The Evolution of the One-Hit Wonder

I started with this diagram of the Northrop YB-49 Flying Wing, an experimental jet bomber of the early Jet Age.


My first modified YB-49 concept was extremely simple; basically, I just shortened the wings and removed the gunnery pod from the tail.

OHW, Type 1

Unsatisfied with this simple change, I tried shortening the wings even further, chopping them off just outboard of the engines.

OHW, Type 2

This, though, made the ship seem too stubby to my eyes, lacking all of the original design's grace.

At about that time, Kris Overstreet decided that I was going about the design process all wrong, and offered his own interpretation of what the One-Hit Wonder should look like:

OHW, Type 2a

Kris's first design had some interesting features (the engine pods, especially, although at first I thought perhaps they needed to be wider, housing eight engines apiece instead of four), but the way the wing body is cut back to make a sort of pentagon shape (or it would if the back of the ship were flat) bugged me.

At this point, Kris's main complaint with my designs was that they didn't look "Corellian enough". In a bout of silliness, I countered with the following familiarly-derived design:

OHW, Type 3

Kris took it in stride and suggested I move the cockpit module into the body of the ship instead of hanging it at the end of the starboard wing. I did so, but the crudity of the modification (I didn't even bother erasing the fins from the cockpit pod) should give you some indication of the lateness of the hour by then.

OHW, Type 4

The next day, Kris had come up with two more attempts, both based on a fusion of Type 4 and his own Type 2a.

OHW, Type 5

OHW, Type 6

Of the two, I was intrigued by the Type 6, although the 'Earth Alliance Logo' look afforded in plan view by the cut-back main body still annoyed me. Kris refined that design slightly, moving the cockpit pod a skitch further from center and raising it up a little. (He also added it to the side elevation, from which it's paradoxically missing in the Type 5 and Type 6 drawings.)

OHW, Type 7

At this point I told him, "Put the damn wings back on and you'd have it." Never one to take the easy path, he did put the wings back on, but arranged them so that, although the ship now looked right in plan view, from the sides or front/rear it bears a strong family resemblance to a 1957 De Soto Firedome wagon.

OHW, Type 8

As he put it, "You wanted wings, I gave you fins. They're almost the same thing anyway."

After some deliberation I decided I liked the Type 8, even though it wasn't quite what I had in mind. The upswept fins give it a look reminiscent of the cars that were contemporaries of the original YB-49, and the rest of it has a suitably Star Wars-ish look; so the Type 8 became the final design.

Go back to the One-Hit Wonder main page.

Benjamin D. Hutchins
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited