Science: Over the Desert

High over a California desert, the Air Force's famed "Flying Wing" bomber ran into trouble. An eyewitness said that it seemed to explode in the air. Then it plunged down to the sagebrush, killing its crew of five. At week's end, nobody seemed to know what had gone wrong.

The Flying Wing YB-49 is the second to be built by Northrop Aircraft, Inc. (the first has been undergoing test flights since last October). A queer, tailless bird, the YB-49 is powered by eight jet engines, with a thrust roughly equivalent to 32,000 h.p., making it...

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