Northrop JB-1A "Bat Bomb" (1943)
About the Design
Noting the success of Germany's V-1 program, the U.S. Army Air Force contracted Northrop Aviation in 1943 to construct America's own jet-powered flying bomb, dubbed the JB-1 (Jet-Propelled Bomb 1). Based on Northrop's MX-324 Rocket Wing platform, the unpiloted JB-1 was powered by two G.E. Type B1 turbojets and was designed to carry two 2,000 lbs. Northrop's engineers believed the craft would ultimately have a 670-mile range and a top speed of 427 mph.
Following manned glider tests, the first actual JB-1A was launched from a rail on December 7, 1944. It crashed after just 5 seconds. While Northrop was investigating the problem, the Air Force decided to eschew turbojets in favor of the more reliable pulse-jet system as used on the JB-2 Loon, and cancelled the JB-1 program.
About the Kit
This was a simple two-piece kit consisting of the wing-shaped body and a separate vertical tail. Builders were asked to provide their own pitot tube and, if desired, three eyebolts for the center fuselage.
The kit was available only the Edwards Air Base Museum in California and directly via Muroc Models.
This model was built form an original issue.