Designation: T-38A

Northrop T-38A

Northrop T-38A Talon

A picture of the Northrop T-38A Talon

The T-38 Talon has been training U.S. Air Force pilots since 1961.  It was developed to replace the T-33 as the main jet trainer for the Air Force.  The first Talon flew in 1959 and they began appearing in service in 1961.  In all 1,189 T-38As were built between 1960 and 1972.  The upgraded T-38C Talon remains in service with the U.S. Air Force as a trainer, with the U.S. Navy as an adversary aircraft in the Top Gun program, and with NASA.  

Service History:

Built by Northrop Aircraft, Hawthorne, California and delivered to the USAF on April 2, 1962.

April 1962                   To 3560th Maintenance Support Group, Webb AFB, Texas.

August 1963                To 3560th Pilot Training Wing, Webb AFB, Texas.

November 1972          To San Antonio Air Logistics Center, Kelly AFB, Texas.

July 1976                    To Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona for storage.

1977-1978                   To Taiwan for advanced pilot training.

April 1981                   Dropped from inventory as surplus.

June 1982                    Loaned to Pima Air & Space Museum by the National Museum of the United States Air Force.

Wingspan 25 ft 3 in.


Length 46 ft 4 in.


Height 12 ft 10 in.


Weight 11,761 lbs (loaded)


Max. Speed 805 MPH

Maximum Speed

Service Ceiling 45,000 ft

Service Ceiling

Range 860 miles


Engines Two General Electric J85-GE-5A turbojets with 3,850 pounds of thrust


Crew 2



3560th Pilot Training Wing, Webb AFB, Texas, 1963


Serial Number

Pima Air & Space Museum

Creating unlimited horizons in aerospace education through the preservation and presentation of the history of flight.

Charity EIN: 86-6031135

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