N9MB Northrop "Flying Wing"

The owner of Northrop Aircraft, Jack Northrop, spearheaded the idea of developing a "flying wing" type aircraft.  Numerous models and designs were built and flown during the 1940's and were both propeller and jet-engine powered.  In 1949, however, the Air Force canceled the $88 million contract that Northrop was using to fund the development of the flying wing concept and the project stopped.  It wasn't until the end of the 20th century that Northrop's research and design of the "flying wing" would be put to use in the development of the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Northrop's N9MB was one of those "flying wing" designs that was used during development.  This particular N9MB lives at the Chino Planes of Fame Museum located about 50 miles south of Edwards.  It is a regular visitor to the Air Shows at Edwards and is one of the last remaining "flying wing" planes developed by Northrop that is still flying.

The N9MB taxis by the crowd and heads for the runway to take off.
A close-up of the N9MB's single seat cockpit.
Back view of the N9MB.
The N9MB in flight.
Another back view of the N9MB.  At this angle, it is almost invisible.
The underside of the N9MB.
When compared to its descendant, the more famous B-2, the N9MB is very small.
The N9MB with its landing gear out.
Front view of the N9MB.
The N9MB seen later on Edward's flight line.
Another view of the N9MB parked on the tarmac.
Jack Northrop himself leaning on a model similar to the N9MB.  The following three pictures are courtesy of Northrop and the U.S.A.F. website.
Eleven propeller-driven YB-35's, in various stages of completion, sit at Northrop's plant in Los Angeles near LAX (next to current day Interstate 105).  Our guess is that this was in the late 1940's.
The jet powered YB-49 (which were, essentially, converted YB-35's with jet engines) was designed to carry nuclear bombs.  It is shown here flying over Edwards AFB in the late 1940's.  Captain Glen Edwards, for whom Edwards AFB was named, crashed and died while flying one of these planes. 

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