Historic Markers Across Alabama

T-38 Talon

Marker ID:  
Location: 1 Tranquilty Base, Huntsville, AL
County: Madison
Coordinates: N 34° 42.668    W 086° 39.179
  34.71113333    -86.65298333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


T-38 Talon
Supersonic Jet Trainer

Since the 1960s, NASA astronauts have trained for the stresses of spaceflight in the high-altitude, two-seater, supersonic T-38 Talon. Developed by Northrop Grumman, the T-38 became the world's first supersonic jet trainer in 1961 when it entered service for the U. S. Air Force. The jet's aerobatic capabilities made it ideal for Air Force pilots to train to fly fighters and bombers, and for NASA astronauts to hone their piloting skills and get accustomed to the G-forces of liftoff and re-entry.

Nicknamed the"White Rocket,” the T-38 requires only 2,300 ft ascend from sea level to 30,000 ft (9,068 m) in one minute. The T-38 on display here was delivered to NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in 1965 and supported Gemini and Apollo programs.

T-38 Specs
Power Plant
Two General Electric J85-GE-5 turbojet engines with afterburners
Total Thrust: 7,700 lbs (34,251 N) with after burners
Top-Speed: 812 mph (1,307 km/hr) (Mach 1.08 at sea level)
Range: 1,000 miles (1,609)
Ceiling: 55,000 ft (16,764)
Gross Takeoff Weight: 12,093 lbs (5,485 kg)
Length: 46.38 ft (14.14 m)
Height: 12.9 ft (3.93 m)
Wingspan: 25.15 ft (7.7 m)

Funding provided by John and Blair Ramsey and Family

The U. S. Space & Rocket Center salutes the Naval Mobile Construction.

Battalion 24 unit of Huntsville, Al and the 117th Air Refueling Wing of Birmingham, Al for the installation of this aircraft.

End of T-38 Talon