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Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter/Tiger
Northrop T-38 Talon

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In the mid-1950s, Northrop started design of the N-156 lightweight fighter hoping to meet a requirement for an inexpensive aircraft for the US military's Miliatary Assistance Program (MAP).

The two-seat trainer version was approved first.  Designated the T-38 Talon, the prototype first flew on 10 April 1959.  The prototype single-seat fighter first flew on 30 July of the same year.

The F-5 Freedom Fighter was improved with more powerful J85-GE-21 turbojets and renamed the Tiger II.  Production ended in 1987.

The T-38 has one of the best safety records of any supersonic aircraft in U.S. Air Force service.  NASA acquired a number of Talons for use as flight readiness trainers for astronauts.

 Specifications (T-38)  Designations
Type: Trainer
Engines: two 3,850 lb (17.1 kN) afterburning thrust General Electric J85-GE-5A turbojets
N-156: Northrop model number
F-5: Fighter designation
T-38: Trainer designation
CF-5: Canadair built version for the RCAF
NF-5: Canadair built version for the Netherlands
RF-5: Reconnaissance version
 Related Pages
More about Northrop
 Stuff You Can Buy

Northrop's T-38 Talon
Don Logan

T-38A Talon
Jim Stovall

page updated 13 February 2008



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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010