The last surviving Northrop N9M, a prototype of the X/YB-35 flying wing, crashed outside Norco, California yesterday, killing the pilot and utterly destroying the aircraft.

The N9MB crashed next to the prison yard of a facility in Riverside County Monday
Photo: KTLA

The N9M-B was the last of 4 N9M aircraft built by Northrop to test the flying characteristics of the Flying Wing design Jack Northrop championed for his entire life. The N9M-1 crashed in 1943 after entering a spin, and the -2 and -A were scrapped after the end of the B-35 program. The -B languished outside for several decades until the Planes of Fame Air Museum bought the aircraft in the early 1980's and began restoring it. After its first flight in 1993, the N9M was part of of the POF regular air show appearances, even surviving an in-flight fire in 2006 that grounded the plane for 4 years.

The NTSB is investigating the accident, and the pilot (who has not been named as yet) is the only casualty.