Aerospace Legacy Foundation

Your portal to America's aerospace history

562-714-9876

Aerospace Legacy Foundation (ALF) is a community based non-profit organization (501c3) including aerospace retirees and the public at large. Large collection of artifacts, photos and assets from the former Downey NASA Industrial Site (Boeing/ Downey Studios). Speakers Bureau, Sponsor of Pioneers in Aviation, the Race to the Moon. Downey, California is the home of Apollo and the Space Shuttle programs.

 

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In the news...and selected stories

 

X-15 at maximum altitude. NASA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next ALF Member Meeting:

Saturday March 18, 2017

ALF Event Calendar

 

 

SpaceX "Dragon" capsule

 

 

North American Aviation Bald Eagles Final Luncheon (55th) 2017

 

 

 

Forward Thinkers-

Jack Northrup

 

Northrop Flying Wing

 

"The aircraft was called the XB-35, and it was a flying wing; it was designed without the familiar central fuselage and rear tail. It was also massive, its 172-foot wing span promised to dwarf the wildly popular B-17 Flying Fortress, which was just over 104 feet across. And it included a host of new technical developments. Northrop’s flying wing boasted power operated elevons and rudders, which necessitated attaching springs to the control wheels and under the rudder pedal to give the pilot a “feel” for his control surfaces. Ram air pressure in a bellows attached to the control columns gave the pilot the same "feeling" of his elevator control. On the plane’s exterior, trim flaps, elevons, landing flaps, and split flaps for rudders were arranged along the trailing edge, the rear width of the wing. It also used wing tip slots with automatically controlled covers for increased longitudinal stability at high angles of attack." Popular Science

Northrop Flying Wing aircraft 1947

"Even without a central fuselage, the XB-35 had an impressive artillery capacity. Eight bomb bays were built into the wing allowing it to carry 10,000 pounds of conventional bombs. It also had twenty 0.50 calibre machine guns in seven turrets — four on the wing, two on the crew nacelle, and a tail stinger — for mid-air defence. The only traditional thing about the design was the engines. The wing was powered by four Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major 3,000 horsepower piston propellor engines."

Northrop Flying Wing aircraft 1947

"The original 1941 contract had called for one XB-35, but it was amended before long to include a second aircraft as a backup. In late 1942, thirteen service test models designated YB-35s were added to the contract, and by June, the final number of production XB-35 bombers was raised to 200. But Northrop couldn’t meet this demand, even when the Army Air Force brought the Glenn L. Martin Company in to help with the program. The partnership proved more of a hindrance than a help. There was confusion over the “X” and “Y” designations, a marked lack of coordination with other ongoing programs by both companies, and an overall loss of engineers to the draft. When the AAF reviewed the program in May of 1944, the decision was to cancel it." Popular Science

 

"On to the Next One: the YB-49

While the XB-35 program moved forward, the AAF decided to pursue an experimental jet-powered version of the flying wing. And in an attempt to keep production costs down, the decision was made to convert existing aircraft to their jet-powered versions rather than build completely new aircraft. And so two B-35's then under construction were converted to YB-49's. Eight jet engines replaced the four propeller engines, vertical fences and fins were added for stability, and two of the bomb bays were converted to fuel tanks".

YB-49 in a hangar.

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1954-2016      James Milton Busby- Former ALF President

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Aerospace Legacy Foundation PO Box 40684 Downey CA 90239-1684

 

Welcome to the Aerospace Legacy Foundation- Your Portal to America's Aerospace History

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Aerospace Legacy Foundation - A California 501c3 Organization

 

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