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The Northrop YB-49 was the jet-propelled variant of the company's XB-35 bomber. Eight Allison J35 engines, each delivering 3,750 pounds of thrust, gave the flying wing a top speed of 510 mph, or more than 100 mph faster than its prop-driven predecessor. Flight testing revealed stability problems which could not be corrected with existing technology. The second aircraft crashed on June 5, 1948, killing its five-man crew. Edwards AFB was subsequently named for one of its crew members, Capt. Glen W. Edwards. The YB-49 was the "wrong plane at the wrong time," getting trapped in the transition between propeller-driven and jet-powered aircraft. The program was canceled by the Air Force in 1949.

The Northrop Corp. proposed a modification to the YB-49 Flying Wing bomber , called the YRB-49A. Although its small radar signature had been noticed during tests during the late 1940s, it was the YB-49ís high altitude and long-range flying abilities that gave it consideration as a spy plane. The plane promised a 400-mph cruise speed at 35,000 feet. (It was during a 1948 test flight of the YB-49 that whom Edwards Air Force Base is named, was killed with his four crew Capt. Glen Edwards, for members.)


Length 53 ft
Height 15 ft
Wingspan 172 ft
Wing Area 4000 Sq Ft 372 Sq M
Weight 193,938 lbs / 87,953 Kg
Propulsion 8 Allison J35-A-15
Range 3155 miles / 5080 Km
Cruise Speed 419 mph / 674 Km/H / 364 Kt
Max Speed 493 Mph 793.00 Km/H 429 Kt
Ceiling 40700 Feet / 12400 M

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