipment was ordered to be destroyed or scrapped, a task which, as far as aircraft were concerned, took until well into 1947. The Air Force brought their aircraft to Wright Field, and when the field could no longer handle additional aircraft, many were sent to Freeman Field, Seymour, Indiana. Funds, storage space and interest soon dried up and only six aircraft were restored and flown and evaluated by the Army and two by the Navy.

And from here http://www.aviastar.org/air/usa/bell_xp-77.php about the XP-77:
The prototype went to Wright Field, then back to Eglin, then to Wright again. It was seen at post-war displays wearing spurious markings and its final disposition is unknown.

So this picture has, probably, been taken at Wright Field too.
 

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