Northrop X-4  Bantam   46-677


                                    Two X-4s were built by the Northrop Corporation to study the flight characteristics of tailless aircraft
                                    using elevons (combined elevator and ailerons) at transonic speeds. The idea (which was unfounded)
                                    was that the absence of a tailplane would materially assist the transition to supersonic flight.  The first
                                    prototype was found to be so mechanically unsound that flights were quickly suspended and it was
                                    grounded.   It was later used to provide parts for the second (which first flew on June of 1949).  Both
                                    prototypes have, in fact, been preserved, the first being the at Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs,
                                    while the machine seen above is maintained at the United States Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson
                                    in Ohio.