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Posted 5/16/2011 Printable Fact Sheet
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Northrop XP-79B
Northrop XP-79B areial front view. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The XP-79 was initially designed as a rocket-powered flying wing and featured a cockpit where the pilot lay in the prone position, which theoretically allowed him to withstand up to 20 Gs. A contract for three XP-79s was signed in January 1943 and subsequently subcontracted to Avion Inc. The third aircraft ordered (S/N 43-52437) was redesigned for turbojet engines, designated XP-79B, and delivered in June 1945. The first flight of the aircraft resulted in tragedy, when on Sept. 12, 1945, after only 14 minutes in the air, the XP-79B began an uncontrollable roll from which the pilot was unable to recover. The project was cancelled following the accident.

Type Number built/
XP-79 0 Rocket-powered; three ordered; canceled
XP-79A 0 Rocket-powered; canceled
XP-79B 1 Jet-powered flying wing

Armament: None; designed for four .50-cal. machine guns
Engines: Two Westinghouse 19B turbojets of 1,150 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed: 547 mph
Span: 38 ft. 0 in.
Length: 14 ft. 0 in.
Height: 7 ft. 6 in.
Crew: One (in prone position)

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