37. Weight Advantages of Flying Wing Aircraft


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F J Meyer: 37. Weight Advantages of Flying Wing Aircraft. 1949.



When comparing flying wing aircraft or all-wing aircraft to conventional aircraft, it is necessary, due to lack of other comparable data, to use the Northrop Flying Wing Bomber as a basis of all wing aircraft. The Northrop B-35 has a wing area of 4,000 sq. feet, a span of 172 feet, and a design gross weight of 206,000 pounds. The power plant consists of four Wasp R-4360 engines turning, by means of drive shafts and remote gear boxes, counter-rotating propellers. The preliminary design of this airplane was started in 1942 and the airplane was first flown in June of 1946. The B-35 is not considered a pure flying wing aircraft as all items necessary for flight are not accommodated within the airfoil section. The aircraft has such protuberances as the pilot’s enclosure, gun turret domes, drive shaft and gear box housings and the aft crew nacelle. However, it is a near approach to the ideal and will afford a good basis for comparison. The primary aim in the development of the flying wing aircraft by the Northrop Corporation was to improve the structural, as well as the aerodynamic efficiency of the airplane. That this aim has been accomplished can be shown by a comparison of the weights of the B-35 to the present day bombardment type airplane.


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