History & Heritage race showcases Tacit Blue in fifth event of 2023

  • Published
  • By Kayla Prather
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Tacit Blue is set to make its debut at the 2023 History & Heritage Race Series, sponsored by the Air Force Marathon, beginning Sept. 1.

Each event features its own aircraft, all unique to the Air Force’s history. The upcoming event highlights the fifth of this year’s six virtual races.

“We really enjoy each release of the History and Heritage Race Series because it gives our participants more opportunities to connect with our event but also to feature retired aircraft,” said Rachael Ferguson, director of the Air Force Marathon.

Tacit Blue proved that a stealthy aircraft could have curved surfaces – unlike the faceted exterior of the F-117 Nighthawk – which greatly influenced later aircraft like the B-2. Tacit Blue’s design also minimized the heat signature emitted from the engines, further masking its presence. Tacit Blue was aerodynamically unstable but had a digital fly-by-wire system to help with control.

With its low “all-aspect” radar signature, Tacit Blue demonstrated that such an aircraft could loiter over – and behind – the battlefield without fear of being discovered by enemy radar. Using advanced sensors, it could also continuously monitor enemy forces (even through clouds) and provide timely information through data links to a ground command center.

Tacit Blue flew 135 times before the program ended in 1985. The aircraft was declassified and placed on display at the museum in 1996.

History & Heritage Race Series competitors receive a patch and information card highlighting the marquee aircraft, finisher’s medal and downloadable completion certificate.

Runners have the option to compete in the marathon, half marathon, 10K or 5K. Each participant may also run or walk the full distance at any destination of their choosing. Results can be uploaded using a GPS-tracking app that confirms time and mileage, but this step is not required to receive your race packet.  Registration for each of the series’s six races is $30.

For more information on race registration, visit www.usafvirtual.com.

To learn more about the featured aircraft: Northrop Tacit Blue