The Strangest Airplanes To Have Ever Been Built

Northrop XB-35

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The United States Army Air Corps requested a bomber that carried 10,000 lb of bombs with a maximum speed of 450 mph. The United States wanted an aircraft capable of bombing Nazi-controlled Europe if Britain fell. The Northrop Corporation produced the XB-35 and answered the United States government’s call. The aircraft production begin in 1942. In 1946, the Northrop flew for fourty-five minutes. This heavy bomber aircraft leveraged its crafty flying wing design to reduce drag and limit structural weight for flying efficiency. In 1949, the United States cancelled the development of the XB-35. The government listed technical reasons for the decision. Jack Northrop, founder of the Northrop Corporation, alleged that the cancellation was political. Northrop accused Secretary of the Air Force, Stuart Symington, of coercion. Northrop claimed Symington pushed a merger with Convair on him and Northrop’s refused. Northrop believes that refusal caused the cancellation. Others felt that the problems with the contra-rotating propellers’ shaft and Jack Northrop’s independent style conflicting with Washington’s politics led to XB-35’s abandonment. Shortly after leaving office, Symington accepted the President  position at Convair.