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Flying wing bombers

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posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 05:58 AM
Ther has been much debate over who was first with designs for flying wings in general and flying wings in particular with there being two main camps in the argument, those who believe Jack Northrop was the pioneer and those who believe it was the Horten brothers. I have already shown how it was iin fact J W Dunne with his tailless biplanes before World War 1 who first demonstrated the swept flying wing as we know it today but in fact he too was only adapting from even earlier proposals but as these all predate practical powered flight we can give Dunne the credit.

In the context of using this layout in a heavy bomber however the argument still rages but it remains a fact that neither Northrop nor Horten knew what the other was doing so the credit can be shared.

Except that they weren't alone as this drawing testifies;

Although it differs in detail, as you would expect, the Vickers 'E' features almost exactly the same wing planform as the Northrop XB-35 and YB-49. The similarity to the XB-35 is further heightened by the use of contra rotating pusher propellers. Only the existence of a 'conventional' fuselage for the crew and weapons is radically different and from the date we can see that it was in development around the same time as the XB-35 was so maybe this type of layout was so unique after all?

Obviously it remained a brochure while the XB-35 actually flew and great credit must be given for that but it is worth noting that the USA was well away from the front line with its industry unmolested and vast resources available to plough into such projects, the document accompanying the picture notes that while the 'E' has great technical merit, Britains need to maintain a ready supply of heavy bombers to the RAF and the current state of the war make it too risky, especially regarding the proportion of UK industry that is already engaged on experimental work (waynos note; meaning probably jets) and at constant risk of air attack.

Another interesting might have been I think. Any comments?

I have many more of these concepts and I will try to bring more of them to the board. I also have some interesting designs that were built but in very different form .

Edit; here is a photo of the original Vickers wind tunnel model, it illustrates the article but also helps prevent the impression that I made it up

[edit on 18-1-2005 by waynos]

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 06:56 AM
Awesome stuff Waynos. Have you ever seen the Arado E 555/1 flying wing? 3000 mile combat range, turbojet powered. Would have been able to hit New York with ease. If the war had continued on for a few years this might have been headed to New York, although the prop driven bombers being developed might have been there first. If you haven't read the Luftwaffe secret projects series by Dieter Herwig and Heinz Rode, I'd highly reccomend it. Some really great info and photos/illustrations of aircraft that were produced and some that might have been had the war progressed. There are three books in the series, Strategic bombers 1935-45, Fighters 1939-45 and ground attack aircraft. The Germans had some incredible stuff in development. Theres a great painting of two Arados being intercepted over Manhatten by a p-80. Although thats fancy, the book is based on facts.

posted on Jan, 18 2005 @ 07:08 AM
I have the fighters and bombers editions of those books, I hadn't heard of the ground attack edition, I will get it cheers,

There are also three volumes of British secret projects, Fighters & Bombers 1935-50, Jet Bombers since 1949 and Jet fighters since 1950. The latest volume covers Soviet secret projects but I'm not sure which category it covers just yet, I have it on order.

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