Thu, Apr 05, 2012
Conducting Photographic Flights Over The Nation's Capital
NASA, in cooperation with the FAA, will conduct training and photographic flights on Thursday, April 5, over the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Two T-38 training jets will fly approximately 1,500 feet above Washington between 9:30 and 11 a.m. EDT. These flights are intended to capture photographic imagery.
If the flights must be cancelled for any reason, they will be rescheduled and an additional notice will be released.
The T-38s had until recently been used as trainers for shuttle pilots. Powered by two afterburning General Electric J85 engines, a T-38 can fly supersonic up to Mach 1.6 and soar above 40,000 feet, about 10,000 feet higher than airliners typically cruise. The plane can wrench its pilots through more than seven Gs, or seven times the force of gravity. That's enough to make simply lifting hands a feat of strength and breathing a labored chore. It'll make one's neck feel like it is balancing a cinder block. It's also more than enough to make the average person black out.
"The T-38 is a great aircraft for what we need at NASA because it's fast, it's high-performance and it's very simple," said Terry Virts, who flew as the pilot of STS-130 aboard shuttle Endeavour.. "It's safe and it's known. So compared to other airplanes, it's definitely one of the best." (Photo provided by Story Musgrave)
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