Muroc AFB, CA "Flying Wing" Bomber Crashes, June 1948

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"FLYING WING" CRASH KILLS CREW OF FIVE.

Muroc Air Force Base, Calif., June 5. -- The jet-propelled bomber YB-49 "Flying Wing" one of America's top military air secrets in the subsonic range, crashed today during a test flight and killed its crew of five.

The Air Force announced that the ponderous appearing giant, whose eight jet engines were capable of pushing it over 600 miles per hour, plunged into the ground 10 miles northwest of this air base. It was officially known as the world's longest range, most powerful jet aircraft.

The crash in a remote sector of Muroc Dry Lake bed, over which tests of subsonic and supersonic aerial speeds are being conducted, completely demolished the weird-appearing ship, the Air Force said. There were no witnesses to the crash, Air Force officials said.

Ground parties which reached the scene reported debris was widely scattered and that the plane apparently exploded and burned when it hit the ground.

Air Force officials said only that the plane "ran into difficulties" before it crashed. Several days of investigation will be needed before the cause of the wreck could be ferreted out, Air Force officials said.

The crew had not radioed any report of trouble before the crash, officials said.

Names of the victims were withheld by air force authorities pending notification of next of kin.

The craft was all metal and tail-less, a radical departure from conventional fuselage type ships. A jet-propelled counterpart of the propellor-driven flying wing B-35 bomber, its engines were capable of producing a thrust of 32,000 horsepower.

The Corpus Christi Caller Times Texas 1948-06-06

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