The Northrop T-38 Talon is an American supersonic jet trainer. It was the world's first, and most produced supersonic trainer. The T-38 was designed in the mid 1950s as the trainer variant of a lightweight fighter project by the Northrop Corporation (today part of Northrop Grumman). Although the United States Air Force had no need for a small fighter at the time, it became interested in the trainer as a replacement for the T-33 Shooting Star it was then using in this role. The first of three prototypes (designated YT-38) flew on March 10, 1959. It remains in service as of 2008 in air forces throughout the world including the United States Air Force (USAF), which remains its largest user. The basic airframe was used for the light combat aircraft F-5 Freedom Fighter family. In addition to USAF pilots, T-38s are also used by NASA astronauts, the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (other T-38s were previously used as USN aggressor aircraft), other NATO pilots under a joint training program, and some under civilian ownership.
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Years Manufactured: 1961 - 1972
Platform Type: Fixed Wing, Trainer
Initial Maker: Northrop
Final Maker: Northrop