Cyber-hobby 1/200 YB-49 Flying Wing
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New tool kit|
The Northrop YB-49 was a prototype jet-powered heavy bomber aircraft developed by Northrop shortly after World War II. Intended for service with the U.S. Air Force, the YB-49 featured a flying wing design. It was a jet-powered development of the earlier, piston-engined Northrop XB-35 and YB-35; the two YB-49s actually built were both converted YB-35 test aircraft.
The YB-49 never entered production, being passed over in favor of the more conventional Convair B-36 Peacemaker piston-driven design. There were several other extenuating circumstances according to a number of sources. John Northrop was not always the easiest person to work with so made many enemies at the Pentagon, while Convair, had a strong lobbying group in place after years of working closely with Air Force decision makers.
While it is true that the YB-49 did have a tendency to yaw, a real issue with a strategic bomber, that could have been worked out. The YB-49 was also able to be upgraded with larger and more powerful engines, something that one could not do with the B-36. The B-49 was also extremely strong and would not have been prone to structural issues, something that plagued the B-36 for its short operational life. Quite a few aviation experts feel that the B-49 would have lasted in service nearly as long as the B-52, but it was not to be.
Design work performed in the development of the YB-35 and YB-49, nonetheless, proved to be valuable to Northrop in the eventual development of the current day B-2 Spirit strategic bomber, which first entered operational service in the 1990s.
If you are lacking the shelf space or asking price of Italeri's reboxed 1/72 YB-49, you should seriously give this one some consideration. The kit has alternate clear bits so it may well be that we will see a YB-35 or possibly YRB-49A in the near future.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/YB-49 December 2011
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