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Having first flown in 1959 and entering USAF service in 1961, the Northrop T-38 Talon became the primary jet trainer for the USAF. Since entering the service tens of thousands of American and foreign pilots have received their wings as a result of learning to fly the ‘White Rocket” as many a pilot have referred to the speedy, lightweight, jet.
Featured in my painting are Talons that were used in four different training roles over the career of the jet. To the far left is the T-38 in the markings of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base. Nellis based T-38’s filled the role of Soviet Aggressor aircraft against other pilots training in air combat events like Red Flag.
The next Talon is in its most well know white, paint scheme used over the decades at most all U.S. training bases. This particular jet is in the markings of Williams Air Force Base.
In the lead is the Talon in its modern day, tactical paint scheme. This specific jet is one that the artist had a chance to personally fly in and is in the honorary markings of the Tuskegee Airmen and based at Randolph Air Force Base.
Finally, the T-38 closest to us was commonly referred to as a ‘Smurf jet’ by pilots who flew the blue and gray tactical scheme. These jets were based at Holloman Air Force Base and used in the fighter lead in course and was the final training stop for fighter pilots in the T-38 training pipeline.
If only these airplanes could talk, image the tales they could tell?
“Tails of a Pilot Maker” is available as both a signed, Limited Edition print on archival paper or as a larger signed, Artist Masterwork on canvas.
Videos on Rick Herter Art Homepage copyright and shown courtesy of Michael B. Chait www.michaelbchait.com
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