The S-1 single-place biplane had a monocoque fuselage and folding wings, an overall ingenious design that was well ahead of its time when it was unveiled in 1919. Each S-1 cost ,500, an amount few were willing to pay in a market flooded with cheap war surplus planes selling for as little as 0.Northrop's plane ruined Lockheed, and he moved to Douglas Aircraft in the early 1920s where he built “Round-the-World” cruisers and devoted his spare time to his new pet concept of an all-wing aircraft.But he never saw his pet project come to life, the flying wing aircraft whose whole body was a lifting surface.With minimum drag and maximum lift, he imagined the radical design becoming an efficient long-range bomber.Northrop’s flying wing boasted power operated elevons and rudders, which necessitated attaching springs to the control wheels and under the rudder pedal to give the pilot a “feel” for his control surfaces.Ram air pressure in a bellows attached to the control columns gave the pilot the same "feeling" of his elevator control.
And though the aircraft was nothing but wing, there was still ample space for a crew.
The pilot sat in a plexiglass bubble left of centre with the co-pilot to the right and below him.
Stations for an engineer, a radio operator, navigator, bombardier, and gunners were also in the forward part of the body.
But Northrop couldn’t meet this demand, even when the Army Air Force brought the Glenn L. The partnership proved more of a hindrance than a help.
There was confusion over the “X” and “Y” designations, a marked lack of coordination with other ongoing programs by both companies, and an overall loss of engineers to the draft.