Northrop Tacit Blue


Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  RESEARCH AIRCRAFTVirtual Aircraft Museum / USA / Northrop  

Northrop Tacit Blue

The "Tacit Blue" was built to test the advances in stealth technology. The aircraft made its first flight in February 1982 and by the conclusion of the program in 1985 had flown 135 times.

Northrop Tacit Blue on YOUTUBE

Northrop Tacit Blue

 MODEL"Tacit Blue"
 ENGINE2 x Garrett ATF3-6
  Take-off weight13500 kg29763 lb
  Wingspan14.69 m48 ft 2 in
  Length17.0 m56 ft 9 in
  Height3.23 m11 ft 7 in
  Cruise speed460 km/h286 mph
  Ceiling9000 m29550 ft

Richard Andersen, e-mail, 05.01.2015 00:37

I worked in the Advanced Projects Laboratory in Hawthorne on this project. I designed the Mission Computer Power and Control Console. It worked, as I was told by the operators. Later, I had the job of dismanteling it.


Greg Long, e-mail, 10.05.2014 22:32

I worked for Northrop in their corporate flight dept. with Don Short. Dick Thomas did most of the experimental test flights on this and has passed away only a few years back. Dick's boss Hank Chouteau, whom I knew, passed away just a few weeks ago as of this writing (5 /10 /2014)


Lewis Thomason, e-mail, 01.08.2012 01:24

I started at Northrop in 1980 on this. I thought they had gone crazy when I saw the inboard profile for the first time.


John C. Evans, e-mail, 18.07.2012 05:21

You can find out more about the Garrett ATF3 engines and the five aircraft that it powered by going to my domain at atf3 org .


John C. Evans, e-mail, 18.07.2012 05:17

I worked on the ATF3 engine program from 1968 through 22000. The Tacit Blue had two Garrett ATF3 engines similar to the USCG ATF3-6-2C prototypes. In all five engines were delivered to Northrop with SN's 19101, 19102, 19103, 19104, and 19105. At the completion of the Tacit Blue program the remaining engines were sold to the USCG for spare parts and upgrades to ATF3-6-4C engines.


deaftom, e-mail, 06.04.2011 04:53

This now sits in the National Museum of the United States Air Force, at Dayton, Ohio. It looks kind of out of place amongst all the sleeker aircraft around it.


Dave, e-mail, 13.10.2010 02:06

Was the Operations guy for The Whale for it's first two years. What a great time that was. And superb people to work with. Loved it.


F-35 Boy, e-mail, 25.08.2010 02:36

Goofy lookin' lil thing, ain't it? lol


Do you have any comments?

Name    E-mail


All the World's Rotorcraft

All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 -