Two-seat, intermediate and advanced jet trainer.
Since the T-38's introduction in 1961, every USAF pilot has earned his/her wings flying the T-38. The sleek and distinctive shape is a constant in military and high performance flying. The T-38 was the world's first supersonic jet trainer and remains so in use with the USAF and NATO allies. NASA astronauts use the T-38 for Shuttle chase duties and for proficiency training. The U.S. Navy uses the T-38 for test pilot training and at one point, as an aggressor aircraft.
An armed variant, the AT-38, was used by the USAF for basic weapons training for a brief period of time. The single-role niche makes the T-38 cost prohibitive for many air arms to operate. The USAF aerial demonstration team, The Thunderbirds, flew the T-38 from 1974 to 1981. The T-38 was the only time a front line USAF type was not flown by the Thunderbirds. The USAF plans to keep the T-38 in service for another ten years, making some airframes close to 60 years old by the time they are retired. Possible replacements for the T-38 include the BAE Systems Hawk and the Korean Aerospace T-50.
- Country of Origin: United States
- First Flight: 3/10/59
- Initial Service Date: 3/17/61
- No. Built: 1,187
- No. In Service: 935 (approx.)
- No. of Hardpoints: 1
- Crew: 2
2 x General Electric J85-5A afterburning turbojets at 3,850 lbf
The T-38 carries no weapons.
|Length:||46 ft. 4.5 in.|
|Wing Span:||25 ft. 3 in.|
|Wing Area:||170 sq.ft|
|Height:||12 ft. 10.5 in.|
|Empty Weight:||7,200 lbs|
|Max. Weight:||12,500 lbs||
|Max. Speed:||858 mph|
|Service Ceiling:||50,000 ft.|
|Normal Range:||1,140 nm|
Germany (Air Force, 35), Portugal (Air Force, 12, r.1993), South Korea (Air Force, 17), Taiwan (Air Force, 40), Turkey (Air Force, 67), United States (Air Force/NASA/Navy, 459/32/10)
Random great photos of the Northrop T-38A Talon: