Airplanes Online Home Page Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

T-38 Talon

The T-38 Talon is a two-seat, twin-jet supersonic, high-altitude jet trainer designed and manufactured by the Northrop Grumman Corporation. It was the world's first supersonic trainer as well as the most produced.

T-38 Talon in flight

The United States Air Force is the largest operator of the T-38, with other operators including NASA and the United States Navy.

Nearly 1,200 have been built since its introduction and production began in 1961, and more than 500 remain operational with the Air Force and NASA. Production ended in 1972. More than 72,000 U. S. Air Force pilots have trained in the T-38.

The T-38 has swept wings, a streamlined fuselage and tricycle landing gear with a steerable nose wheel. Two independent hydraulic systems power the ailerons, rudder and other flight control surfaces. Critical aircraft components are waist high and can be easily reached by maintenance crews.

The instructor and student sit in tandem on rocket-powered ejection seats in a pressurized, air-conditioned cockpit.

The US Air Force Air Education and Training Command uses the T-38C to prepare pilots for front-line fighter and bomber aircraft such as the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-15C Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, B-1B Lancer, A-10 Thunderbolt and F-22 Raptor.

It has a maximum speed of 812 mph (Mach 1.08 at sea level).