Northrop, Northrop-Grumman, Norair
SEE ALSO Stearman-Northrop
1916: John K Northrop. 1928: Avion Corp, Burbank CA. 1929: Northrop Aircraft Corp, Union Air Terminal, Burbank. 1929: Northrop Aircraft Div, United Aircraft & Transport Corp, Burbank and Wichita KS (Stearman). 1932: Reorganization as Northrop Corp, subsdiary of Douglas Aircraft Co Inc, Mines Field. 1937: Became El Segundo Div of Douglas Co (old Moreland Co plant). 1939: Northrop Aircraft Inc, Hawthorne CA. 1952: Acquired Radioplane. 1959: Northrop Corp. 1994: Acquired Grumman Corp as Northrop-Grumman. 1999: Acquired Teledyne Ryan Aeronautical. 2001: Acquired Litton Industries. 2002: Acquired TRW Inc.
2 SEE Gamma.
Northrop 3A (Northrop)
Northrop 3A 3-view (Northrop)
3A (Design XP-948) 1935 = 1pClwM; 830hp P&W R-1535-G Twin Wasp; span: 33'6" length: 21'10" v: 278/266/67 ceiling: 31,600'. Retractable-gear development of XFT for Army pursuit design competition, but was never entered. POP: 1, lost at sea in a test flight on 7/30/35. Design rights sold in 1936 to Vought Co and became Vought V-141.
5 SEE A-16.
8A SEE Douglas 8A.
Northrop A-9A [71-1367] (Northrop)
A-9 1972 = Close air support. 1pChwM rg; two 7500# Lycoming YF102-LD-100 turbofans; span: 58'0" length: 53'6" v: 449/322/x range: 3622 ceiling: 40,000'; ff: 5/30/72 (p: Lew Nelson). Robert Bratt, Walt Fellers, Don Heinze, Jerry Huben. POP: 2 prototypes as YA-9A [71-1367/1368], turned over to NASA after flight testing.
A-13 1933 = USAAC attack bomber from prototype Gamma 2-C [X12291]. 2pClwM; 710hp Wright SR-1820-F2; span: 48'0" length: 29'2" load: 2863# v: 207/172/70 range: 1100. $80,950; POP: 1 as YA-13 [34-027]. Refitted with 950hp P&W R-1870-7, redesigned fin, three-blade prop as XA-16.
Northrop XA-16 [NX14998] (Northrop)
A-16, 5B 1935 = Rebuilt A-13 prototype (as Gamma 2-F) with 950hp P&W R-1830, three-blade prop, no wheel fairings; ff: 3/x/35. Northrop designation was 5B. POP: 1 as XA-16 [NX14998]. Flight trials were disappointing as it was needlessly overpowered, and the project was cancelled (production units were to have used the 750hp R-1535-11).
Northrop A-17 Rare unperforated flaps
A-17 - USAAC attack bomber from XA-16. Perforated flaps, fixed gear with streamlined partial fairings. The basic design was furthered by Douglas Co's acquired Northrop Model 8A as the Army A-33.
Northrop A-17 Preparing for 1937 maneuvers
Northrop Alpha 1 [X2W] (Henri Heller coll via TKnL)
Alpha 1 1930 = 4pO/ClwM; 420hp P&W Wasp. John Northrop; ff: 3/x/30 (p: Eddie Allen). POP: 1 prototype, using Avion wing design [X2W] c/n 1. Destroyed on second flight when it lost an aileron.
Northrop Alpha 2 for TWA, converted to Alpha 4 [NC999Y] (E J Young coll)
Northrop Alpha 2 [NR11Y] (Dave Hatfield coll)
Alpha 2 1930 (ATC 381) = 1-7pO/ClwM; 420hp P&W Wasp C; span: 41'10" length: 28'5" load: 1821# v: 175/145/60 range: 600. $21,500 less electrical; POP: 10 civil [X2W (from Gamma 1), NS1=NR/NC11Y, X/NR127W, NC933Y, NC942Y, NC947Y, NC961Y, NC966Y, NC993Y, NC999Y], and 3 to USAAC as C-19. Most all converted to Alpha 3, 4, and 4A.
Northrop Alpha 3 [NC942Y] (company ad)
Alpha 3 1930 (ATC 381, 2-335) = 2-3p Alpha 2 as a combination mail and passenger craft with electrical system, landing lights. $14,220 less motor; POP: 5 [NC985Y/986Y, NC992Y/994Y], plus 5 converted from Alpha 2 under (2-335) in 1931.
Northrop Alpha 4 [NC986Y]
Alpha 4 (Stearman-Northrop ) 1931 (ATC 451) = New production, plus conversions of Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 with NACA cowling, fully faired gear, expanded electrical system as 1pOlwM mail and cargo plane. POP: 4 [NC985Y/986Y, NC992Y, NC994Y], 7 modified from [NR/NC127W, NC933Y, NC942Y, NC947Y, NC961Y, NC966Y, NC999Y].
Northrop Alpha 4A
Avion SEE Flying Wing.
B-2 SEE Northop-Grumman B-2 (below).
Northrop XB-35 with interim four-blade props (Northrop)
Northrop xB-35 Nose close-up (AETC)
B-35 1946 = 9-15p flying wing; four 3000hp P&W R-4360-17/-21 driving counter-rotating pusher props; span: 172'0" length: 53'1" v: 393/183/xit should be noted that 183mph was the economical cruising speed, giving optimal range. Empty wt: 95,340#; gross wt (normal): 16,8150#; gross wt (overload): 225,300#; max fuel: 18,000 gallons; range (with 52,000# bomb load): 725; range (with 10,000# bomb load): 7500. Designed to Airplane Specification NS-9A issued in 1941 calling for a bomber with capability to attack Germany from bases in the continental United States in case Great Britain should be defeated. The specification demanded a 10,000# bomb load on a 10,000-mile flight with a 15 percent fuel reserve at the end of the mission. The development work started with construction of four N-9M flying scale models. Consistent troubles, both technical and administrative, delayed the flight of the first B-35 prototype (XB-35) until 6/25/46 (p: Max Stanley). Major problems with the counter-rotating propellers led to installation of single 15' four-blade props, with penalties in performance. After a few years of testing, it lost out to its competitor, Convair B-36. The main reasons were the flying wing's directional stability and an inability to carry nuclear bombs in its small bomb bays. Political pressures were involved, too, but the full story is too complicated to cover fairly here and will be developed as a separate feature. POP: 2 as XB-35 [42-13603, -38323].
Northrop YB-35 and contrarotating props (Northrop)
Northrop Wings Being converted to jet power (Northrop)
B-49 - Jet conversion of B-35. Predestined to fail, the airframes were built for piston-engine technology, and putting jet engines into them did not automatically result in jetlike performance. It lost out to its competitor, Boeing B-52. Some 40 years before the concept of stealth had become reality, Max Stanley flew the YB-49 on several prearranged flights around radar sites south of San Francisco to test its effectiveness against detection. His aircraft was never detected on radar scopes until it was directly over their site.
Northrop YB-49 (AETC)
Northrop Beta 3 [X963Y] (David Hatfield coll)
Northrop Beta 3 [X963Y] (Eugene Palmer coll)
Beta 3 1931 = 2pOlwM; 160hp Menasco B-6; span: 32'0" length: 21'8" v: 175/145/48; ff: 3/3/31(?) (p: Edmund Allen). Donovan Berlin. All-metal; fully-panted wheels. $8,500; POP: 2 [X963Y, X12214], the second of which had 300hp P&W Wasp Jr (v: 212/185/65) as Stearman-Northrop Beta 3D (qv).
BT - USN dive-bomber, grandparent of Douglas Dauntless. 2pClwM rg*; 700p P&W XR-1535-66; span: 41'6" length: 31'3" v: 212 ceiling: 25,000'. *Partially retractable gear, slotted flaps.
Northrop XBT-1  (Northrop)
Northrop Y1C-19 [30-517] (USAAC)
C-19 1930 = Military 4p conversions of Alpha 2 with similar specs. POP: 1 as YC-19 [30-516] and 2 as Y1C-19 [30-517/518]; the last one destroyed in a crash on 3/20/33, the other two ended up as school training aids in 1939.
Northrop YC-125B [48-620] (Northrop)
Northrop YC-125B [48-622] (Northrop)
Northrop YC-125B JATO jump-start [48-620] (Northrop)
C-125 Raider 1949 = Light transport. ChwM; three 1200hp Wright R-1820-99; span: 86'7" length: 67'1" v: 207/171/x range: 1856 ceiling: 12,200'; ff: 8/1/49 (p: Max Stanley). Production N-23. POP: 13 YC-125A as assualt transport [48-628/640] and 10 YC-125B for Arctic search and rescue [48-618/627].
Northrop Delta 1A [NC12292] (Clark Scott)
Delta 1A 1933 (ATC 2-456) = 6-9pClwM; 735hp Wright SR-1820-F3; span: 47'10" length: 33'1" load: 2810# v: 219/200/62 range: 1500. Prototype Delta; full cabin version of Gamma with enclosed pilot seat forward. From $37,500; POP: 1 for TWA [X12292] c/n 3.
Delta 1B 1933 (ATC 2-458) = 9p Delta 1A with 650hp P&W R-1690-C Hornet; span: 47'10" length: 33'0". POP: 1 for PanAm South American service [NC14265], 1 to Mexico [X236Y=XABED].
Delta 1C 1934 (ATC 2-468) = Export version of Delta 1A with 700hp P&W R-1690-T1 Hornet. POP: 1 to Sweden as [SEADI].
Northrop Delta 1D [NC14267] (Frank Rezich coll)
Northrop Delta 1D [NC14220]
Delta 1D 1934 (ATC 553, 2-484, 2-490) = Delta 1A with 710hp or 735hp Wright Cyclone, exports with 650hp P&W Hornet. POP: 1 to Richfield Oil Co, plus 6 subsequent custom models as Delta Executive [NC13777, NC14220, NC14241/14242, NC14265/14267]. Company shelved further civil designs to focus on military orders.
Northrop Delta 1D-3 [NC14265] (Frank Rezich coll)
Delta 1E SEE Gamma 1E.
F-5 Freedom Fighter, Tiger II (Model N-156C) - Modified from N-156F with strengthened wing and two 3050# GE J85-13 turbojets; span: 25'3" length: 47'2" v: 945 range: 600 ceiling: 50,500' (data for F-5A). Sales to USN/USAF and 21 other nations.
XF-5A 1963 = Static airframe only; POP: 1 [59-4993] c/n N9000.
F-15 Reporter - Unarmed photo-recon conversion of P-61.
Northrop XF-15 (Dave Hatfield coll)
Northrop YF-17A [72-1569] (NASA)
F-17 Cobra (Model P-600) 1974 = Lightweight fighter. 1pCmwM rg; two 15000# YJ101-GE-100 turbojets; span: 35'0" length: 56'0" v: 1320 range: 575; ff: 6/9/74 (p: Hank Chouteau). Much use of composite materials. Although losing out to General Dynamics F-16 for a contract, the design was basis for McDonnell-Douglas-Northrop F-18 Hornet. POP: 2 prototypes as YF-17A [72-1569/1570].
F-18 SEE McDonnell Douglas-Northrop F-18.
F-19 - This USAF designation was purposely skipped at Northrop's request, who wanted F-20A since they preferred an even number. Why? Because Soviet fighters for the export market at the time used odd numbers, and Northrop wanted to use even numbers to stand out from the "competition." For an interesting side-effect that came from this decision, see the entry for "F-19" on the Lockheed page.
Northrop F-20 (USAF)
F-20 Tigershark 1982 = Redesignated from F-5G.
F-23 SEE Northrop-McDonnell Douglas F-23 below.
F-89 Scorpion - USAF all-weather interceptor.
XF-89 1948 = POP: 1 prototype [46-678]; ff (XF-89): 8/16/48 (p: Fred Bretcher). Made 102 test flights before crashing on 2/22/50.
F2T 1945 = P-61A transferred to USMC as night-fighter trainer. POP: 12 as F2T-1 [52750/52761].
Northrop Flying Wing [X216H] (Northrop)
Flying Wing aka Avion Experimental #1 (Avion) 1929 = 1pOM rg (replaced by fixed gear); 90hp Menasco A-4 pusher (later replaced by a tractor prop); span: 30'6" length: 20'5". John Northrop, W K Jay; ff: 9/26/29 (p: John Myers or Eddie Bellande). Twin-boom, twin-tail prototype also acquired a 95hp Cirrus along the way [X216H].
FT - All-metal USN fighter design developed from Alpha and Gamma. 1pClwM; 625hp and 650hp P&W R-1510; span: 32'0" length: 21'1". Ed Heinemann. Spatted gear. Basic design carried forward into 3A and Vought V-143.
Northrop XFT-1  (W T Larkins coll)
Gamma 1E 1934 (ATC 2-476) = Carried on company records as Delta 1E, it actually was a 2p Gamma with a forward cargo hold and two tandem cockpits aft. 660hp P&W Hornet T2D1. POP: 1, exported to Sweden [NR13755=SEADW] c/n 29.
Northrop Gamma 2A Frank Hawks [NR12265] (David Hatfield coll)
Gamma 2A 1933 = 1pOlwM; 700hp Wright GR-1510 Whirlwind; span: 47'10" length: 31'2" load: 3231# v: 224/215/62 range: 1700. $40,000; POP: 1 [X/NR12265] c/n 1, customized for Frank Hawks and the Texas Co as Texaco Sky Chief.
Northrop Gamma 2B [NR12269] (Northrop)
Gamma 2B 1933 = 1pOlwM; 500hp P&W R-1340SD; span: 48'0" length: 31'0". $37,000; POP: 1 as Polar Star for the Lincoln Ellsworth 1934-35 polar flights [NR12269]. Original had a higher rudder and "park bench" ailerons, later modified with flush-types.
Gamma 2C, 2F 1933 = 1pOlwM; 720hp Wright R-1820; span: 48'0" length: 29'2" load: 2863# v: 207/198/70 range: 1100. POP: 1 prototype to Army as 1pClwM YA-13 [X12291=34-027] c/n 44, rebuilt in 1934 as 2F/XA-16 with 800hp P&W R-1830-7.
Northrop Gamma 2D [NC13757] (Northrop)
Gamma 2D 1934 (ATC 549) = 7pClwM; 750hp Wright SR-1820-F-53; span: 47'10" length: 31'2" load: 3231# v: 224/215/62 range: 1700. POP: 3 to TWA [NC13757/13759], of which 1 was impressed by USAAF in 1942 as UC-100 [42-94140].
2D-2 1934 (ATC 553, 2-535) = Carried on company records as 2H, but registered with CAA as 2D and 2D-2, this was a 1p for Marron Guggenheim for Russell Thaw for competitions. After a take-off accident on 12/9/35, the wreckage was sold to Jacqueline Cochran as a possible parts plane, but was instead rebuilt at the factory and received (2-535) approval in 1937, sold to McFadden Publications. POP: 1 [NX/NR/NC2111].
Northrop Gamma 2E [NC13760] (TKnL coll)
Northrop Gamma 2E Export to RAF [K-5053] (Dan Shumaker coll)
Gamma 2E, 2EC, 2ED 1934 (ATC 549) = 2p attack bomber, similar to Gamma 2C with 750hp Wright SR-1820; length: 28'10" load: 2550# v: 228. Two .30 wings guns, 1100# bomb load. POP: 1 to RAF (c/n 13), 1 to USSR (ex-company demonstrator [NC/X13760] c/n 47), and 24 (c/ns 14/27, 30/37, 45/46) plus 25 in component form (c/ns 48/72) to China for overseas assembly. EC and ED indicated three-blade prop and varied seating configurations, revised tail.
Gamma 2F SEE Gamma 2C.
Northrop Gamma 2G [X13761] (Clark Scott)
Gamma 2G 1934 (ATC 549, 2-489) = 2p with 745hp Curtiss SVG-1570-F4 Conqueror; span: 47'8" length: 32'11". MacRobertson racer for Jacqueline Cochran [NC/NX13761]. Crashed on delivery flight, rebuilt with 660hp P&W R-1535-SA Wasp and rented to Howard Hughes, who repowered with 850hp Wright Cyclone R-1820G and used it to set a new transcontinental speed record of 9h:26m on 1/13/36.
Gamma 2H SEE Gamma 2D-2.
Gamma 2J-2 1935 (ATC 2-553) = 3pClwM rg version of A-17 with 550hp P&W R-1340 Wasp S3 as a demonstrator, modified for Army in the 1936 trainer competition, became company hack. POP: 1 [NX18148] c/n 186.
Gamma 2L 1937 = 2p export version of A-17 to England. Without engine, and with a longer fixed gear to accommodate larger propellers, to Bristol Co for testing their engines. POP: 1 [GAFBT] c/n 347; scrapped 1/x/46.
Gamma 3A, P-948 1935 = USAAC fighter development of Gamma. 1pClwM rg; 750hp P&W R-1535-A5G; span: 33'6" length: 22'10" v: 250/x/75. Slotted flaps. POP: 1, designated as XP-948 by Wright Field for testing. Design rights sold to Vought Corp and built as prototype fighter V-141 in 1936.
Gamma 5A 1935 = 2p export Gamma 2E with 775hp Wright Cyclone. POP: 1 [X14997] sold to Japanese Navy; was destroyed in an accident during testing.
Gamma 5B 1935 = Semimilitary export to Mexico, diverted to Spanish Civil War; 700hp P&W SA1-G Twin Wasp Jr, later Wright G Cyclone. POP: 1 [NR/X14998=XAABI] c/n 188.
Gamma 7A - Twin-engined USAAC attack-bomber project; none was built.
Gamma 8A 1937 (Douglas ) 1937 = Although assigned a factory number, this and subsequent production was built by Douglas Co as A-33.
JB-1 Bat, MX-543 1943 = Unpowered, piloted flying bomb (unarmed). No data; ff: 8/27/43 (p: Harry Crosby) at Edwards AFB FTC.
NASA HL-10 (NASA Dryden)
HL-10 1966 = 1pClwM rg; 6000# CRM XLR-11 rocket motor; span: 15'7" height: 11'5" load: 3735# (included water ballast) v: Mach 1+/c500/200 ceiling: 80,000'; ff: 12/22/66 (p: Bruce Peterson) [NASA804]. Power burn lasted about 01m:40s. Dr Alfred J Eggers Jr and NASA Dryden team; construction by Northrop. Experimental lifting body made 37 flights, 11 of them unpowered, launched at altitude from the underwing of a B-52. Attained a speed of 1228mph on 2/7/70 (p: Peter Hoag), and on 2/16/70 reached a record altitude of 90,030' (p: William Dana). HL = "Horizontal Landing." SEE ALSO next entry.
NASA M2F2 (NASA Dryden)
M2-F2/-F3 1966 = NASA lifting body experimental craft developed from M2-F1, an unpowered plywood-shell inverse airfoil glider built by sailplane manufacturer Gus Brieglieb in 1963 and towed to altitude by a C-47 and released. Dr Alfred J Eggers Jr and NASA Dryden engrs; construction by Northrop. M2-F2 was the first powered craft, using a 6000# CRM XLR-11 rocket motor (which was also used on the program's 4 other craft); span: c.10'0" length: c.22'0" ff: 7/12/66 (p: Milt Thompson) [NASA801]. Launched at 15,000' from a B-52, it made 16 unpowered flights before being damaged on a landing on 5/10/67, rebuilt as M2-F3 [NASA803]; ff (unpowered): 6/2/70 (p: Bill Dana). In the next 26 flights, under power, Dana reached a speed of 1064mph on 12/13/72, and John Manke rocketed to 71,500' on 12/20/72. The ship was retired to NASM for display. Other craft in this series were the HL-10 and Martin X-21A/-21B.
Northrop MX-324 (Northrop Institute archives)
MX-324, MX-334 1944 = Rocket-powered flying wing. 1pCmwM rg; 200# Aerojet XCAL-200; span: 32'0" length: 12'0" v: 300 range: 20 (yes, 20 miles!); ff: 7/5/44 (p: Harry Crosby, flying in a prone position). Towed into the air at Muroc Dry Lake glider-fashion by a P-38 (p: Capt Martin Smith), our nation's first rocket-plane made an historic 3.5-minute powered flight from 8,000', then glided safe landing. POP: 3 as MX-324 gliders (1943), the last fitted with rocket motor as -334. On tow in a test-flight of the second -324, Alex Papana pulled the hatch release handle instead of the tow-rope release, and both upper and lower hatches departed the premises. Without their streamling, drag and buffeting went up dramatically, and Papana had a memorable, if not hair-raising, ride down to a successful landing. Following that incident, Crosby had his thrill on a subsequent test-flight of the second plane when it stalled on release in the P-38's propwash and started to spin. Crosby managed to recover, but the plane was inverted and refused to be righted, so he jettisoned both hatches, clambered out onto the wing's center section, and slid off. After his 'chute opened, he was distressed to see the upside-down glider flying tight circles around him as they descended together. They hit the ground at the same time with the plane some distance from him; Crosby was uninjured, the plane was not.
MX-543 SEE JB-1.
N-1M 1940 = 1pO flying wing rg; two 65hp Lycoming O-145 pusher; span: 38'6" length: 17'0" v: 201/160/x range: 300 ceiling: 15,000'; ff: 7/x/40 (p: Vance Breese). POP: 1 [NX28311], nicknamed "Jeep." Wood construction, 35° drooped wing-tips added, but removed by 1941, replaced by variable-dihedral outer wing panels with elevons. Roughly half-size prototype of the production flying wings was repowered with 120hp Franklin 6AC and made some 200 successful flights. Led to military series N-9M.
N-2M SEE P-56.
Northrop N-3PB (Northrop)
N-3PB 1940 = 3pClwMF; 1200hp Wright R-1820G; span: 48'11" length: 38'0" load: 4040# v: 257/215/65 range: 1400 ceiling: 28,400'. Twin floats. Designed for Norwegian anti-sub operations. POP: 24. Salvaged 1979 from the Thjorsa River in Iceland, where it crash-landed in 1943, was the only remaining example of N-3PB, which was returned to the factory for an impressive restoration in 1980.
Northrop N-9M (Northrop)
Northrop N-9M Cockpit (Northrop)
N-9M 1942 = 1-2pC flying wing; two 260hp Menasco C6C; span: 60'0" length: 17'10" v: 257/100/x range (est): 500 ceiling (est): 21,500'. One-third-size flying scale model of B-35. Gross wt: 7000#, endurance: 3.2 hrs. POP: 1 N-9M, 1 N-9M-A, and 1 N-9M-B with two 300hp 8-cyl Franklin O-540-7. Although officially test models for USAAF, s/ns were never assigned. The first N-9M crashed on 5/19/43, killing test pilot Max Constant. The N-9M-B was restored by the Planes of Fame Museum in 1994.
Northrop N-23 Off before 500' [NX8500H] (Northrop)
Northrop N-23 [NX8500H] (Northrop)
N-23 Pioneer 1946 = 2-40pChwM; three 600hp P&W R-1340 and 700hp Wright R-1300; span: 85'0" length: 60'7" load: 10,600# v: 200/165/62 range: 1750 ceiling: 21,000'; ff: 12/21/46. Cargo or passenger use. 700' take-off with full gross weight of 25,500#. POP: 1, destroyed in a 1948 crash while testing a new tail configuration [NX8500H]. However, AF showed interest in the design by ordering 23 as YC-125 Raider.
N-156F, -156T 1959 = Supersonic twin-jet fighter; sister ship of T-38. 1pClwM rg; two 3850# GE J85-GE-5A turbojets; span: 25'3" (?>26'5") length: 45'1" (?>41'8") load: 7600# v: 910/562/x range: 2230 ceiling: 55,600'; ff: 7/30/59 (p: Lew Nelson). POP: 3 prototypes [59-4987/4989] in design competition with Douglas A4D and Fiat G-91 as FAC recon-fighter, but the role was abandoned by USAF; -156T was 2p trainer version. The low-cost, lightweight fighters were instead modified into YF-5A prototypes.
Northrop XP-56 [42-38353] (Northrop)
Northrop XP-56 Rare color shot [42-38353] (Northrop)
P-56 Black Bullet 1943 = Tailless flying wing experiment from factory model N-2M. 1pCmwM rg; P&W R-2800-29 pusher; span: 42'6" length: 23'6" v: 467/375/x range: 450 ceiling: 33,000'. POP: 2 as XP-56; ff [41-786]: 9/6/43 (p: John Myers); ff [42-38353]: 3/23/44 (p: Harry Crosby).
Northrop P-61 as borate bomber (Hud Banks)
P-61 Black Widow - USAAF twin-engine night fighter. 2-3pCmwM rg. Redesignated F-61 in 1948. SEE ALSO F-15.
Northrop XP-61A [41-19509] (Northrop)
Northrop XP-79B [43-52437] (Northrop)
P-79 1945 = 1pC flying wing rg; two 1400# Westinghouse B turbojets; span: 38'0" length: 14'0" v (est): 547/480/x ceiling (est): 40,000'; ff: 9/12/45 (p: Harry Crosby). POP: 1 as XP-79B [43-52437]. Planned as a flying ram with a strong and thin low-drag wing, the plane was made of heliarc-welded heavy magnesium and steel armorplate, with the idea being it would dive on enemy bombers and slice off their tails. Its pilot flew in a prone position in a sealed, pressurized compartment with two emergency bail-out hatches, much like MX-334. In its only flight, from 10,000' Crosby dove to a sweeping pass over the dry lake, estimated in excess of 400mph, but in a second pass the plane stalled in a climbing turn and started to spin. Crosby jumped, but was struck by part of the airframe, and his 'chute never opened. After crashing, a magnesium-fed fire consumed the P-79, and the program was cancelled.
P-948 SEE Gamma 3A.
Northrop RT-1  (USCG)
Northrop RT-1 [382=V150] (David Hatfield coll via Northrop Archives)
RT 1935 = Delta in service with USCG. POP: 1 as RT-1 .
Northrop T-38A [61-0901] (Dan Eckland)
T-38 Talon 1959 = Supersonic basic trainer version of F-5. 2pClwM rg; two 3850# GE J85-GE-5A or Fairchild J83 turbojets; span: 25'3" length: 46'5" load: 4929# v: 812/x/133 range: 1150 ceiling: 55,000'; ff: 4/10/59 (p: Lew Nelson). $756,000; POP: 1,187 as T-38Aand -38B, of which 1,000 to USAF. Service life estimated to 2020 with periodic upgrades.
30 T-38A airframes were pulled from AMARC, sent to LSI Inc at Randolph AFB, and refurbished, upgraded, rewired, painted, etc. They were then sent to South Korea under a lease/maintenance support agreement. Timeframe: Aug 1998-Oct 1999. [62-3615, -3646, -3652, -3662, -3680, -3683, -3691, -3699, 3702, -3706, -3722, 63-8131, -8133, - 8147, - 8154, - 8163, -8218, -8229, -8239, -8243, -8246, 64-13167, -13176, -13181, -13204, -13241, -13278, 66-8404, 67-14828, -14923]. ( Tom Taylor 6/14/01)
T-38 airframes returned by Taiwan are being refurbished at Randolph AFB by LSI Inc and will return to USAF service upon completion of rebuild. Program timeframe: 2000-2002. [61-0819, -0849, -0918, -0925, -0936, -0945, 62-3623, -3625/3626, -3629, -3654, -3657, -3665, -3674, -3689, -3701, -3717, -3720, -3730, -3750, 63-8113, -8116, -8118, -8126/8127, -8138/8139, -8143/8144, -8150, -8155/8156, -8184, 8230, -8241, 64-13194, -13216, -13231, -13253]. ( Tom Taylor 6/15/01)
Northrop TACIT BLUE (Grumman)
Northrop TACIT BLUE Nose-on (Grumman)
TACIT BLUE 1982 = USAF, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Northrop Corp worked together 1978-85 to demonstrate that curved surfaces on an aircraft result in a low return signal from ground radar. With a low signal, such an aircraft could operate safely close to a battlefield forward line without being discovered by enemy radar, monitoring enemy forces and providing targeting information to a ground command center. 1pClwM rg; two Garrett ATF3-6 high-bypass turbofans; span: 48'2" length: 55'10" v: 287; ff: 2/x/82, flew 135 times. Gross wt: 30,000#, operational altitude: 25-30,000'. Digital fly-by-wire flight control. $165 million; POP: 1; a second airframe was constructed as a backup, but not used. The aircraft was placed on public display in May 1996.
Northrop X-4 [46-676 and -677] (Northrop)
X-4, XS-4 Bantam, aka Skylancer 1948 = Semi-tailless subsonic research vehicle. 1pC; two 1606# J30-WE-8 turbojets; span: 26'10" length: 23'4" v: 680/330/x range: 320 ceiling: 44,000'; ff: 12/16/48 (p: Charles Tucker). POP: 2; original designation XS-4. 1950-53 testing proved the first plane [46-676] unsound in ten flights, and it was used for parts, but the second [46-677] contributed valuable data in 102 flights for further projects in other high-performance designs, in particular X-15. To USAF Museum in 1972.
Northrop X-21A [55-0408] (Northrop)
X-21 1963 = Boundary layer control research in wing design, dubbed LFC for "Laminar Flow Control." 5pChwM rg; two 9400# GE J79-13 turbojets; span: 93'6" length: 75'6" v: 630/556/x ceiling: 45,000'; ff: 4/18/63 (p: Jack Wells). Modified from Douglas WB-66D fuselages. POP: 2 as X-21A [55-0408, -0410] (B-66 registrations), the latter differing only in de-icing and added test equipment. A third [55-0409] was scheduled, but damaged in delivery and never completed.
XP-948 SEE 3A.
Northrop-Grumman B-2 (Boeing)
Northrop-Grumman B-2 First flight [82-1066], takeoff from Palmdale Plant 42 (Northrop via John Coy coll)
-Grumman B-2 Spirit 1989 = Long-range, multi-role stealth bomber; joint-corporation assembly. ClwM rg; ff: 6/17/89 (p: Bruce Hinds, Col Richard S Couch). Engineering and fabricated tooling were directly from computers, bypassing the development tooling stage. First delivery to USAF in Dec 1993. POP: 11 by June 1996. SEE The B-2 Revealed.
Northrop-Grumman X-47B Computer concept art (Northrop-Grumman)
X-47B - Unmanned combat/recon aircraft project, initially funded by $30 million in the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems demonstration contract from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). Scheduled for flight testing in 2007.
Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23 [87-800 and 87-801] (USAF)
Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23 [87-800] (USAF)
-McDonnell Douglas F-23 Black Widow II 1990 = 1pCmwM rg; two turbofansP&W YF119 in one and GE YF120 in the other; span: 43'7" length: 67'5" v: 1335; ff: 8/27/90 (p: Paul Metz). Composite materials construction. POP: 2 prototypes as YF-23A [87-800/801], designed and built by the contractor team of Northrop and McDonnell Douglas as part of the demonstration and evaluation phase of the USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) selection program, which concluded in 1990 at a cost of $250,000. Both planes were transferred from Northrop to NASA/Dryden.
-Vickers Delta Mk.1 SEE Delta 1D-8.
-- The Flying Wings of Northrop, Leo J Kohn [Aviation Publications 1974]
-- Northrop, An Aeronautical History, Fred Anderson [Northrop 1976]
-- The Northrop Story 1929-1939, Richard Sanders Allen [Orion 1990]
-- Winged Wonders, The Story of the Flying Wings, E T Wooldridge [Smithsonian 1983]