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MEDIA ADVISORY: Air Force Marathon’s next History and Heritage race debuts the XB-70 Valkyrie

The XB-70 Valkyrie was a prototype of the planned B-70, a nuclear-armed, deep penetration strategic bomber.

The XB-70 Valkyrie was a prototype of the planned B-70, a nuclear-armed, deep penetration strategic bomber.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio --

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – As the fifth historical aircraft to be featured, the XB-70- Valkyrie will be in the Air Force Marathon History and Heritage race series, beginning September 1.

The XB-70 Valkyrie was a prototype of the planned B-70, a nuclear-armed, deep penetration strategic bomber and offered a maximum speed of 2,056 mph at 73,000 feet and a range of 4,288 miles.

“The XB-70 Valkyrie is one of the most iconic aircraft in U.S. Air Force history despite only two ever being made,” Brandon Hough, Marathon race director said. “It has long been a fan favorite of those who visit the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and we are so excited to tell its story and to be able to feature it in our race series.”

Cruising at Mach 3+ for thousands of miles at 70,000 feet above the ground, developers believed it would be immune to interceptor aircrafts, which was the only effective weapon against bomber aircraft at that time.

Still, Soviet surface-to-air missiles developed in the late 1950s put the near-invulnerability of the B-70 in doubt and the USAF switched to ­flying low-level missions to which the B-70 offered no advantages over the B-52 it was meant to replace while being far more expensive.

The USAF gave up on the Valkyrie in 1961 and it was then used for research on long-duration high-speed ­light.

Each History and Heritage Race series participant will receive a medal of the featured aircraft for that particular race, an aircraft information card, a patch, and a downloadable finisher’s certificate.

Participants will have the option to choose between the marathon, half marathon, 10K, and 5K.

For more information and to register for the race, visit www.usafvirtual.com.