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
[edit on 18-1-2005 by waynos]