Picture of the Day: T-38 Jet Silhouetted Against the Sun

539844main_t-38_silhouette_full.jpg

Terry Virts, a NASA photographer, captured this image of a T-38 jet silhouetted against the sun. An American twin-engine jet, the T-38 was the world's first supersonic trainer and is used by air forces around the world. The United States Air Force is the largest user of the T-38, but NASA also uses the plane as a jet trainer for its astronauts.

NASA keeps a fleet of 21 T-38s stationed at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, which is down from the 30-35 aircraft it once owned. The organization projects that its number of operational 1960s-era trainers will fall to 16 by 2015, which will help reduce the $25 million to $30 million it spends every year to fly and maintain the fleet.

Despite a series of non-fatal accidents throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s -- engine failures, emergency landings, bird strikes, landing mishaps, etc. -- there is no rush to replace the T-38 jet, according to Aviation Week.

View more Pictures of the Day.

Image: NASA.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Technology

Just In