NORTHROP ALL-WING AIRPLANE Northrop et al.: "
Even before the Northrop B-35 had flown, it was apparent that the day of the piston-powered bomber was drawing to a close, and the Air Force had Northrop finish a pair of B-35 airframes with eight Allison J35 turbojets in place of the original R4360 piston engines. Other alterations included the addition of a quartet of vertical tail surfaces.
The first YB-49 flight took place on October 21, 1947, with the second following on January 13 of the following year. The second YB-49 had a short life, being lost in a crash on June 5, 1948, killing all five crewmen, including copilot Captain Glenn Edwards, for whom Edwards AFB is named. The surviving prototype was written off in 1950 after the nose gear broke during a high speed taxi test and the airframe subsequently burned.
The single YRB-49 was a YB-35 conversion with four J35s in the wing structure and another pair on underwing pylons. This first flew in 1950, but plans to finish other B-35 airframes as production RB-49 reconnaissance machines machines cam to naught, and the YRB-49 only made a few flights before being broken up in 1950.
An in-depth survey of the YB-49 crash site
Photo: YRB-49A on first flight. Aviation Week May 15, 1950 p.13
Anigrand makes 1/144th scale YB-49 kit in resin.