Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 136,261 pages of information and 218,941 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1939 John K. Northrop, a skilled and innovative designer, formed Northrop Aircraft Incorporated in Hawthorne, Calif.
1940 Northrop built its first aircraft, the N-3PB patrol bomber, for the Norwegian Air Force
1944 The P-61 Black Widow night fighter entered combat
1946 First flight of the XB-35 flying wing
1948 First flight of the successor to the P-61, the F-89 Scorpion, a heavily-armed, all-weather fighter-interceptor
1952 Northrop acquired yje Radioplane Company, manufacturer of target drones
1959 First flight of the F-5, a supersonic fighter combining low cost, ease of maintenance and great versatility.
1959 To reflect the changing character of its business, Northrop Aircraft Incorporated changed its name to Northrop Corporation
1960 The SM-62 Snark, the first online intercontinental guided missile, entered service
1961 The T-38 supersonic trainer entered service.
1964 Northrop delivered the first F-5 to the U.S. Air Force. Eventually used in more than 30 countries
1978 Northrop delivered the first F/A-18 Hornet
1982 First flight of the F-20 Tigershark, an advanced version of the F-5; this aircraft could be airborne 60 seconds after an alert, the fastest scramble time of any fighter in the world
1989 First flight of the B-2 stealth bomber, a descendant of Jack Northrop's flying wing design
1990 First flight of the YF-23, another aircraft with stealth characteristics