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OBITUARIES : MAX STANLEY, 89; TEST PILOT FOR FIRST FLYING WING.

Byline: Daily News Staff and Wire Services

Max R. Stanley, a Northrop test pilot who flew the experimental Flying Wing 40 years before its modern-day equivalent, the B-2 bomber, was invented, has died.

Stanley, 89, an inductee of Lancaster's Aerospace Walk of Honor in 1993, died Saturday at his Brentwood home, said his wife, Judie Scott Stanley.

He piloted the four-engine, boomerang-shape Flying Wing on June 25, 1946, from Northrop's Hawthorne Airport to the Army's Muroc airfield, now known as Edwards Air Force Base.

About a dozen versions of the Flying Wing were developed by John K. Northrop between 1942 and 1949, including the two-seat N-9, used to train pilots; the B-35, a three-man, piston-engine aircraft; and the 15-man B-49, with eight jet engines. But the planes were criticized for a lack of safety and fuel inefficiency.

Eventually, the Northrop plane lost out to the Convair B-36 as the bomber of choice for America's Strategic Air Command. But the Flying Wing remained Stanley's favorite of all the aircraft he flew from the 1930s until his retirement from Northrop in 1972.

He noted decades later that the aircraft didn't show up on radar ``even when they knew we were coming in,'' he said, but that ``apparently didn't impress anyone at the time.''

He was a founding member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and chairman of its scholarship committee. He also was a founding member of the Aviation Country Club of Southern California.

A native of Santa Monica, Stanley was educated at Stanford University. In 1941, before the United States entered World War II, he ferried U.S. planes to the British via South America and Africa.

In addition to his wife of 20 years, Stanley is survived by his children, Dinah Jane, Paul and Jeffrey; and nine grandchildren.

Margaret P. Duran

Services for Margaret P. Duran will be held at 10 a.m. today at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1600 E. Ave. R-4, Palmdale. Interment will follow at Desert Lawn Memorial Park, 2200 E. Ave. S, Palmdale.

Duran, a homemaker, died Saturday at age 80.

Survivors include her husband, Belsan Duran; sons, David Duran, Jose A. Duran and Robert Duran; daughter, Martha Villegas; sister, Nelda Griego; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Chapel of the Valley Mortuary Palmdale is in charge of arrangements.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Jan 28, 1999
Words:383
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