Northrop Tacit Blue Experimental Aircraft (1982)
About the Design
Flown between 1982 and 1985, the Tacit Blue was an ultra top-secret stealth plane built by Northrop Aircraft under contract with the U.S.'s Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA). The oddly shaped plane with the flat, blunted nose was designed to test how stealth technologies might work with curved surfaces (as opposed to the highly angular surfaces of the F-117 Stealth fighter), in addition to testing a revolutionary new side-looking radar system. Although the plane was often branded "unstable" by its pilots, no crashes ever occurred. In fact, the Tactic Blue has been hailed by some as the most successful research plane ever built as it met every one of its mission objectives. Lessons gleaned from the Tacit Blue's flights were used to develop the B-2 bomber and FY-22 and F-23 fighters.
The Tacit Blue remained a mystery plane until it was unveiled to the public in 1990. The prototype is now on exhibit at the U.S. Air Force Museum at the Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio.
About the Kit
This 1/72-scale resin model was released by Planet Models of the Czech Republic in 2003. To the modeler, the kit's most daunting feature was its clear vacuform cockpit cover that had be carefully cut and blended into the main body. As the original Tacit Blue was unmarked, the only decals that came with the kit were the triangular "rescue" markings for the cockpit's side windows.
This model was built from an original 2003 issue.