Northrop Once Built Planes That Were Just Giant Wings

After World War II, the future of commercial air travel was supposed to be fantastic. There were promises that planes like Northrop Grumman's flying wing would become the norm for civilian flying. These promises were often made to Baby Boomers — young, impressionable kids of the 1950s and 60s — like in this cutaway drawing by L. Ashwell Wood for the comic book Eagle.

Our artist's impression of a flying wing aircraft is based on scientific data and is quite within the realms of possibility. In fact an American 8 jet-propelled bomber — the Northropp [sic] YB-49 — is already built but still on the secret list. In the air-liner the whole of the cabin and cargo space is pressurized for high altitude flying at high speeds.


No wonder Baby Boomers feel so betrayed. Not only did they not get their flying cars or their jetpacks, they didn't even get their flying wing airliners.

Below we see a model of the Northrop Flying Wing XB-35 based on a similar design circa 1950.


Top image via XRay Delta on Flickr; Bottom image via Getty


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