Northrop N-9M
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Northrop N-9M

Experience with the N-1M convinced Northrop that an all-wing bomber was feasible, and following evaluation by USAAF engineers a design contract was awarded under the designation XB-35. Four 18.29m span N-9M scale models were built to provide flight data but the first, flown in December 1942, was lost in a fatal crash early the following year. The first three N-9Ms had two 205kW Menasco air-cooled engines, but the fourth, the N-9MB, had 224kW Franklins; all drove pusher propellers. A three-year test programme was flown from Muroc Army Air Base, providing much data and giving pilots experience in the handling and performance of flying wings, and the autopilot for the XB-35 was developed in an N-9M. All N-9Ms had retractable landing gear and varying colour schemes; the first two were all yellow, the third (N-9MA) was blue on top and yellow underneath, while the fourth (N-9MB) had the colour reversed. The colours identified the top or bottom of the aircraft during observations of the flight programme.

Northrop N-9MA three-view drawing (752 x 240)

 ENGINE2 x 193kW
    Take-off weight3200 kg7055 lb
    Wingspan18.3 m60 ft 0 in
    Length5.3 m17 ft 5 in
    Wing area46 m2495.14 sq ft

Bob Sanborn, 10.03.2011

In the early 40's we would leave for school and see two N-9M's fly by in formation going north and in the afternoon after school we would see them returning. It was very interesting to see. My mom was a planner and dad was an expeditor. After discharge in 49 started work as an tool designer all at Northrop. Jack would come out at second shift lunch break, stand on a table and give us a rundown. We new they flew up to Lake Curum (Curum family) later known as Muruc (spelt backwards). It was terrible to see B-35's get cut up but the contract was given to San Diago Convair.

Ken Dowd, 26.09.2010

Had the pleasure of seeing the Planes of Fame N-9M when it was being restored in Long Beach. The company I worked for (Teleflex) built a new set of engine controls(4)that are in the flying aircraft today. Was also at the rollout and first public flight at Chino.

Donald Harker, 11.05.2010

I have built and flown a 54inch, RC scale model of the N9M. I have had to develope shaft drives for the model to address the same CG issues that Northrup encountered. I believe that the flight characteristics are similar, with the same stall excitement as the original.

Lester, 24.09.2008

I was working on an earthmoving project in the Chino hills, near Planes of Fame, when I saw what turned out to be their flying wing coming in. I had no idea what it was until doing some research and finding they had restored this plane. Very strange to see it in the air, and I'm glad I got the chance.

Krolopp, 03.06.2008

The guys at Planes of Fame have restored one to flying conditions.

Bill Duncan, 27.05.2008

I was told that the chief test pilot for Northrop quit rather than fly this airplane. I worked with him for the Air Force in 1963, but cannot remember his name. He may have been an engineer himself.

WOW, 01.03.2008

I can't belive this was so high-tech, even back in the day!!

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