Jul 282011

The San Diego Aerospace Museum has posted a Northrop video, “The Story of the Flying Wing.” While the video is faded and the audio is, frankly, painful, it remains of some real historical interest. This was clearly a video meant for the ignernt public, not as a promotional video to the Air Force, so it’s got a lot of dumbed-down in it, including a lot of cartoons.

[youtube c_NehU6fMWY]

I think the narrator is the same narrator from “The War Of The Worlds,” which featured a Flying Wing dropping nukular whoopass on the Martians…

 Posted by at 2:45 pm
  • Joel

    Thanks for sharing. That’s Paul Frees doing the VO.

  • Michael Holt

    It would be interesting to see the version they offered to the Air Force. Is there anything about the intended audience? High school, perhaps?

  • Pat Flannery

    Narrator is Paul Frees, who is the same guy in WOTW:
    He really had a great voice, and did a lot of work for Disney.
    The animation for the video looks like it was done by Disney also.
    I think this is where they got a lot of the footage for WOTW from.
    Regarding the video itself, the sceptic was right in this case; the thing was unstable and its pilots didn’t like it. When the last one suffered a nose gear collapse while doing high speed taxi trials and caught fire, the pilot could be heard telling the firemen to let it keep burning, as that would get rid of it before it killed some more people, like Edward’s crew…fortunately, the firemen listened to him.
    I like the part about putting it up on dollies and rolling it sideways into the hangar;
    They don’t explain exactly how you set it atop the dollies, but I think it’s a bit more labor intensive than just using your hand to lift its wingtip while someone slides the dolly under the wheels. 😀
    The stuff on attaching the horizontal tail to the back of the wing is complete BS; the further behind the wing the tail surfaces are the more leverage they exert and the smaller they need be. I’ve built several flying wing model gliders and although they have long range they are really challenging to keep stable in yaw, as the vertical fins are so close behind the CG that they don’t have much effect, even if they are very large. Northrop’s solution of having the split control surfaces at the wingtip (they called these “ailervators”) wasn’t ideal either; on the B-2 these are almost always opened in flight to some degree, generating drag at the wingtips to keep the aircraft flying nose-end forward, and I assume that was the case on the YB 35/49 also…but wasn’t the whole idea to decrease drag?

  • Bruce

    Interesting how the Germans had different ideas as far as flying wings for bombers and cargo carriers.
    The secret to the whole stability issue in my opinion is how on the Ho-229 is how the tail section
    is designed so that it gives the wing a seemed increased stability which if you look at the B-2 that it was
    designed in the same way.From what I have heard is that the Ho-229 had little to nothing stability