T-38 Flying Supersonic


I went Supersonic in the T-38 as part of my pilot training. I was so disappointed. It was a non-event. There was no big thrill, or sense of acceleration. The only way you knew you were going Mach 1, was by instrumentation. The Vertical Velocity Indicator (VVI) spiked by momentarily displaying up 500′ per minute and returned to 0′ per minute thereafter. I didn’t even have the chance to see Mach 1 on the meter before the instructor requested we abandon the afterburners. It uses a lot of fuel, which cuts down on flight time, and required training. Besides, the fuel is governmental tax payers money, lol. The instructor and I were at FL 410 in order to go supersonic. The thrilling part of the whole exercise, was getting the aircraft to Flight Level (FL) itself. Shortly after takeoff, the instructor took control of the aircraft and requested an unrestricted climb to 10,000′ from Air Traffic Control (ATC), once granted approval, he pulled the nose to near vertical. It seemed like we were at 10,000′ in about 15 seconds when he returned control of the aircraft back to myself. Talk about being impressed with his flying skills; let alone the performance of the aircraft 🙂

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