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Northrop XB/YB-35, YB-49 and YRB-49

Stargazer2006

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Amazing shots! See? Sometimes it's better to take the matter in your own hands... ;)
 

Retrofit

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Beautiful photos!

Thanks a lot XB-70.
 

prolific1

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Do you have top down views of the YB-49 in high res? I'm working on the Nuclear Powered Flying Wing Bomber concept and could use the reference. ;D
 

Justo Miranda

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I have found abundant stuff but quality is not good.I hope you will be able to find something useful ...
From
-Air Enthusiast,July/August 2003,July/August 1996
-Airpower July 1998,May 2006,November 1997
-Air Classics
-Air Fan Hors Série "La saga des ailes volantes Northrop"
-"Les ailes volantes" by Alain Pelletier ETA-I
-Wings December 2003
-Aeroplane June 2007
-IPMS USA

Post-1
 

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prolific1

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Thanks Justo. I should be able to extrapolate something from that. The concept was, after all, a minor illustration. That leaves a great deal to my own imagination.
 

prolific1

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Are the thin black lines visible on the tops of the craft slots for some aerodynamic feature or are they walking path strips to prevent maintenance crews from stepping on the flaps?
 

Stargazer2006

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Wow! Justo, you've outdone yourself this time! ;)
 

Stargazer2006

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Here is a set of cartoons that were featured in Pilot's Handbook for the XB-35 heavy bombardment airplane and Handbook pilot's flight operating instructions for USAF series model YB-49 airplane (the latter from 1949).

It is nice to see that despite the high level of security and secrecy involved around the Northrop flying wings, the company was able to provide such light-hearted (albeit not very talented) illustration to two otherwise very technical reference manuals. Note how some of the artwork was subtly altered from the first to the second manual to reflect the change from propellers to jets.

Sadly, the 1950 Handbook flight operating instructions USAF series YRB-49A aircraft was already devoid of any amusing artwork... and flight manuals became serious ever since. :-[
 

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Nick

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I remember seeing a shot of all the built airframes lined up awaiting destruction outside the factory. IIRC there were more than 15 ready to be finished.
Anybody able to share that photo?
 

Michel Van

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Million thanks to Justo !!!
who many archives, libraries and private collection
have you raided and looted with a scanner ? ;D

sad that the YB-35, YB-49 and YRB-49 never wend in production...
 

RyanCrierie

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They did not go into production for a very good reason. They were very very unstable; and it took virtually all of the pilot's concentration to force the plane(s) to fly straight and level. This is not a desirable attribute for a reconnaisance platform (camera shake ahoy) or a bombardment platform (must be stable long enough for the radar/bombsight to get a track on the target)
 

RanulfC

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Stargazer2006 said:
Here is a set of cartoons that were featured in Pilot's Handbook for the XB-35 heavy bombardment airplane and Handbook pilot's flight operating instructions for USAF series model YB-49 airplane (the latter from 1949).

It is nice to see that despite the high level of security and secrecy involved around the Northrop flying wings, the company was able to provide such light-hearted (albeit not very talented) illustration to two otherwise very technical reference manuals. Note how some of the artwork was subtly altered from the first to the second manual to reflect the change from propellers to jets.

Sadly, the 1950 Handbook flight operating instructions USAF series YRB-49A aircraft was already devoid of any amusing artwork... and flight manuals became serious ever since. :-[
Manuals of ALL types in the military became "more-serious" by the mid-50s, Air Force technical writing especially. (As the "New-service" I suppose it reflected a certain "need" to be MORE professional by being seriously, serious or some such)
Though there has tended to be some "let-up" in this regard in the last few decades. A freinds brother showed me a section in his "Career Development Course" continuing technical education series where it was written (paraphrased a bit since it's been a while):
"When testing the (insert radio equipment series here) on the airframe there may be times you encounter a steady-pulse pattern of static on the (insert side-band frequency here) this is due to Star Ships using their warp-drive in the outer solar system."

It then goes on to note that they are "just-kidding" and explains the pulse pattern comes from static discharges in the upper atmosphere, however it should be noted that this is set up so that the statement above ends both a paragraph and the page of the manual. You don't KNOW they are kidding till you turn the page and continue reading :)

Randy
 

The Artist

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There were some bits of humor here and there. A book on the F-86 line - Squadron Signal In Action Series, I believe - contained humorous presentations of information from the F-86D handbook. Then there is that illustration (which I do not have) showing an aircraft carrier being abandoned as a formation of USAF F-4s approach with gear and hooks down.
 

Justo Miranda

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Nick said:
I remember seeing a shot of all the built airframes lined up awaiting destruction outside the factory. IIRC there were more than 15 ready to be finished.
Anybody able to share that photo?

Done! :D
 

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Michel Van

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Here another Picture of Yb35B in "Death row" to become YB-49

back why XB/YB-35, YB-49 and YRB-49 never went in service:

one problem was the Bombbay
see cutview http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,9969.msg96293.html#msg96293
you see the Bombs are storage in littel bays right and left of crew compartment
for transport of Grand Slam bomb or a nuclearbomb had to be external
Wat was in time a big problem because, the crew needed to access the nuclear Bomb for activation.
study had show problems with YB-35 flying with 2 Grand Slam external
because centre of gravity, the bombs tail fin was too close on bomber propellers blades
also had YB-35 stably & drag problems with that load

also change from piston-engined to jet-engined on YB-35 makes YB-49
YB-49 had a central Bombbay but it was to tight for nuclear bomb of its time
was the Jet-engines and Central bomb bay the prise YB-49 had to pay: more instably ?

Wat bring to major problem of the XB/YB-35, YB-49 and YRB-49: Fight stably
the USAF test pilots declare that craft was diffcult to handle and instable
by the way, had this problem to be solvable and who ?

Source:
Secrets projects Flying wing and Tailles Aircraft
by Bill Rose
ISBN 978-1-85780-380-4
 

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RanulfC

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From what I understand the XB/YB-35 was much more stable than any of the YB/YRB-49 designs because the props acted like vertical stabilizeres where as the jet powered versions only had small "air seperators" which were ineffective in preventing cross-flow instability. While larger verticals MIGHT have helped with some issues it would take waiting for current active control computers to make the flying wings stable enough for real-world use.

Or do I have that all wrong?

Randy
(Willing to be wrong to learn... Unless I'm feeling opinionated that is ;) )
 

Stargazer2006

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Wonder if wing-tip fins would have improved the handling... ???
 

Sundog

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Stargazer2006 said:
Wonder if wing-tip fins would have improved the handling... ???
Only marginally, as they wouldn't have been that much further back from the CG than the fins it already had. It's my understanding that Sperry had developed an FCS for the YRB-49 that solved the handling issues, which, IIRC, the major problem was the yaw oscillation, which I think might have been a very shallow dutch roll with a long period mode that couldn't be dampened out mechanically. I've not been able to get enough info, engineering wise, regarding it, I just remember one of the test pilots talking about the nose continually wandering back and forth slowly. He said it didn't really effect the way the plane flew as much as you couldn't exactly aim bombs precisely as a result, regarding the YB-49, not the YRB-49, in which case it would be the cameras.
 

Michel Van

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YRB-49 had less problems thanks to new FCS
but for more range they put two Engines in externally mounted in underwing pods,
wat ruining the Flying Wing's aerodynamic



remember Horten HO XVIII study ?
a aircraft similar to Yb-49 was planed by Horten brothers in WW2

Junkers look on the design and draw the conclusion that
yaw oscillation (horizontal roll) will be major problem
and change design by big tail fin. Wat look like this

HO XVIII B-2
the Horten brothers were not amused about those change
 

aim9xray

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RanulfC said:
While larger verticals MIGHT have helped with some issues it would take waiting for current active control computers to make the flying wings stable enough for real-world use.
Actually, no...no digital computers required, just a yaw damper channel through the autopilot. The contemporary B-47 required this fix for day-to-day flight (to cure a "dutch roll" problem) which was implemented by 1950-51. This could have been done for the B/RB-49 if it was desired by the customer - but the flying wing program was already on it's last legs.
 

quellish

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XB-70 Guy said:
Here's some rare shots...
LIFE *should* have a ton of really good photos. One of the time-life book series was full of photos of the -35 and -49 in various stages of construction.

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?imgurl=5fd0163be8319ba4&q=flying%20wing%20source:life&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dflying%2Bwing%2Bsource:life%26start%3D90%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DN%26ndsp%3D18%26tbs%3Disch:1

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?imgurl=a56de560c4e1a857&q=b-35%20source:life&prev=/images%3Fq%3Db-35%2Bsource:life%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26tbs%3Disch:1

http://images.google.com/hosted/life/l?imgurl=93c921de8c1f50bf&q=%22B-35%22%20source:life&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%22B-35%22%2Bsource:life%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26tbs%3Disch:1


I have not yet found the specific images I remember though.
 

RanulfC

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The Artist said:
There were some bits of humor here and there. A book on the F-86 line - Squadron Signal In Action Series, I believe - contained humorous presentations of information from the F-86D handbook. Then there is that illustration (which I do not have) showing an aircraft carrier being abandoned as a formation of USAF F-4s approach with gear and hooks down.
Ok yes there was and is still SOME humor, I recall an F-4 Phantom image that was used just about everywhere on maintenance documents that showed the pilot, the WO... then about a dozen "added-cockpits" down the spine listing each major contractor and system labeled "in-flight-support"

But back "on-topic" (I DO have that damn habit don't I :) )

Found this Mechanix illustrated article:
http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2008/05/30/inside-the-flying-wing/

Which then lead me to this site:
http://bmdroppings.wordpress.com/flying-wing/

With some good information on the proposed Flying Wing commercial airliner :)

Randy
 
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