The Northrop JB-1 "Bat" was a United States surface-to-surface cruise missile that was a prototype jet-powered flying wing. The United States Army Air Forces MX-543 program was initiated in September 1942 to use license-built versions of Frank Whittle's jet engine (General Electric J31). The Northrop Corporation was contracted in late 1943, and only 10 JB-1 airframes were built. A manned version was towed for the 1st flight on "August 27, 1943", [sic] from Rogers Dry Lake; and a glider version was launched from a rocket-propelled sled and crashed in December 1944. An unmanned JB-1 powered by an improvised[verification needed]General Electric B-1 turbojet with a wing span of 28 feet 4 inches (8.64 m) made its 1st flight from Eglin Field's Santa Rosa Island, Florida, on December 7, 1944, and crashed 400 yards from the rail launcher.
With the successful USAAF flights of JB-2 pulsejet-powered copies of the V-1 flying bomb, the older JB-1 program was "reoriented towards pulsejet propulsion, and the remaining JB-1s were modified or completed as JB-10 missiles." Only one of the JB-10 variants was completed by the end of the war (with Ford PJ-31-1 pulsejet engine), and 1945 sled launches using 4 Tiny Tim rockets were at Muroc Field and Eglin. In June 1996, the Western Museum of Flight restored the only remaining airframe as a manned JB-1.
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