In January 1943, Northrop was awarded a USAAF contract
for the design and construction of three prototypes
of a highly original rocket-propelled interceptor
fighter of all-wing configuration and designated XP-79.
To be powered by a single 907kg Aerojet
rocket motor, the XP-79 was to have accommodated its
pilot in the prone position, but, in the event, development
problems with the rocket led to cancellation of the
project. However, a contract was placed for the redesign
of the fighter for turbojet power, one prototype
being ordered as the XP-79B. Manufactured of Heliarc-welded
heavy-gauge magnesium plate, the XP-79B
featured reinforced wing leading edges which were intended
to enable it to withstand ramming attacks on
the tail surfaces of enemy bombers. Provision was also
made for an armament of four 12.7mm
machine guns. The wing was fitted with elevons and
bellows-type rudders, and power was provided by two
619kg Westinghouse 19B turbojets. The XP-79B was flown for the first time on 12 September
1945, but in a climbing turn during its second pass over
Muroc Dry Lake, an inadvertent roll was followed by a
stall and then a spin from which the pilot was unable to
recover, and following this accident the programme
| Take-off weight||3932 kg||8669 lb|
| Empty weight||2649 kg||5840 lb|
| Wingspan||11.58 m||38 ft 0 in|
| Length||4.27 m||14 ft 0 in|
| Height||2.13 m||7 ft 0 in|
| Wing area||25.83 m2||278.03 sq ft|
| Max. speed||880 km/h||547 mph|
| Range||1600 km||994 miles|
|A three-view drawing (1280 x 714)|
|jim greenwell, 29.05.2014|
My modeling class built one it took two months it flew great.
I got the plans off the internet. As a model aircraft it did great don't know about the real aircraft.
|x91-a6 Devirginator, 22.08.2011|
All y'all cracked peeps better be commenting.
Also, awesome plane. Scary, but damn cool looking.
|Ta-183 Huckebein, 24.05.2010|
Nice airplane! WOOT first comment! YEAH!!!!!!!! XD
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?
FACTS AND FIGURES
© The XP-79B's pilot lay in a prone position,
theoretically giving tolerance of up to 20g. Although
the intention was to strike enemy aircraft using the
leading edges of the wings, finding volunteers to dive
on enemy bombers head first in a plastic bubble may
have proved difficult.
© The XP-79B's structure was
largely magnesium, assembled
using Northrop's patented
Heliarc welding process.
© The pilot controlled the ailerons with
a tiller bar in front of him and rudders
mounted at his feet, which worked the
opposite way to normal. Intakes at the
wingtips supplied air for the unusual