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T-38 Talons Put on the Fancy Clothes to Meet Student Pilots, F-16s Are Like Prom Dates

For one reason or another, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) decided to bring into the spotlight, much more than it did until now, the T-38 Talon. For a couple of months now, the aircraft has been the focus of several pics shown by the military branch in its weekly releases of cool flying machines, whereas until recently it has been all but absent.
T-38 Talons and F-16 Fighting Falcons 9 photos
T-38 Talon and F-35 Lightning IIs over Whiteman Air Force Base in MissouriT-38 TalonT-38 TalonT-38 TalonT-38 TalonT-38 TalonT-38 TalonT-38 Talons and F-16 Fighting Falcons
Perhaps it’s the fact that the Talon is fast approaching its retirement date that prompted this newfound love the USAF has for the trainer. Whatever the reason, we can’t help but be happy to see this extraordinary machine doing the rounds now, right before it exits the scene.

First deployed in active duty in 1961, the Talon quickly took on the role of main tool for pilot training for the Air Education and Training Command, Air Combat Command, Air Force Materiel Command, and even NASA itself.

The twin-engine two-seater, powered by two General Electric turbojet engines capable of spitting out 2,900 pounds and pushing the plane to a little over Mach 1, has been the learner’s plane for generation after generation of American fighter pilots.

Some 1,200 of them rolled off the lines since first created, but the ones still in operation will soon be retired. Their place will be taken by the T-7A Red Hawk, 350 of which will be thrown into the mix to prepare the next generations of pilots.

Today’s Talon treat comes in the form of two of them, coming out of Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas, seen here while being escorted by two F-16 Fighting Falcons from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

According to the USAF, the intriguingly-painted Talons, alongside their Falcon escorts, were there to “practice formation flights over southwest Texas before heading back to Laughlin for a presentation to student pilots.“

Editor's note: Gallery shows other Talons.

 
 
 
 
 

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