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NORTHROP T-38A "TALON"

NORTHROP T-38A

In the mid-1950s, the USAF required a trainer with higher performance than the T-33 to better prepare student pilots for the latest tactical aircraft that were then coming into service. The aircraft chosen was the T-38A which offered high performance with low maintenance and operating costs. The T-38A became the USAF's first supersonic trainer. The T-38A prototype first flew on 10 April, 1959, and production continued until 1972. A total of 1,189 T-38As were built. Some were later modified into AT-38Bs with external armament for weapons training purposes.

Jacqueline Cochran set eight performance records in the fall of 1961 flying a production T-38A and in February 1962 a T-38A set four international time-to-climb records. The USAF Thunderbirds used T-38As from 1974 to 1982 because of their economic operation and high performance. Other users of the T-38A include the U.S. Navy in their Top Gun combat simulation program and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The aircraft on display is painted and marked as a trainer in the USAF Air Training Command.

The Museum acquired this T-38A in 1991.

SPECIFICATIONS
Span: 25 ft. 3 in.
Length: 46 ft. 4 1/2 in.
Height: 12 ft. 10 1/2 in.
Weight: 11,761 lbs. loaded
Armament: None
Engines: Two General Electric J85-GE-5A turbojets of 3,850 lbs. thrust each with afterburner
Crew: Two
Cost: $756,000
Serial Number: 65-10441

PERFORMANCE
Maximum speed: 812 mph.
Cruising speed: 578 mph.
Range: 1093 miles
Service Ceiling: 45,000 ft.