Held back in July, the match ended with the home team triumphing following penalty kicks, which basically means there wasn’t such a great show on the field. Not the same can be said for the skies over the stadium, where the four Talons showed their silhouettes in the orange light of the setting Sun, “inspiring patriotism” in all those attending.
Such a sight will not be available for much longer. The trainer aircraft is on its way out the door, as the Air Force is looking to replace it with the much newer, and fancier, T-7A Red Hawk.
First used in action in 1961, the Talon quickly grew in status to become a pilot favorite, to the point when there are now about 600 still in operation (out of a total of some 1,200 made until 1972, when production ended).
Powered by two General Electric turbojet engines with afterburners, the planes develop 2,900 pounds of thrust and can reach speeds of up to Mach 1.08. Not over populated areas such as Sacramento, of course, as that’s not allowed.
A Talon can fly for as much as 1,100 miles (1,770 km) at altitudes as high as 55,000 feet (16,800 meters). We are not told what unit the ones (just three are visible) seen in the main pics of this piece are deployed with.