HawaiianHobo
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Special T-38 Trainers?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:34 pm

We get a lot of transient T-38's here at DM, a lot of them just average run of the mill trainers, but every now and then, we get 2 types that I wonder about:

The first, black painted T-38's with grey lettering and the tail banner shows F-117's, I assume this is an F-117 trainer?

The Second, another black painted T-38 but this time, red lettering and the tail banner shows crosses of some sort. Now I thought I watched somewhere on Discovery Wings that the red lettering on these particular Talons represents Stealth trainers but they didn't emphasize which kind (F-117 or B-2)?

Is there anything special about either set of T-38's?
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Duce50Boom
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 8:03 am

RE: Special T-38 Trainers?

Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:48 pm

You're right with the first T-38, black with grey lettering are from the 49th FW out of Holloman. The 2nd 38, black with red lettering and four maltese crosses on the tail belong to the 9th RW at Beale AFB a few miles north of here. Tailcode is "BB" (Beale Bandit), it's what the U-2 guys go fly when they don't wear a pressure suit.

Nothing special about either one except the paint scheme; the black with red flying around at SUU means TOB: Tool-On-Board
 
HawaiianHobo
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RE: Special T-38 Trainers?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:48 am

Thanks Duce, that explains quite a bit. Now if only more U2's would show up around here.  Smile

-J

PS: Looking forward to hopefully crosstraining into your job here in about 7 months or so. Thankfully Fuel Systems is now of the endangered species list and I saw Boom Ops actually ON the list... (keeping fingers crossed)
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f4wso
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RE: Special T-38 Trainers?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 4:53 am

Images from the database of the Holloman and Beale based T-38s

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Photo © Tim Lachenmaier
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Photo © Gerhard Plomitzer


Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA
Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
 
jwenting
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Special T-38 Trainers?

Sat Apr 16, 2005 5:32 am

There also are (or used to be) some all black T-38s with red lettering attached to Nellis AFB for agressor roles.
Are they still there or have they been repainted or reassigned?
I wish I were flying
 
Duce50Boom
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RE: Special T-38 Trainers?

Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:53 pm

Dude, you don't want the U-2s back at DM. I heard they're easy to refuel, but you don't have any indications of how full they are. Like gassing up a deuce and a half apparently.

Good luck with your package (sts). Your AF career (whatever you make of it) will be completely different, and at the very least you'll get out of Tucson and closer to good surf. Although the cat house on friday/saturday night's pretty slamming
 
res
Posts: 383
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RE: Special T-38 Trainers?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:09 am

Well Jordan, stop lying about what you see at your little airport  Big grin

The primary reason is to keep the pilots current on their hours. The U-2 costs more to operate per hour than grandma's vibrator. The 117 is no Volkswagen either.

To an extent, yes, they are trainers...its in the model name for god's sake. For the most part, I believe the avionics are synonymous on the T-38s, regardless if its a Beale bird, Holloman bird, or any other AF T-38. But just you watch, Ill be corrected.

The Beale birds sure are pretty arent they? Its a shame, I was talking to a
U-2 pilot here at Williams Gateway a few weeks ago and he hates the red on black T38. Ill tell you one thing's for sure, Id fly a T-38 painted pink, while wearing a skirt and I wouldnt complain.

Tim
FLY NAVY
 
HawaiianHobo
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Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:33 pm

RE: Special T-38 Trainers?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:38 am

Tim, you'd wear a skirt no matter what the situation (got photoshoped pics to prove it)  Smile Anywho, thanks for the info. Haven't seen any T-38's this week on the flightline... Or anything else for that matter. E-4 was here last week for a while. Wish I could have gotten a pic or two of it  Sad

-J
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Duce50Boom
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RE: Special T-38 Trainers?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:52 pm

Res, I don't think the U-2 costs that much to operate. I think the problems are it's a high demand/low density airframe, it's too valuable to be wasted on endless touch and go's, and that pilots can do alot of proficiency events on a T-38 than they could easily do in the dragon lady; formation flying for instance.
 
res
Posts: 383
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RE: Special T-38 Trainers?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 3:06 pm

True, Deuce...
You have to remember also, every U-2 flight requires sooo much preparation and team work to get the thing up and back down. ground crews have to guide them all in, etc. If crews (ground and pilots) are trying to split that between a dozen or more pilots a day....you know what i mean?

The whole "it costs so much" is what ive obtained from a few military enthusiasts I hang out with while takiing pics here at Williams Gateway. Both were in the military...one a retired air force guy who is about as passionate about military as one can be, and one was a forward air controller. So if they're telling me things that are pie in the sky, shame on both of us for spreading this "info"  Wink
FLY NAVY
 
HawaiianHobo
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RE: Special T-38 Trainers?

Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:44 am

All the work that goes into just prepping an A-10 for a launch, I can barely imagine what a U-2 entails. I guess the same could be said about all aircraft though, especially military. I have to wonder though, what more a U-2 launch involves? Sure, the pilot has to be strapped in with a pressure suit, but do you really think that plane take MUCH longer to prep for flight than a fighter?

Anybody know what the longest prep time is for a military (US or otherwise) aircraft for flight? My guess would be the B-52 or the C-5.


On a side note: Since the U-2 is the only other manned one holer in the USAF, is it equipped with Hydrozine?
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Duce50Boom
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RE: Special T-38 Trainers?

Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:36 am

I'm sure the U-2 requires alot of support for an operational sortie, but for a round robin training flight out of KBAB I don't think it really requires too much. I don't know if they carry all their intel gear on training flights. I'm sure they carry some of it, but probably not all except for ops checks. Add some crew chiefs, maybe some tech reps or specialists for the hush hush stuff, a PSD or whatever they call them now specialist or two for the suit and connections, etc. Then the crew to remove the pins from the pogo gear and pick them up after takeoff. Not many people. More than a fighter, but not an inordinately large group. In any case, this is probably another reason for the 38s. Just 1 or 2 guys as the ground crew and it's kick the tires, light the fires. The U-2's preflight is very straightforward from the pilot's view at least. I've heard Mx side is very easy too. At least for a crew chief cause so many of the systems on that jet are only handled by specialists. The flying pilot doesn't even do a preflight; his backup "Mobile" pilot does it so he can suck on 100% oxygen for an hour and not have to worry about flipping alot of switches and walkarounds and all that jazz.

I'm sure the U-2 has to cost more to operate than the T-38, but I'm guessing he might've projected something from the SR-71 into the U-2 in that respect. That jet was VERY expensive to operate normally. Took something like 5 crew chiefs damn near a day to service, preflight, and launch it. Not counting the specialists to load the TEB, sensors, crew, etc.

Most prep time, I'd guess either the VC-25, E-4 or maybe the E-3 or B-2. Of all, I'd say the VC-25

And yes, the U-2 carries hydrazine

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