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Article number: 108791
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"America's first cruise missile the Northrop "Bat Bomb" and the GE B-1 Engine"

Noting the success of Germany's V-1 program, the U.S. Army Air Force contracted Northrop Aviation in 1943 to construct America's own jet-powered flying bomb, dubbed the JB-1 (Jet-Propelled Bomb 1). Based on Northrop's MX-324 Rocket Wing platform, the unpiloted JB-1 was powered by two G.E. Type B1 turbojets and was designed to carry two 2,000 bombs. Northrop's engineers believed the craft would ultimately have a 670-mile range and a top speed of 427 mph.

Following manned glider tests, the first actual JB-1A was launched from a rail on December 7, 1944. It crashed after just 5 seconds. While Northrop was investigating the problem, the Air Force decided to eschew turbojets in favor of the more reliable pulse-jet system as used on the JB-2 Loon, and cancelled the JB-1 program.

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