Company had its foundations in California in 1929, when John K. Northrop formed Northrop Aircraft Corporation as a division of United Aircraft and Transport Corporation and built the Alpha (first flown 1930), first all-metal stressedskin airplane, followed by the Beta 300 hp aircraft of 1931, first to exceed 200mph (322kmh). New Northrop Corporation founded after split with United Aircraft and Transport Corporation, with Douglas Aircraft holding a majority shareholding. Producing the Gamma high-speed mailplane in 1933 and other types. Northrop Corporation absorbed into Douglas 1937, and new independent Northrop Aircraft Inc established 1939 to concentrate on military projects, including the A-17 attack-bomber and P-61 Black Widow three-seat, twin-boom nightfighter, first aircraft in this category to be ordered by USAAF. Northrop experiments with the tailless XP-56 interceptor led to a number of postwar flying-wing projects, culminating in eight jetengined YB-49 flying-wing bomber of 1947. The F-89 Scorpion all-weather fighter entered production two years later, serving USAF and Air National
Northrop B-2 Spirit
B-2 "Spirit"
Guard Units until 1963. Extending its activities into other fields, the company changed its name to Northrop Corporation in the year 1959. In May 1994 Grumman and Northrop merged to form Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Northrop's final pre-merger production aircraft included the F-5E/F Tiger II lightweight tactical jet fighter/fighter trainer, developed with U.S. Government funding mainly for export as International Fighter Aircraft (first F-5E flown August 1972), derived from the 1959 N-156 prototype and early production F-5A/B Freedom Fighters built for supply under Military Assistance Programs. The T-38 Talon two-seat advanced trainer variant of N-156 for the USAF (first flown April 1959) went out of production in 1972 after 1,187 had been built, but these are being modernized to T-38C standard for redelivery from 1999 by Northrop Grumman. Northrop developed the YF-17 Cobra for competition against the Lockheed YF-16 for the USAF's Lightweight Fighter Program, but lost and became principal subcontractor to McDonnell Douglas on a proposed carrierborne naval fighter derivative. This eventually entered production as the carrier- and land-based F/A-18 Hornet (see McDonnell Douglas and Boeing). Finally developed the B-2 Spirit subsonic strategic stealth bomber (first flown July 1989) for the USAF (see Northrop Grumman Corporation).

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All the World's Rotorcraft

Virtual Aircraft Museum

A-13, A-16, A-17, A-33
BT-1, BT-2
P-61 "Black Widow"
XP-56 "Black Bullet"
MX-324, MX-334
XP-79B "Flying Ram"
F-89 "Scorpion"
X-4 "Bantam"
C-125 "Raider"
F-5 "Freedom Fighter"
T-38 Talon
"Tacit Blue"
F-20 Tigershark
B-2 "Spirit"
YF-23 "Black Widow II"