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T-38 Talon

T-38 Talon trainer jet on the field at the Pacific Coast Air Museum
The T-38 is many Air Force pilots' favorite aircraft. Supersonic, maneuverable, easy and fun to fly, it has been highly successful at preparing pilots for flying the world's most advanced tactical jets.
The T-38 Talon at the 2016 Wings Over Wine Country Air Show, with canopies open and a line of people waiting for their turn to climb aboard.
The PCAM T-38 Talon gets a lot of visitors at the 2016 Wings Over Wine Country Air Show. Though not a combat jet, visitors love it because it is the gateway trainer to advanced tactical aircraft like the F-15, F-16, and F-22.
Photo from a high angle to the rear, showing a T-38 Talon trainer jet on static display at an air show.
The T-38 is used to train fighter pilots, attack aircraft pilots, bomber pilots, transport pilots, and others. NASA uses the T-38 as a chase plane and for training astronauts. Its versatility is part of the reason for its longevity.
  • Country of origin:


  • Manufacturer:


  • B/N or Serial #::


  • Type:

    Two-seat supersonic basic trainer

  • Ownership:

    Pilot and Instructor

T-38 Talon History

Northrop Aviation began a private venture development program in the mid 1950s to create a high performance lightweight fighter that would be suitable for supply to and operation by friendly nations via the Military Assistance Program.  It was designated Northrop N-156 and developed into the YT-38.  First flown in 1959, the results were good and the military ordered T-38A Talons which entered service on 17 March, 1961.

Produced between 1961 and 1972, total aircraft 1187 built for the USAF

As we get specific history information for this aircraft, we will update the site.

T-38 Talon Specifications


25 ft 3 in


46 ft 4.5 in


12 ft 10.5 in

Maximum takeoff weight

12,093 lbs

Two: Trainee and instructor pilot


1.3 or 858 MPH @ 36,000 ft

Cruising speed:

350 mph


1,093 miles

Service Ceiling:

53,600 ft

Two 3850-lb afterburning trust General Electric J85-GE-5A turbojets

Rick Elwood

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