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John Knudsen Northrop

  • Co-invented a process for making monoplane fuselages and helped design the F-1 flying boat in 1916 while working for the Loughead Aircraft Company (later renamed Lockheed).
  • Assumed the role of Chief Engineer at Lockheed in 1927 and built the Vega monoplane.
  • Owned the Avion Company which he later sold and renamed the Northrop Aircraft Corporation.
  • Designed the first flying wing and the Alpha and Beta monoplanes.
  • Formed his own corporation again in 1932 as a subsidiary of Douglas and built the Gamma, Delta transport, and the Dauntless dive-bomber.
  • Formed Northrop Aircraft, Inc. in 1939 where he built the first successful N-1M flying wing and the XP-56 flying wing fighter.
  • Created the first US rocket-powered aircraft, the JB-10 flying bomb, the P-61 Black Widow night fighter and the XP-79 flying wing fighter.
  • Founded the Northrop Institute of Technology after World War II and completed the XB-35 flying wing bomber. He later built the jet-propelled XB-49 flying wing bomber and the Snark, America’s first inertial-guided intercontinental ballistic missile.
  • ​​Built the X-4 research plane that NASA and the Air Force’s famed Chuck Yeager (enshrined 1973) used to investigate near-sonic flight.

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