Regional
1:04 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Bowling Green Aviation Enthusiasts Wait for Big Reveal of NASA Jet

The tail of the restored T-38 Talon is shown while parked inside a hangar at the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport.  The full reveal will come Saturday.
The tail of the restored T-38 Talon is shown while parked inside a hangar at the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport. The full reveal will come Saturday.
Credit Dan Cherry

An aircraft that played a key role in America’s “Space Race” is preparing to go on display at Bowling Green’s Aviation Heritage Park. 

The supersonic jet, called a T-38 Talon, was used by NASA for training exercises before being retired in 2011. 

“Every man to walk on the moon has flown this T-38," AHP President Jim Wright said in a news release.  "The pedigree of this aircraft is  just phenomenal.”

The now-restored jet was flown by the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronauts, including Kentucky’s own Terry Willcutt.  The Logan County native and WKU graduate will be on hand for the plane’s reveal this Saturday at the annual Hanger Party, a fundraiser for the Aviation Heritage Park.

"It's going to make a tremendous exhibit for Aviation Heritage Park,  Executive Vice President Dan Cherry told WKU Public Radio.  "It's smaller than the others we have out there, but it's got tremendous curb appeal.  It's really an attractive airplane."

The jet was found in the Arizona desert in March.  It had been sent to storage at an Air Force base in Tucson.

Cockpit restoration on the T-38 Talon will continue over the summer before the storied aircraft takes its place as the fifth addition to the Aviation Heritage Park on Three Springs Road.