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"I would like to take this opportunity to commend all of you on the fine direction you are headed with the improvements to the Planes of Fame Museum. The Museum has been a valuable asset to the aviation community for many years and I believe the changes only increase the positive impact that will be made."

Thomas W., Riverside, CA
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Northrop N9MB


  • This aircraft was built in 1944 as the fourth and final in a series of 1/3 scale test models for the Northrop XB-35flying Wing bombers. Each of the N9Ms was painted in a different color scheme.
  • The primary mission of the N9Ms was to provide flight test information from which the maneuverability, controllability and performance of the XB-35 could be predicted. It was flown at Muroc Army Airfield (later Edwards Air Force Base) by well known pilots including Robert Cardenas, Russ Schleeh, John Myers, and Bob Hoover.
  • The final configuration of the N9MB featured leading edge slots, flaps, elevons and split rudders. These were used on the XB-35, the YB-49, and many years later, with some modifications, on the B-2 Stealth Bomber.
  • The N9MB was obtained from the U. S. Air Force by Ed Maloney of Planes of Fame Air Museum in the 1950s. Restoration was begun by Museum staff in 1981 and was completed 13 years later. It was painted in its original yellow-over-blue scheme. Flight testing was completed in 1996.


  • The aircraft was one of four prototypes built by Northrop, but the only surviving one left.
  • In 2012 it is now 66 years old and is the grandfather of today's B-2 Stealth Bomber.
  • The N9MB was also the first aircraft to utilize a fully hydraulic flight control system with airspeed-sensitive feedback.


Status: Flyable Length: 17 ft. 10 in.
Manufacturer: Northrop Height: 6 ft. 7 in.
Year: 1944 Maximum Speed: 220 mph
Model: N9MB Cruise Speed: 161 mph
Serial Number: 04 Power Plant: 2-300hp Franklin OX-540-7 8-cylinder air-cooled
Crew: 1 Range: 480 miles
Max T/O Weight: 6,818 lb. Service Ceiling: 21,500 ft.
Span: 60 ft. 0 in. Armament: None