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  • Northrop N-1M Flying Wing Research Aircraft


    The Northrop N-1M flying wing research vehicle was in development throughout World War 2 and proved several concepts sound.

     Updated: 4/19/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com


    John "Jack" Northrop long held a fascination with the "flying wing" concept, an aircraft that did not rely on a traditional tail unit or vertical features for stabilized flight and handling. The flying wing concept allowed for more efficient airflow through reduced drag and excellent internal volume for both weapons and fuel stores while offering extended flying ranges. It was not until the 1940s that his flying wing dream led to the first true flying wing design in the United States as the Northrop "N-1M" prototype vehicle. The aircraft recorded its first flight in July of 1941 before America had yet to enter World War 2.

    Prior to founding the fabled Northrop concern (which continues business today), Jack Northrop served with both Douglas Aircraft and competitor Lockheed during the 1920s where he lent his talents to the design of the popular Lockheed Vega of 1927. It was during this decade that Mr. Northrop began to center his attention on an all-wing aircraft concept which led to his leaving Lockheed to found the Avion Corporation - his first solo venture. In 1929, he designed a "pseudo-flying wing" of all-metal, stressed-skin design which was designated as the "Flying Wing X-216H". The aircraft still retained a traditional tail unit and made use of a twin boom arrangement as well as a single "pusher" propeller arrangement. Funding and other commitments limited Northrop's venture into all-wing designs for the interim.


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    Northrop N-1M Technical Specifications


    Service Year: 1941
    Type: Flying Wing Research Aircraft
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): Northrop - USA
    Production Total: 1



    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)


    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 17.91 feet (5.46 meters)
    Width: 38.68 feet (11.79 meters)
    Height: 4.92 feet (1.50 meters)

    Weight (MTOW): 3,902 lb (1,770 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance


    Engine(s): 2 x Lycoming O-145 4-cylinder air-cooled piston engines developing 65 horsepower each (original); 2 x Franklin 6AC-264F2 6-cylinder air-cooled piston engines developing 117 horsepower each (later).

    Maximum Speed: 200 mph (322 kph; 174 knots)
    Maximum Range: 300 miles (483 km)
    Service Ceiling: 3,999 feet (1,219 meters; 0.76 miles)

    Armament / Mission Payload


    None.

    Global Operators / Customers


    United States

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)


    N-1M - Base Series Designation