Jack Knudsen Northrop: Aviation Pioneer and his Flying Wing


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Prototypes, X-Planes and Experimental Aircraft. By World War II aerodynamic issues were well enough understood for work on production prototypes to begin while research continued. Continue shopping Checkout Continue shopping. No, cancel Yes, report it Thanks! The Smell of Kerosene:

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Jack Northrop: A Driving and Innovative Force In Aviation Design

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Available in Russia Shop from Russia to buy this item. Or, get it for Kobo Super Points! The Northrop story is the story of American aviation history; he worked with the Loughead brothers who changed their name to Lockheed and Donald Douglas designing some of America's greatest airplanes from the Vega to the DC-3 and ultimately to the most controversial of all the flying wing. He also helped redesign the Spirit of St. Louis lopping off weight and making it possible for Charles Lindbergh to successfully solo the Atlantic. Northrop developed the revolutionary flying wing a plane without a fuselage.

Army gave him a contract to build 30 craft. He also ordered the destruction of all the flying wings in production--presumably to recover components though the cost of destruction was infinitely greater than the value of recovered components. The destruction of his beloved flying wing was a metaphor for Northrop's career--it ended sadly and prematurely. However he lived just long enough to learn about the development of the Air Force's stealth B-2 bomber a flying wing bearing a remarkable similarity to his vision. In , he produced an all-metal monoplane with pilot and engine within the wing structure.

Although this aircraft had booms to attach the tail group, it was in fact the first step toward the flying wing. In , Northrop struck out on his own, founding the Avion Corporation, which he was forced to sell to United Aircraft and Transport Corporation in This company built two highly successful monoplanes, the Northrop Gamma and Northrop Delta.

Northrop, John Knudsen

By the Northrop Corporation had become a subsidiary of Douglas Aircraft, so Northrop founded another completely independent company of the same name in Hawthorne, California. Northrop focused on the flying wing design, which he was convinced was the next major step in aircraft design. A flying wing is a tailless fixed-wing aircraft that has no definite fuselage. The crew, payload, fuel, and equipment are typically housed inside the main wing structure, although a flying wing may have various small protuberances such as pods, nacelles, blisters, booms, or vertical stabilizers.

Tailless aircraft have been experimented with since the earliest attempts to fly. Hugo Junkers patented a wing-only air transport concept around the same time, in He saw it as a natural solution to the problem of building an airliner large enough to carry a reasonable passenger load and enough fuel to cross the Atlantic in regular service. His deep-chord monoplane wing was incorporated in the otherwise conventional Junkers J 1 in December The Soviet Boris Ivanovich Cheranovsky began testing tailless flying wing gliders in In Germany, Alexander Lippisc h worked first on tailless types before progressively moving to flying wings, while the Horten brothers developed a series of flying wing gliders through the s.

The H1 glider was flown with partial success in , and the subsequent H2 flown successfully in both glider and powered variants. Built mostly of specially laminated layers of glued wood, the design of both wooden wings allowed for easy configuration changes with the central blended fuselage, which was made of tubular steel. The diminutive, twin-engine test aircraft served its purpose well, first taking to the skies on 3 July at Baker Dry Lake in California.

By World War II aerodynamic issues were well enough understood for work on production prototypes to begin while research continued. In Northrop flew the N-9M scale development aircraft for a proposed long-range bomber. This was superseded the next year by conversion of the type to jet power as the YB of