Talon Milestone

Air Force and Northrop Grumman officials marked the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the T-38 trainer aircraft during a ceremony April 10 at the headquarters of the company’s aerospace sector in El Segundo, Calif. “The impact this aircraft has had on the Air Force has been profound,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Feest, commander of 19th Air Force at Randolph AFB, Tex., during the ceremony, according to the company’s release April 13. The Air Force expects to operate its T-38 fleet out to 2020 or beyond. Northrop won the contract in 1956 to build the T-38, the world’s first supersonic trainer. Between 1959 and 1972, it manufactured 1,187 T-38s, about half of which remain in service today around the globe. “Northrop Grumman employees should be proud of the T-38; this fleet has flown 13 million flight hours, and these aircraft have flown an average of 15,000 hours each, with an exceptional safety record and a reputation for easy maintenance,” said Gerard Dufresne, the company’s aerospace sector vice president.