T-38 replacement??

LearLove

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a recent air force magazine article said the AF is looking to replace the T38 starting 2018. My question is instead of designing a new aircraft wouldn't a 2 seat f-16 be a good replacement?

While the ANG is saying they need fighters (because their current are worn out) why not just make a run of say 600 block 50 or 60 F-16's. Wikipedia shows we have 462 t38's in service.

600 new f-16's could be 400 D models engineered/moded for training as t38 replacements and the other 200 C models to go to the guard as general combat f16's complementing the F-35.

I bet it would be way cheaper than designing/testing/starting production on a new aircraft.
 

AvroGuy

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Can you believe that the AF bought each T-38 for around 500Gs. Round that up to todays dollars and I bet you couldn't touch a Block 50/60, not to mention the numbers of planes, fuel cost, parts..so on and so forth.
 

crj567

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They will just buy some European crap like everything else they buy these days!
 

tomgoodman

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What a good buy!

Can you believe that the AF bought each T-38 for around 500Gs.
Northrop delivered it ahead of schedule and under budget. Set a record of brake release to 40,000 ft. in 90 seconds. :cool:
 

Huggyu2

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One of our T-38's just went over 18,000 hours. Critical parts are breaking and killing people. Yeah, I'm guessing we need to start getting a replacement.

If not an F-16, how about a stripped down F-18? Certainly easier to fly and land than the t-38. And probably not any more cost than a new "trainer".

The T-50 Golden Eagle looks great, too. But the costs in the media are $25M per copy. Could probably do a nonb-missionized Hornet for that.

If the goal of 2018 is met, the newest T-38's in the fleet will be 48 years old.
 

bagasticks

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having worked the program and seen it inside and out, i would like to see cessna bid with their original jpats proof that they bid against the T-6 in the 90's. .it was a tandem twin jet with very low wing load, alot of power and very nice avionics. had a slightly more aggressive variant of the 500 series wing (similar to a swept tweet wing) and williams engines. I thought it was a better product than the T-6 but cessna didnt have the political pull. only issue i see is that it wasn't supersonic (around .85 ish). At the time it was bid at around 5 mil a copy (ca. 1996).

http://www.cessnawarbirds.com/book/images/Ch17.jpg
 

popgoesbubble

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I think it's gonna come down to the M-346 and BA Hawk MK128. I would give the Hawk the edge as it is already being Built for the US Navy by Boeing and would allow the US to save money over parts and logistics freeing up more money for bigger projects like the 2018 bomber or Predator C. Which I will ask I noticed the Media as claiming the 2018 Bomber is gonna be built by Boeing Lockheed what happened to the Northrop design? I never read anywhere that Boeing was selected as the winner also they are saying its gonna be unmanned. I thought Congress would have to pass a bill allowing this as I would assume the 2018 bomber will carry Nuclear weapons? why build a bomber that can't carry party crashers.
 

Scrapdog

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One of our T-38's just went over 18,000 hours. Critical parts are breaking and killing people. Yeah, I'm guessing we need to start getting a replacement.

If not an F-16, how about a stripped down F-18? Certainly easier to fly and land than the t-38. And probably not any more cost than a new "trainer".

The T-50 Golden Eagle looks great, too. But the costs in the media are $25M per copy. Could probably do a nonb-missionized Hornet for that.

If the goal of 2018 is met, the newest T-38's in the fleet will be 48 years old.
Come on Huggy - the T-38 hard to fly? Seriously? At 350 kts it's as stable as a rock. You f**k up, sure it will bite you - but so will any other high performance jet.
 

Huggyu2

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Come on Huggy - the T-38 hard to fly? Seriously? At 350 kts it's as stable as a rock. You f**k up, sure it will bite you - but so will any other high performance jet.
No argument there. But re-read my post, Scrappy. I never said the T-38 was hard to fly. I said the F-18 was easier to land.
I'm certainly no "fighter pilot" like you, but I've had a great opportunity to fly the -15, -16, and -18 a handful of times each. Just from a "stick and rudder" perspective, all were quite simple to fly... as they should be.

I have about a dozen landings from the backseat of the Hornet (B and D models). And compared with the T-38,... whose prototype flew 50 years ago this year,... the flight characteristics are refined and impressive. And pattern work was way easy. As long as I've been flying the T-38, you'd think I'd land it better from the backseat than I actually do,... but in any case, my Hornet lands were probably better than my -38 landings.

I, too, read "Road to Wings" and am often a touch surprised at how people are able to wreck a T-38 doing very simple things. But like you say "f-up, sure it will bite you".
 

AlbieF15

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I knew some good pilots killed in the T-38....rudder hardover and aileron failures. No "screw ups" there...just a good plane with a few fatal non-recoverable failure modes. Another buddy walked away after letting a student take him too far and burning up brakes prior to going into a departure end cable. The airplane demanded your attention all the time. My Eagle, on the other hand...I could nap on the way to the MOA. Good bless those great engineers who made it such a pleasure and reliable jet to fly...
 

BeeVee

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F-16 not a good replacement for the T-38

a recent air force magazine article said the AF is looking to replace the T38 starting 2018. My question is instead of designing a new aircraft wouldn't a 2 seat f-16 be a good replacement?

While the ANG is saying they need fighters (because their current are worn out) why not just make a run of say 600 block 50 or 60 F-16's. Wikipedia shows we have 462 t38's in service.

600 new f-16's could be 400 D models engineered/moded for training as t38 replacements and the other 200 C models to go to the guard as general combat f16's complementing the F-35.

I bet it would be way cheaper than designing/testing/starting production on a new aircraft.

In my humble opinion, replacing the T-38 with a single-engine fighter (like the Vipor) would be a poor choice. #1) a single-engine jet is not a good fit for a "pilot training" atmosphere, and #2) the jump from a T-6 to a Vipor, in terms of power and performance (and G's, etc), may be just a little too much to handle for a young 22 year old with little airmanship and experience.

BeeVee
 

CAL to T-1A

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Any of those aircraft would be a challenge for the bottom feeder T-1 student. There is a lot of talk of when the T-X comes on line getting rid of the T-1 and going back to a universally assignable pilot.
 

L'il J.Seinfeld

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There will not be a replacement for the -38. UAVs are growing exponentially and the need for F-22/F-35 pilots decreases as production levels are cut. We'll never see another new bomber, tanker, and certainly not another supersonic fighter pilot trainer IMO. You'll see all of SUPT done in a T-6.
 

Huggyu2

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#1) a single-engine jet is not a good fit for a "pilot training" atmosphere,
Like the RAF and Canadian Hawk, A-4, US Navy T-45, L-39 (flown by a bunch of countries), L-29, Iskra, IAF's Kiran, Italian AMX and MB339, and the S211?
Having flown in 5 of the aircraft listed above, I'd disagree with you.
 

SIG600

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Why is a single engine jet not a good "pilot training" atmosphere? You know how many people out there have never flown anything with two engines?

As far as the "non-missionized" version of a Hornet or Viper... the Navy looked at this prior to the aquisition of the T-45. You could pick up a stripped down Hornet for the cost of the T-45. However the Hornet burns 10-12K #'s of gas per evolution as opposed to the 2500 that the T-45 burns in the same amount of flight time. When you add up that alone over the life of the program the cost savings are mind boggling. Add to that the cost of maint and up keep, and you get the picture.

The T-45 is a great airplane for what it does... fill the void between a primary a/c and the fleet jet. If the USAF was smart they'd buy the British version and ignore the Navy one. Our suffers from a lack of gas due to the beefed up structure that's required to slam it into the boat. That said however, it teaches a student to hawk their gas, which is not a lesson to learn later.
 

Scrapdog

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There will not be a replacement for the -38. UAVs are growing exponentially and the need for F-22/F-35 pilots decreases as production levels are cut. We'll never see another new bomber, tanker, and certainly not another supersonic fighter pilot trainer IMO. You'll see all of SUPT done in a T-6.
This from a KC-135 pilot. Thanks for the fighter pipeline insight.
 
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