T-38 days

Discussion in 'Modern' started by davparlr, May 29, 2013.

  1. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I have written before about being jerked back into the past every time I visit my wife’s home town of Enid and watch the AF training planes fly. I am especially moved by the smell of burned kerosene wafting in the wind and going down the road that parallels the outside runway at Vance AFB and watch the T-38s do touch-and-gos. I got a new camera and thought I would take some pixs. Here is a few of them (not all are of the same aircraft), a couple of pix on final where the T-38 is going about 180-190 mph (190-200 mph no-flap), flair, solo pilot, touchdown, in front of mobile control, where instructors watch, airspeed is 150-160 mph with flaps, and one pix of after touch-and-go for a no-flap, note the high angle of attack. I don’t remember using the after burner on touch-and-gos but the open nozzle is a dead giveaway for its operation.

    Oh, how my heart yearns to go climb into the cockpit and drill holes in the sky in one. There is a chance that the fathers of these student pilots were not even born when I was flying these very same planes, forty-three years ago. :shock:
     

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  2. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Very cool!
     
  3. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    I always though that, the F-5 and F-20 were just beautiful aircraft. I envy you having flown in one.
     
  4. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    While I went on to fly the great and powerful C-141 on adventures around the world, it is still a big source of pride to have flown the T-38. I benefited from the AF policy at the time that all pilots must be qualified to fly all aircraft in the inventory except helicopters so we all had the same training. Today the AF pilots are divided into fighters and multi-engined aircraft prior to the T-38 so only fighter trainees get to fly the T-38. Too bad. The T-38s have been operational since 1961 almost half the time that airplanes have been flying and is still an outstanding aircraft. It will be sad day when it is retired and will probably be replaced with a less performing aircraft (except maybe in fuel consumption).
     
  5. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Dav, how was the landing characteristics for the T-38? Looks like it would be pretty hot on final.
     
  6. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I always loved the T-38. It was the airplane that really epitomized the USAF for me, having see the Thunderbirds fly them before going to the F-16s. Neat stuff. :thumbleft:
     
  7. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

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    The T-38 is a real nice looking aircraft. Dave, thumbs up to you and your flying career, my friend; you freight haulers invented the meaning of "Globalization" before the word was invented.
     
  8. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    I have read some stuff about the T-38 about that it had to be careful as ice could damage the engines and that it was very wobbly in the stall with little warning.

    It would be very interested to hear what a pilot actual thinks of it.
     
  9. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Speed on final is 155 kts + fuel (10kts per 1000lb, iirc). Aircraft was very predictable with no quirks. However, because of little wings, you learned to fly with power, low on glide slope, add power, high pull power off. DO NOT GET BEHIND THE POWER CURB. Afterburners gave it a nice punch when you needed it. I did not find it difficult to land.


    Yep, saw a lot of foreign runways! Never made to New Zealand though. Had some friends who did get there flying operation deep freeze to Antarctica.


    The T-38 did not like ice. We were forbidden to fly through 2 ft. of icing conditions, although I never figured out how one knew that. The T-37, on the other hand, with it centrifugal compressor didn't care about any thing. I think it would fly through a waterfall with no problems! I never experienced a problem with stalls. It may had wobbled a bit but general fell through gently, with no yaw, typical of jet operations. Spins were forbidden and could not be recovered from but very difficult to get into. I love the plane. It was fast and was precise in maneuvering (had to in order to be a Thunderbird aircraft), and wouldn't bite you if you kept to the basics and above all, kept your speed up.

    Its just a cool, fast (supersonic) aircraft that I am proud to have had opportunity to fly.
     
  10. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Nice! Thanks for the insight.
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  12. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    T'is a pity that a similar r-evolution of the design won't likely be carried on with for future trainer projects... newer brass + older reliable system = replace with less for more in all Bss Aackward ways.
     
  13. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I doubt any follow on trainer will be as cool.
     
  14. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    I remember reading the icing bit and though it odd as the F-5 was flown by some very cold countries!
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great pics and interesting info. I almost got the chance to have a ride in one, when the 'Aggressors' were at Alconbury with F-5s, back in the early 1980's. Never happened though, as the day I was supposed to go, I was busy with an exhibition. I've never forgiven the guy who went 'sick', leaving me to take his place!!
     
  16. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Great pics and a look down your memory lane. Thanks for sharing.
     
  17. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    The F-5 may be equipped with engine anti-ice equipment.
     
  18. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I go to Enid often as my wife is from there. I never tire of running outside when I hear one go over, which is quite often. Also sitting by the outside runway and watch the touch and goes.

    Ever make it to Alaska?
     
  19. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    Book was Gen Michael Collins of Apollo 11 fame.

    Shows how old the T-38 is!

    The BAe Hawk would be the obvious replacement as the navy already use it.
     
  20. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    And the Hawk isn't new, it must be nearly 35+ years old.
     
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