A last chance for the flying wing design was the YRB-49, a six-engined reconnaissance bomber, with two engines in underwing nacelles to increase the volume available for fuel. But the RB-49 offered no real advantages over the B-47 and the new B-52, and production was canceled before the single YRB-49 flew on May 4, 1950.
|A three-view drawing (552 x 1034)|
| ENGINE||6 x Allison J35 turbojets, 1870kg|
| Wingspan||52.4 m||172 ft 11 in|
| Length||16.2 m||53 ft 2 in|
| Wing area||372 m2||4004.17 sq ft|
|Terrence O'Neill, e-mail, 22.05.2008 16:40|
For the facts, from gov't microfilm recodrds of the development programs, etc., read my new book: "GM,DS! A Billion Dollar Blunder".
The YRB-49A contract originally specified eight J-47s, which the Generals soon changed to six stove-pipe J-35s to cripple its performance and image. However, thanks to Charles Tucker's test piloting and input it had both pilots in the bubble, a G-meter (for stall recovery without pulling off the wings), and a jettisonable canopy, and a yaw-stabilizing auto-pilot, which made it an excellent, superior aircraft. With jet engines it was a 2000-mile-target aircraft, not the 4000-mile-target bomber SAC needed for the USSR's war-making plants in the Urals... for which the B-35 was designed and was greatly superior, had Pratt&Whitney and the AAF not refused to fix the torsional-resonance problems with the contra-rotating very efficient Hamilton Standard props... which the AF refused to perform engine-prop compatibility tests on. The 4000-mile-target 4-engine B-35 was superior in every way to the B-36. And the 2000-mile-target B-49 was superior in every way to the 1500-mile-target Boeing B-47.
Any airplane designer can see how the AF dunced the politicians and the dumb-media around by using bogus gross weights and false claims about instability and speeds. My book lays out the simple faces, from gov't records and biographies of the people involved.
|Anthony Lopez, e-mail, 12.04.2008 21:12|
I was living in Baldwin Park CA and saw it fly over. saw black jet exhaust. I was thirteen years old never forgot that sight.
|stephen winkler, e-mail, 27.03.2007 00:33|
This was only the second bomber design submitted by Northrop and was based on the earlier XB-35 piston-powered aircraft. Like the XB-35, it had stability problems.
Many in the defense establishment favored a supercarrier, rather than the development of colossal bombers. Incidentally, the most distinguished of the giant bomber designs of that time was the Convair B-36. However, the B-36 was a World War II design developed to bomb Germany in the event that Germany crushed Great Britain. Certainly, the final developement of the Boeing B-29 in the form of the B-54 offered the prospect of a proven design with the new Pratt and Whitney R-4360-43 Wasp Major turbocompound engines. However, niether the B-36 nor the B-54 could penetrate radar and the B-49 could avoid and evade Soviet defenss mechanisms. However, it lacked the capacity and the range of the B-36 and of the four suggestions examined by the Truman Administration, the Convair B-36 won over the supercarrier, the B-49, and the B-54 as the best investment for national defense.
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