Northrop T-38 Talon Cost, Specs, Review, Manufacturer – The Northrop T-38 Talon is an advanced supersonic trainer for the U.S. Air Force that has been successful in many ways.
Northrop T-38 Talon Cost, Specs, Review, Manufacturer
|Type||Northrop T-38 Talon (AT-38 Talon)|
|Unit Cost||$6 Million|
|Year of development||1961|
|Development Status||Active, in-service|
|Engine||Two General Electric J85-GE-5A turbojet engines with afterburners (2,680 pounds thrust dry, 3,850 pounds thrust with afterburners)|
|Top Speed||745 knots (1380 mph)|
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – Northrop’s T-38 Talon is an advanced supersonic trainer used by the U.S. Air Force and numerous other air forces around the world.
Overview of the twin-jet trainer, the T-38 Talon
Belonging to the same aircraft family as Northrop’s F-5 Freedom Fighter, F-5 Tiger II, and F-20 Tigershark, the Talon shares some design similarities.
It was powered by a pair of side-mounted turbofan engines, had a small main wing area, and used a single vertical tail fin at the rear. Its distinguishing feature is a two-seater tandem cockpit.
The basic flight pattern of the T-38 is not compatible with light assault-role munitions as found in other modern jet trainers, but several improved versions have been developed for weapons training.
The T-38 series is capable of training cadets and experienced pilots who need to exceed Mach 1 speeds, such as fighter and astronaut training.
The T-38 Was The World’s First Supersonic Trainer Aircraft
The history of the T-38 dates back to the 1950s when an offshoot of Northrop’s light fighter family was developed in-house without formal specifications with the US Air Force.
In 1957, Cessna’s T-37 Tweet was adopted, which is also used by the USAF as a subsonic aircraft.
The U.S. Air Force was interested in the supersonic design proposed by Northrop and turned to its development, hence the name “YT-38” On March 10, 1959, three prototypes were ordered and flown.
On March 10, 1959, three prototypes were ordered and flown, meaning that the aircraft was accepted and a comprehensive procurement program was established. The construction period was from 1961 to 1972, during which time 1,146 aircraft were to be delivered to the US Air Force as well as the US Navy (temporarily used as ground attack aircraft).
When was the Talon T-38 produced?
Deliveries began in 1961, and the official production name was the T-38 Talon. According to Northrop’s designation, this aircraft was their H-156T model.
There is no doubt that the T-38 was an uncompromising aircraft. It has the same form and function as Northrop’s F-5/F-20 series, but the most notable feature is that the main engine is housed in a small, low trunk on either side of the fuselage.
The two-seater tandem cockpit has a short nosecone in front, with the student in front and the instructor behind. Both positions provide a good view of the surrounding area.
The fuselage has an aerodynamically efficient profile, emphasizing its smooth contours from all angles. The fuselage crest begins at the base of a single vertical tail fin with tapered and trimmed tail fins. The tailplane is set low and has a small surface area.
The engines are mounted side by side and are sucked in through a small separate air intake on the side of the fuselage, directly behind the cockpit position. The landing gear has a tricycle layout and is retractable, giving the underside of the T-38 a clean, flat appearance.
Talon Type Fighter
Developed based on the YT-38 model, the “T-38A” was the mass-produced version of the T-38A. 1,139 were eventually produced, with the A model being the final mark in the series.
NASA adopted the “T-38A(N)” configuration, with 32 Talons eventually entering service. The weapons training variant evolved from the “A” form to the “AT-38A” form.
The GSS used a modified T-38A as a guidance aircraft, designated the “DT-38A”, which was later designated the “QY-38A.” The “NT-38A” became the tested glider and the “AT-38B” the combat training glider.
The C-model was redesigned with new avionics and design to extend the life of the aircraft, including a head-up display (HUD), GPS navigation, and improved engines.
Several experimental aircraft proposals were also considered, including one VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft, the N-205, which is capable of high-speed vertical takeoff with triple rollers at Mach 3.2, and the ST-38. It is based on the N-25 ultra-high-speed concept.
Northrop T-38 Talon Operator
Turkey was to operate a T-38 production line overseas with the “T-38M” aircraft, based on the T-38A.
Other operators at the time were Germany, Portugal, Korea, and Taiwan, none of which stocked as many as the US. Portugal and Korea operate the former T-38 Talon.
In the U.S., the T-X program was undertaken in search of a modern, next-generation trainer to replace the T-38 Talon.
The T-X was a lucrative contract for all concerned, with the potential to lead to hundreds of aircraft.
The T-38 has been in service for a total of 53 years, which is an impressive lifespan for a military aircraft.
According to Northrop, the faithful operation of the T-38 Talon has resulted in the creation of about 72,000 U.S. Air Force pilots.