The U.S. Air Force’s iconic Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber will be celebrated in Conor Daly’s livery for the #20 Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet IndyCar this year.
ECR and the U.S. Air Force have unveiled Daly’s color scheme that features a pattern of silver, blue and black silhouettes of one of the world’s most distinctive planes.
“The No. 20 was painted in ECR’s race shop and features a pattern of silver, blue and black silhouettes of the only stealth bomber in the world.
A group of select airmen from the 509th Bomb Wing were the first to see the 2021 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet two weeks ago. Daly and members of the ECR team travelled to Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, to meet the men and women who maintain, support and operate the aircraft, and displayed the No. 20 car alongside the inspiration behind its design – a B-2 Spirit.
The 509th Bomb Wing and its fleet of B-2s serve as part of the U.S. Air Force’s conventional and strategic combat force. Whiteman AFB is the only operational base for the strategic stealth bomber.
The 29-year-old IndyCar driver has extended his longstanding relationship with the U.S. Air Force in a program that, for 2021, includes all road and street courses and the Indy 500 with ECR.
“To be able to pay tribute to one of the most outstanding aircraft in the U.S. Air Force fleet is really incredible,” Daly said. “The B-2 Spirit represents some of the greatest technology in the modern world and some of the most impressive air power. For it to be on our NTT IndyCar Series car means a lot to myself and ECR; we hope it’s as powerful as the B-2.
“We have such incredible cars every year,” Daly continued. “We’ve showcased the history of the fighter jet, which is so fitting since our cars look like fighter jets. Now, we’ve got the B-2 on our car in a really cool pattern. We really hope the fans love it as much as we do!”
The B-2, which first flew in 1989, went into operational service in 1997 and first entered combat in 1999 (Kosovo) remains the only stealth bomber type in the world.
The B-2’s low-observable (stealth) characteristics are not only the result of sophisticated counter-surveillance materials and anti-reflective camouflage, but also the shape of the plane.
Without a tail fin, and using a fuselage and air intakes that are more like blisters fully integrated into a vast wing, the B-2 echoes the designs that emerged from Northrop in the mid-late-1940s – the XB-35/YB-45 (piston-engined) and YB-49 (jet).