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Northrop X4 Bantam, the midget with no rear stabilizers

3,394 CyanWasNotTheImpostor  one year ago

“The Northrop X-4 Bantam was a prototype small twinjet aircraft manufactured by Northrop Corporation in 1948. It had no horizontal tail surfaces, depending instead on combined elevator and aileron control surfaces (called elevons) for control in pitch and roll attitudes, almost exactly in the manner of the similar-format, rocket-powered Messerschmitt Me 163 of Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe. Some aerodynamicists had proposed that eliminating the horizontal tail would also do away with stability problems at fast speeds (called shock stall) resulting from the interaction of supersonic shock waves from the wings and the horizontal stabilizers. The idea had merit, but the flight control systems of that time prevented the X-4 from any success.” -wikipedia
Mine, obviously, doesn’t lack the flight control systems and can fly well.

Walter C. Williams, the head of the NACA Muroc Flight Test Unit (now Dryden Flight Research Center) called the aircraft a "lemon". It flies like one.
(If you didn’t know, NACA made the X-plane program)

General Characteristics

  • Created On iOS
  • Wingspan 29.2ft (8.9m)
  • Length 36.8ft (11.2m)
  • Height 14.7ft (4.5m)
  • Empty Weight 7,301lbs (3,312kg)
  • Loaded Weight 12,093lbs (5,485kg)


  • Power/Weight Ratio 1.858
  • Wing Loading 70.9lbs/ft2 (346.2kg/m2)
  • Wing Area 170.5ft2 (15.8m2)
  • Drag Points 3301


  • Number of Parts 150
  • Control Surfaces 1