Tag Archives: Northrop

Patrouille Suisse

This strikingly-liveried aircraft is a Northrop F5-E Tiger supersonic fighter, and it looks really rather conspicuous indeed. Conspicuous is not what you want from a fighter of course, but whilst the F5-E was mostly designed to do battle against MiGs, it’s also used by the Patrouille Suisse aerobatic display team. Because what else do the Swiss need to do with a fighter jet?

Recreated here by previous bloggee Dornbi this brilliant brick-built Patrouille Suisse F5-E Tiger replicates the real aircraft’s livery in spectacular fashion, including the white ‘X’ on the bottom which we can’t even begin to fathom out. Head to Dornbi’s ‘F5-E Tiger’ album on Flickr to see if you can.

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Flying Fruit

Airlines never seem to offer fruit on board. Little packets of pretzels yes. Fruit no. Or nothing at all if you’re flying budget, although there will be a catalogue containing a $4,000 watch. No matter, because the aptly-named Big Planes of Flickr has some serious in-flight fruit for us today. This is the Northrop N-9M ‘Flying Wing’, it really did exist and it really did look like a giant banana.

The N-9M was an experimental aircraft constructed in the early 1940s to test the theory behind an ultra efficient single wing bomber design. Four planes were built, and they crashed a lot. The idea worked though, and a pair of Flying Wings three times the size of the N-9M were constructed to further test the design.

Unfortunately the design really needed computer control to keep it airborne, which was incredibly limited at the time, and the projects were shelved; all but one of the four N-9Ms  built were scrapped. The fourth was left to deteriorate, but following a funding campaign it returned to the air in 1993 after two decades of restoration work, touring airshows and events across America. Sadly it too crashed in April of this year, killing the pilot and destroying the last N-9M in existence.

Big Planes’ beautifully built mini-figure scale replica of the Northrop N-9M is now as close as you’re likely to get to seeing what this incredible aircraft was like, however the design direction continued and – once computers caught up with the ambition of Northrop’s 1940s engineers – a flying wing did finally take to the skies; the amazing Northrop-Grumman B-2 Spirit  ‘Stealth Bomber‘.

There’s more to see of Big Planes’ brilliant Northrop N-9M at his photostream on Flickr. Click the link above, open a little pack of pretzels, and enjoy the images.

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Eye in the Sky

Lego E-2C Hawkeye Aircraft

This wonderfully weird contraption is a Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft, currently serving in the U.S Navy aircraft carrier fleet. First flying in 1960, the E-2 Hawkeye is not only still in service some five decades later, but is actually still in production, giving it the longest production run of any carrier-based aircraft.

The huge disc atop the Hawkeye is a 24-foot rotating radar dome equipped with long-range radar and IFF systems, the only carrier-based aircraft to possess such technology. This enormous eye/ear allows the E-2 to detect incoming threats long before they become a danger, allowing the carrier upon which it’s stationed to prepare defences.

This remarkably accurate replica of one the the U.S navy’s oddest aircraft comes from previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist, and he’s used some absolutely genius techniques to recreate the Hawkeye’s unique shape. There’s lots more to see at Ralph’s photostream by clicking here – just know that the Hawkeye is sure to see you coming…

Lego E-2C Hawkeye U.S Navy Aircraft

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Black Widow

Lego Northrop P-61 Black WidowThis Northrop P-61 ‘Black Widow’, built by Sydag on Flickr, shows what a long exposure can do for your pictures, in this case giving the appearance of turning propellors when no motors are to be found in the model. Clever photography for a clever build!

This is the second P-61 we’ve published here at TLCB. The first contains a brief summary and history of the American interceptor, which you can find by using the Search function at the foot of this page, or by clicking the relevant ‘tags’ under this post.

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