aircooled MegaDork
4/22/19 7:48 p.m.

Unfortunately a VERY unique and rare plane is gone.  Sadly the pilot was lost also.  There is basically nothing left of it from what I have seen.

This was a development plane for the original Northrop flying wing bomber.  It was based out of Chino CA, which is going to have it's annual airshow in a few weeks.  I have seen it fly a number of times.  It crashed a few miles from the airport, but not in an area where it would be in the process of taking off or landing. 

As you might imagine, any engine issues in this plane would get dangerous very quickly.  Loose an engine and I am guessing the procedure is to just cut the other one and look for a place to put down.  Not exactly a lot of rudder to counteract the asymmetric thrust of an engine out.  I have no idea what made it crash, but that would be a strong suspicion (it's a nice day hear today, so it's not likely weather).  Based on the rarity and unique flying qualities, I am pretty certain the pilot was highly qualified.

joey48442 PowerDork
4/22/19 7:59 p.m.

Oh no, what a loss of life and history. 

pilotbraden UltraDork
4/22/19 8:23 p.m.

That was a hell of an airplane. I have no direct knowledge of how to control a flying wing but I suspect that raising the side with the dead engine 5 to 10 degrees might make it controllable. My heart goes out to the pilots family and friends.

californiamilleghia HalfDork
4/22/19 8:26 p.m.

I believe it was built in Hawthorne California where SpaceX and Tesla are now ,


gencollon New Reader
4/22/19 8:31 p.m.


stroker UltraDork
4/22/19 9:16 p.m.



914Driver MegaDork
4/23/19 7:22 a.m.

I understand yaw control is only a suggestion.

Toyman01 MegaDork
4/23/19 8:25 a.m.

That's sad. My condolences to the pilots family. sad

Looking at the impact area is must have gone almost straight in. 

T.J. MegaDork
4/23/19 9:49 a.m.

Cool looking plane.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
4/23/19 10:49 a.m.
914Driver said:

I understand yaw control is only a suggestion.

Yep, on a plane like that, having the two props geared together for safety would've been a good idea. I imagine recovering from a flat spin would be nearly impossible once it starts.

ShawnG PowerDork
4/23/19 11:27 a.m.

Aww hell, that's too bad. Shame they lost the pilot as well. 

That was an amazing piece of history.

Gearing the props together has been done on prototype aircraft but the added weight and complexity only makes matters worse.

RX Reven'
RX Reven' SuperDork
4/24/19 2:00 p.m.

I’m very sorry to learn of this.

I’ve seen the plane up close many times at Camarillo and Chino and I always wondered about its wildly overbuilt landing gears. I imagine it was a parts bin situation but still found it odd to accept ~150 Lbs. of unnecessary weight.

pheller UltimaDork
4/24/19 5:44 p.m.

It was my understanding that these flying wings were among the most dangerous and difficult to control aircraft ever to fly. The only reason the B2 is able to stay in the air is its computerized control systems. 


And yet, as a glider or microlite, they are fine. 


What's more crazy is that this aircraft in particular had an in-air fire that forced an emergency landing and it was restored again to flying condition. It's like it wasn't made to be in the air...


Condolences to the pilot's family and his massive balls. 

Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
4/24/19 6:07 p.m.

Bugger. That’s tragic for all concerned including the ground crew, families etc. sad day. 

Will UltraDork
4/24/19 7:44 p.m.

In reply to RX Reven' :

It was nothing but a technology demonstrator. Didn't have to be fast or light. Just had to prove it could fly and be controlled.

aircooled MegaDork
4/25/19 3:51 p.m.

The gear was off of a P-51 if I remember correctly. 

It's possible they went twin engined to allow them to test asymmetric thrust since the B-35 was multi-engined.

GTXVette UltraDork
4/25/19 4:47 p.m.

We Used to See the B-35 Fly Over Miami Fla.  It Must Have Been Around 1955-60 It Flew over Low And looked huge, 

  So Cool To Be a Part of Something Like That, Sad For All.

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