“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Bowling Green in Warren County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)

Northrop T-38A(N) Talon

Col. Terrence ("Terry") W. Wilcutt, USMC

Northrop T-38A(N) Talon Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, May 7, 2015
1. Northrop T-38A(N) Talon Marker
Col. Wilcutt is a native of of Russellville, Logan County, Kentucky, having been born there October 31, 1949. He graduated from Southern High School, Louisville, Kentucky in 1967 and earned a B.A. in mathematics from Western Kentucky University in 1974. In 1976, Terry was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps and earned his aviator's wings in 1978. A graduate of the Naval Fighter Weapons School (Topgun) and the United States Naval Test Pilot School, Wilcutt has amassed 6,600 hours in more than 30 different aircraft. Wilcutt's numerous assignments included stints as an instructor and as a test pilot/project officer in a wide variety of projects and classified programs.

After selection by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in January 1990, he became an astronaut in July of 1991. A veteran of four space flights with over 1,007 hours in space, Wilcutt served as pilot on two missions and as commander on two missions, totaling 665 earth orbits while traveling 17.1 million miles. One of his technical assignments was service as NASA Director of Operations at the Yuri Gargarin Cosmonaut Training Center
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in Russia. His current assignment in 2014 is Director, Safety & Mission Assurance, Johnson Space Center.

While holding memberships in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Association of Space Explorers, Terry has garnered many special honors, including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the American Astronautical Society Flight Achievement Award. His foreign recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of exploration of outer space include the V.M. Komarov Diploma and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) space award.

Northrop T-38A(N) — SN 66-8381
This aircraft, known as the "Talon", was the world's first supersonic trainer. The first flight by a Talon was on March 10, 1959. The aircraft on display (tail number 901) was delivered by Northrop directly to NASA for addition to its fleet of Talons. The speed and high performance of the Talon makes it invaluable for astronaut training, while providing support as a "chase plane" and as the aircraft of choice for astronaut travel.
 The aircraft you see in front of you (#901) represents the history of America's manned space flight program. All of the astronauts in the Mercury, Gemini and
Northrop T-38A(N) Talon Aircraft image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, May 7, 2015
2. Northrop T-38A(N) Talon Aircraft
Apollo programs flew this aircraft. Of the six lunar landings in the Apollo program, all who have walked on the moon, have flown in the aircraft on display! Astronauts familiar to you - Neil Armstrong, Gordon Cooper, "Gus" Grissom, Robert L. "Hoot" Gibson, John Glenn, Story Musgrave, Alan Shepard and "Terry" Wilcutt represent only a few of the famous astronauts who flew #901.

After being declared surplus by NASA, #901 was acquired by the Commonwealth of Kentucky through the Government Services Administration and made available to Aviation Heritage Park for restoration and display.

Crew: 2
Length: 46 ft 4 in
Wingspan: 25ft 3 in
Height: 12 ft 10 in
Powerplant: 2 General Electric J-85-GE-5
  Turbojet engines w/afterburners
  Max Thrust: 2,900 lbs each
Weight: Empty – 7,200 lb
   Max take-off weight – 12,700 lbs
Max Speed: Mach 1.08 at sea level
  Mach 1.8 (858 mph) at 30,000 ft
Rate of climb: 33,600 ft/min
Service ceiling: 55,000 ft
Range: 1,140 miles
Armament: None
Erected 2014 by the Bowling Green Aviation Heritage Center.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Air & Space. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1990.
Location. 36° 55.161′ N, 86° 26.106′ W. Marker is near
View of Aviation Heritage Park. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, May 7, 2015
3. View of Aviation Heritage Park.
Bowling Green, Kentucky, in Warren County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Three Springs Road and Smallhouse Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1825 Three Springs Road, Bowling Green KY 42104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lockheed T-33A-5 Shooting Star (a few steps from this marker); McDonnell-Douglas F-4D Phantom II (a few steps from this marker); General Dynamics F-111F (within shouting distance of this marker); Grumman F9F-5 Panther (within shouting distance of this marker); Jacob Skiles and Three Springs (approx. ¼ mile away); McFadin's Station / Cumberland Trace (approx. 2 miles away); John Hunt Morgan (approx. 2.9 miles away); Lost River Blue Holes, Trees, Wild Flowers And Quarrying Ruins (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bowling Green.
Regarding Northrop T-38A(N) Talon. There have been two T-38s to carry the NASA identification of tail number 901. The first, S/N 63-8181, was lost in a crash on February 28, 1966, while landing in a fog at Lambert Field in St. Louis, Missouri. The next to carry that tail designation is the aircraft at this park, S/N 66-8381.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 10, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 336 times since then and 18 times this year. Last updated on August 2, 2020, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 10, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 3, 2023