'Flying Wing' (Tailless) Aircraft

Comfortably Numb

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This thread was spun off from:
Historic UFO Encounters: Newspaper Articles
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/historic-ufo-encounters-newspaper-articles.65811/
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The Northrop flying wings weren't just retired - they were scrapped. The last surviving airframe was written off and designated for scrap in November 1953. That's why not a single one of these fascinating 'birds' is on exhibit somewhere today.
Our Northrop and Horten 'flying wings' are a subject dear to my heart and when initially researching Arnold's sighting all those years ago, it was essential to investigate a possible connection.

Thankfully, l kept copies of relevant photographs/images and have just discovered where they are on an old backup.

If they might be of historical interest, I have uploaded them and retained the original file names as hopefully some are a means of identification.

They are:

www.forteanmedia.com/byellow.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/fly_wing.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/ho229.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/ho95.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/ho_ix_v-1.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/hortenfr.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/hortenr.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/n1m.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/yb49.jpg

www.forteanmedia.com/yrb-49a.jpg
 
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blessmycottonsocks

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The Northrop flying wings weren't just retired - they were scrapped. The last surviving airframe was written off and designated for scrap in November 1953. That's why not a single one of these fascinating 'birds' is on exhibit somewhere today.

If that's an actual aircraft it's not a military or experimental flying wing.

The date of the photograph is not in question.

The main problem with the Redlands photo is that the oddity in the sky wasn't noticed when the picture was taken - it was first noticed as a glitch in the photo after it was developed. This didn't correlate with claims concerning the mystery object's direction of travel and behavior. I suspect this obvious clash is the main reason the sighting wasn't taken all that seriously.

The Northrop N9-M appears to have been the last one flying.
It was a single-seater with a 60 ft wingspan.

IMG_1203.JPG

It was fully restored by the California Planes of Fame Air Museum and flew until 2019, when it crashed into a prison compound, tragically killing the pilot and completely destroying this last of the legendary aircraft.

IMG_1204.JPG

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_N-9M
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Comfortably Numb

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It was fully restored by the California Planes of Fame Air Museum and flew until 2019, when it crashed into a prison compound, tragically killing the pilot...
Goodness sakes... completely unaware about that tragedy. Thanks for highlighting this shocking incident.
 

Comfortably Numb

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We may start to see a whole new range of flying wing type aircraft in the near future though.

Netherlands airline KLM has been testing a remote control scale model of its planned "Flying V" airliner, with passenger compartments in the wings:
Awesome!

I thought for a moment there we had the shout for a simulacara - kinda smiley/angry looking airplane.

It reminds of something from my archives:

www.forteanmedia.com/spanload.jpg
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Awesome!

I thought for a moment there we had the shout for a simulacara - kinda smiley/angry looking airplane.

It reminds of something from my archives:

www.forteanmedia.com/spanload.jpg

Rather like some of the Star Trek hardware, that looks like a prediction that could well come true.
Until people get used to spotting aircraft like this, I can see them spawning a lot of UFO reports (or indeed claims that previous sightings were brief time slips into the 21st century):

IMG_1206.JPG
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Further to my report of the Northrop N9-M fatal crash in 2019, I found that there is still one extant Northrop Flying Wing.

The N1-M has been restored to a presentational but non-flying condition and now resides in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.


IMG_1208.JPG
IMG_1207.JPG


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_N-1M
 
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blessmycottonsocks

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If we're going waaaaaay back into aviation history, then the first powered heavier than air machine has to be Clément Ader's Eole.
This bizarre, steam-powered, bat-winged but tailless aircraft made a short (alleged 50 metre) powered "hop" into the air in 1890:

eole.JPG
eole2.JPG

At least Ader had the good sense to put his propellers at the front, rather than pusher-propellers on the trailing edges, which is less efficient and resulted in aerodynamic turbulence problems.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ader_Éole
 

Trevp666

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No Mention of the Northrop B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber yet then?
The successor to other US 'flying wings'.
1612791439998.png


And then as well, of course, there are many UCAV craft.
Here is Russias Suchoi S-70 'Heavy Strike Drone'.
1612791615025.png


And then we have Airbus developing their 'Blended Wing Body' design for MAVERIC.
Strictly speaking not a flying wing as it has a pair of vertical tail-fins, but hey-ho, I'm blending bending the rules.
It is damn pretty though.
https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/stories/Imagine-travelling-in-this-blended-wing-body-aircraft.html
 

feinman

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Rather like some of the Star Trek hardware, that looks like a prediction that could well come true.
Until people get used to spotting aircraft like this, I can see them spawning a lot of UFO reports (or indeed claims that previous sightings were brief time slips into the 21st century):

View attachment 34819
"One of the UFO cases investigated by the U.S. Air Force was a sighting by famous aeronautical engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. Johnson was the first team leader of Lockheed Skunk Works, the team responsible for developing super secret high tech airplanes, who eventually took up residence at Area 51."

"I should state that for at least five years I have definitely believed in the possibility that flying saucers exist — this in spite of a good deal of kidding from my technical associates. Having seen this particular object on December 16th, I am now more firmly convinced than ever that such devices exist, and I have some highly technical converts in this belief as of that date. "

Kelly-Johnson-UFO-Drawings.jpg


http://www.openminds.tv/multiple-witness-ufo-sighting-top-secret-aircraft-engineer-1953/28560

440px-ClarenceLeonardKellyJohnson.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_Johnson_(engineer)
 
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ChasFink

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It looks as though it's the size of an apartment block
The 528 foot wingspan makes it about 2 1/2 times the width of a 747, and it would carry 451 passengers and a crew of 155!
 

Trevp666

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No wonder they never bothered making one - not enough crew members.
 

Trevp666

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Bel Geddes "Airliner No.4"
It does beg the question...."What happened to airliners 1, 2 and 3?"
Were they not big enough?
Did they not remember to include the space for a swimming pool and a tennis court?
 

Nosmo King

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It does beg the question...."What happened to airliners 1, 2 and 3?"
Were they not big enough?
Did they not remember to include the space for a swimming pool and a tennis court?
Idk if you were joking abou the tennis courts, but it was designed to have 4 plus many other wondrous things.

"Main Lounge 36 ft high, 9 decks, 3 Kitchens, 13 pantries, writing rooms, 2 public dining rooms, (the main dining room converts into a dance floor for 100 couples), orchestra platform, 3 private dining rooms capable of feeding 40 people, 4 deck tennis courts, 6 shuffle board courts, 6 quoits pitches, library, 1 gym with dressing rooms and showers, 1 men's Solarium w/16 couches and a masseur, 1 womens Solarium w/16 couches and a masseuse, 1 children’s playroom, 1 doctors office with waiting room, barber shop, hairdressers salon, 2 bars, 1 store, 1 huge promenade deck, 1 Veranda Cafe seats 90, 18 single state rooms, 81 double state rooms, 24 suites w/ baths, 179 sleeping rooms, air-conditioning through out, and 155 crew members, from cooks to bus boys."

https://flyawaysimulation.com/news/3322/
 

Trevp666

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Idk if you were joking abou the tennis courts,
Hahaha yes I was joking!
But only 2 bars? What were they thinking? I'd never get on an aeroplane which only had 2 bars.
 

Nosmo King

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Hahaha yes I was joking!
But only 2 bars? What were they thinking? I'd never get on an aeroplane which only had 2 bars.
You could always get take out from the store and drink.it in the library :p
 

Trevp666

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Aaah good plan I hadn't thought of that.
Also I guess that if the bars were closed you could still get a pint in one of the dining rooms or the café, or (at a push) a nip of something medicinal from the doctors.
 

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Bel Geddes "Airliner No.4" was a remarkably futuristic design concept for 1929!

View attachment 44812

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airliner_Number_4

I have his industrial design book “Horizons”, definitely worth seeking out. And a couple of his chrome soda siphons.

Airliner Number 4 here was very much more of a “sky ship” than a plane. As I understand it, the wing-profile engine platform would actually contain mechanical workshops and whole spare engines that could be swapped out mid-flight in case of mechanical failure. And don’t get me started in the sun-deck, tennis courts, shopping malls...

There are also designs for flying cars, very advanced flying wing racing planes with jet power (this is between the wars remember) and a monoplane with contra-rotating dual propellers.
 

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