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|Length:||46' 4 1/2"|
|Height:||12' 10 1/2"|
|Gross Weight:||11,761 lbs|
|No. of Engines:||2|
|Powerplant:||General Electric J85-GE-5A turbojet|
|Pounds of thrust (each):||3,850 lbs. with afterburner|
|Cruise Speed:||578 mph|
|Max Speed:||812 Mph|
Popularly known as the "White Rocket" the T-38 has been the standard
graduation pilot trainer the Air Force since 1964 and a space flight readiness
trainer for NASA astronauts. It was also flown by the Air Force Demonstration
Team, The Thunderbirds, from the late 1970's until the early 1980's. Great care
was taken to design an aircraft that students could handle. T-38's are commonly
used as chase planes for research and development aircraft. The F-5 fighter is
the combat version of the T-38. The F-5 is very popular in Third World air
forces because of its simple design and inexpensive price tag. Air Force
"Aggressor Squadrons" use F-5's to simulate enemy aircraft due to their
comparability size and performance.
The museum's T-38A has serial number 60-0593.
According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA/RSA), Maxwell
AFB, AL, the museum's T-38A has the following history:
T-38A, s/n 60-593, was manufactured by Northrop Aircraft, Hawthorn CA and
delivered to the USAF on 20 Nov 1961. Its assignments were:
Nov 1961 - To 3560th Pilot Training Wing (ATC), Webb AFB TX
Dec 1970 - To 3250th Flying Training Squadron (ATC), Tyndall AFB FL
(deployed to Moody AFB GA)
Aug 1971 - To 3650th Pilot Training Wing (ATC), Columbus AFB MS
Nov 1971 - To Military Aircraft Storage Center AZ
Sep 1973 - To 3750th Maintenance Support Group (ATC), Sheppard AFB TX
Jun 1974 - To Sheppard Technical Training Center (ATC), Sheppard AFB TX (as
GT-38A, ground instructional airframe and no longer listed on inventory)
In 1991 it was delivered by truck to March Field Museum from Sheppard AFB.
In April 1999, it was restored and painted to represent and honor the Air Force
Thunderbirds 1976 bicentennial team with the special tail logo. In a ceremony
rare to any museum, the active Thunderbirds of 1999, who were here to fly in the
base air show, assisted in dedicating the T-38. Also present and honored were
ten former Thunderbird members from the 1075-76 team, including the Crew Chief
whose name appears on the canopy. It was a celebration that this museum was
proud to host. This aircraft is on loan from the USAF.