Lockheed T-33

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T-33
DF-ST-89-09964.jpg
Two T-33s from the 95th Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron in flight near Tyndall AFB, Florida. The farther aircraft has been repainted and renumbered in anticipation of its delivery to the Mexican air force.
RoleTraining aircraft
ManufacturerLockheed
DesignerClarence "Kelly" Johnson
First flight22 March 1948
Primary usersUnited States Air Force
United States Navy
Japan Air Self Defense Force
German Air Force
Produced1948–1959
Number built6,557
Developed fromLockheed P-80 Shooting Star
VariantsLockheed T2V SeaStar
Canadair CT-133 Silver Star
Developed intoLockheed F-94 Starfire
Boeing Skyfox
 
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T-33
DF-ST-89-09964.jpg
Two T-33s from the 95th Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron in flight near Tyndall AFB, Florida. The farther aircraft has been repainted and renumbered in anticipation of its delivery to the Mexican air force.
RoleTraining aircraft
ManufacturerLockheed
DesignerClarence "Kelly" Johnson
First flight22 March 1948
Primary usersUnited States Air Force
United States Navy
Japan Air Self Defense Force
German Air Force
Produced1948–1959
Number built6,557
Developed fromLockheed P-80 Shooting Star
VariantsLockheed T2V SeaStar
Canadair CT-133 Silver Star
Developed intoLockheed F-94 Starfire
Boeing Skyfox

The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star (or T-Bird) is an American jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948 piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the U.S. Navy initially as TO-2 then TV-2, and after 1962, T-33B. In 2013 Canadian-built examples are still in-service with the Bolivian Air Force.

Design and development[edit]

The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 by lengthening the fuselage by slightly over three feet and adding a second seat, instrumentation and flight controls. It was initially designated as a variant of the P-80/F-80, the TP-80C/TF-80C.[1]

Design work for the Lockheed P-80 began in 1943 with the first flight on 8 January 1944. Following on the Bell P-59, the P-80 became the first jet fighter to enter full squadron service in the United States Army Air Forces. As more advanced jets entered service, the F-80 took on another role—training jet pilots. The two-place T-33 jet was designed for training pilots already qualified to fly propeller-driven aircraft.

Originally designated the TF-80C, the T-33 made its first flight on 22 March 1948 with U.S. production taking place from 1948 to 1959. The US Navy used the T-33 as a land-based trainer starting in 1949. It was designated the TV-2, but was redesignated the T-33B in 1962. The Navy operated some ex-USAF P-80Cs as the TO-1, changed to the TV-1 about a year later. A carrier-capable version of the P-80/T-33 family was subsequently developed by Lockheed, eventually leading to the late 1950s to 1970s T2V-1/T-1A SeaStar. The two prototype TF-80Cs were modified as prototypes for an all-weather two-seater fighter variant which became the F-94 Starfire. A total of 6,557 Shooting Stars were produced, 5,691 by Lockheed, 210 by Kawasaki and 656 by Canadair.

Operational history[edit]

U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy[edit]

The two-place T-33 proved suitable as an advanced trainer, and it has been used for such tasks as drone director and target towing. The U.S. Air Force began phasing the T-33 out of front line pilot training duties in the Air Training Command in the early 1960s as the Cessna T-37 Tweet and Northrop T-38 Talon aircraft began replacing it under the Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) program. The T-33 was used to train cadets from the Air Force Academy at Peterson Field (now Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs). The T-37 replaced the T-33 for Academy training in 1975. Similar replacement also occurred in the U.S. Navy with the TV-1 (also renamed T-33 in 1962) as more advanced aircraft such as the North American T-2 Buckeye and Douglas TA-4 Skyhawk II came on line. USAF and USN versions of the T-33 soldiered on into the 1970s and 1980s with USAF and USN as utility aircraft and proficiency trainers, with some of the former USN aircraft being expended as full scale aerial targets for air-to-air missile tests from naval aircraft and surface-to-air missile tests from naval vessels. Several T-33s were assigned to USAF McDonnell F-101 Voodoo, Convair F-102 Delta Dagger and Convair F-106 Delta Dart units, to include similarly equipped Air National Guard units, of the Aerospace Defense Command as proficiency trainers and practice "bogey" aircraft. Others later went to Tactical Air Command and TAC-gained Air National Guard F-106 and McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II units in a similar role until they were finally retired.

Military use by other nations[edit]

Some T-33s retained two machine guns for gunnery training, and in some countries, the T-33 was even employed as a combat aircraft: the Cuban Air Force used them during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, scoring several kills. The RT-33A version, reconnaissance aircraft produced primarily for use by foreign countries, had a camera installed in the nose and additional equipment in the rear cockpit. T-33s continued to fly as currency trainers, drone towing, combat and tactical simulation training, "hack" aircraft, electronic countermeasures and warfare training and test platforms right into the 1980s.

Lockheed T-33A USAF
United States Air Force Lockheed RT-33 reconnaissance plane forced down in December 1957, on display in Gjirokastër, Albania.
USAF Lockheed NT-33A

The T-33 has served with over 30 nations, and continues to operate as a trainer in smaller air forces. Canadair built 656 T-33s on licence for service in the RCAF—Canadian Forces as the CT-133 Silver Star while Kawasaki manufactured 210 in Japan. Other operators included Brazil, Turkey and Thailand which used the T-33 extensively.

In the 1980s, an attempt was made to modify and modernize the T-33 as the Boeing Skyfox, but a lack of orders led to the cancellation of the project. About 70% of the T-33's airframe was retained in the Skyfox, but it was powered by two Garrett AiResearch TFE731-3A turbofan engines.

In the late 1990s, 18 T-33 Mk-III and T-33 SF-SC from the Bolivian Air Force went to Canada to be modernized at Kelowna Flightcraft. New avionics were installed, and detailed inspection and renewal of the fuselage and wings were performed. Most of the aircraft returned in early 2001 and remain operational.

Civilian use[edit]

A limited number of T-33s have found their way into private hands and have been used by Boeing as a chase aircraft. In 2010, one of two T-33 Shooting Stars owned by Boeing was used as a chase aircraft during the maiden flight of the Boeing 787.[2]

Variants[edit]

TP-80C
Original United States military designation for the Lockheed Model 580 two-seat trainer for the United States Army Air Forces. Designation changed to TF-80C on 11 June 1948 following establishment of the United States Air Force as a separate military service in 1947, and then to T-33A on 5 May 1949; 20 built.
T-33A
Two-seat jet trainer aircraft for the United States Air Force and delivery to foreign air forces under the Military Aid Program, 5871 including 699 diverted to the United States Navy as the TV-2.
AT-33A
Conversions of the T-33A for export as a close support variant fitted with underwing pylons and hard points for bombs and rockets.
DT-33A
This designation was given to a number of T-33As converted into drone directors.
NT-33A
This designation was given to a number of T-33As converted into special test aircraft.
QT-33A
This designation was given to number of T-33As converted into aerial target drones for the United States Navy.
RT-33A
T-33A modified before delivery as a single-seat reconnaissance variant; 85 built, mainly for export under the Military Aid Program.
T-33B
Re-designation of the United States Navy TV-2 in 1962.
DT-33B
Re-designation of the United States Navy TV-2D drone director in 1962.
DT-33C
Re-designation of the United States Navy TV-2KD target in 1962
TO-1/TV-1
U.S. Navy designation of P-80C, 50 transferred to USN in 1949 as jet trainers (not technically T-33 Shooting Star)
TO-2
United States Navy designation for 649 T-33As diverted from USAF production. Two-seat land-based jet training aircraft for the U.S. Navy. First 28 were delivered as TO-2s before the Navy changed the designation to TV-2. Surviving United States Navy and United States Marine Corps aircraft were re-designated T-33B on 18 September 1962.[3]
TV-2
Re-designation of the TO-2 after the first 28 were built.
TV-2D
TV-2s modified as drone directors, later re-designated DT-33B.
TV-2KD
TV-2s modified as radio-controlled targets, could be flown as a single-seater for ferry, later re-designated DT-33C.

Canada[edit]

Silver Star Mk 1
Canadian-designation for T-33A, 20 delivered.
Silver Star Mk 2
Canadian-designation for a T-33A which became the prototype of the Silver Star Mk 3.
T-33AN/CT-133 Silver Star Mk 3
The T-33AN is a Rolls-Royce Nene powered-variant of the T-33A for the Royal Canadian Air Force; 656 built by Canadair with the company designation CL-30. Canadian military designation was later changed from T-33AN to CT-133.

Other[edit]

L-245
One Lockheed owned fuselage with a more powerful engine. Was later developed into the T2V SeaStar.[4]
Aérospatiale Pégase[5]
A Canadair T-33AN was modified by Aérospatiale with an S17a 17% thickness wing section.

Operators[edit]

T-33 of the Belgian Air Force
Two T-33s of the Bolivian Air Force
T-33 of the Taiwan Air Force at Hsinchu Air Base 2012
A T-33 Shooting Star of the Hellenic Air Force
Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star Mexican Air Force
T-33 Portuguese Air Force
T-33 Republic of Korea Air Force
T-33 Spanish Air Force
T-33 Philippine Air Force
Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star belonging to the former Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF)
T-33 T-Bird of French Air Force in 1980 on the Air Base 705 of Tours
T-33 in Saudi Arabia

For operators of Canadian-built aircraft refer to Canadair T-33.

 Belgium
 Brazil
 Burma
 Canada
 Chile (all retired)
 Republic of China
 Colombia
 Cuba
 Denmark
 Dominican Republic
 Ecuador
 El Salvador
 France
 Germany
 Greece
 Guatemala
 Honduras
 Indonesia
 Iran
 Italy
 Japan (all retired)
 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
 Mexico
 Netherlands
 Nicaragua
 Norway
 Pakistan
 Paraguay
 Peru
 Philippines
 Portugal
 Saudi Arabia
 Singapore
 South Korea
 Spain
 Thailand
 Turkey
 United States
 Uruguay
 Yugoslavia

Aircraft on display[edit]

A Lockheed T-33 in Reno, Nevada in 2004

Numerous T-33s have been preserved as museum and commemorative displays including:

Albania[edit]

On display

Belgium[edit]

On display

T-33 - Royal Military Museum in Brussels

Burma[edit]

On display

Brazil[edit]

On display

Canada[edit]

Most examples in Canada are Canadair CT-133 Silver Stars

On display

China[edit]

On display

Denmark[edit]

T-33A Royal Danish Air Force - Now gate guard at the Air Force Flying School
On display
Stored or under restoration

Greece[edit]

On display

Germany[edit]

On display

Japan[edit]

On display

Mexico[edit]

Norway[edit]

On display

Pakistan[edit]

Peru[edit]

On display

Philippines[edit]

On display

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Serbia[edit]

On display
Stored or under restoration

Singapore[edit]

A retired RSAF's T-33A 364 on static display
On display

South Korea[edit]

On display

Taiwan[edit]

On display

Thailand[edit]

On display

United Kingdom[edit]

On display

United States[edit]

On display
T-33 in Willacoochee, Georgia. A T-33 crashed here ca. 1960s
T-33A, Jackson County Airport
Stored or under restoration

Uruguay[edit]

On display

Specifications (T-33A)[edit]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lockheed P-80/F-80
  2. ^ "787 First Flight from the chase plane." wired.com. Retrieved: 22 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b Jansen, Clay. " US Marine Corps Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star." Cloud 9 Photography, October 1961. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  4. ^ Beck, Simon. "Lockheed Shooting Star Series." US Warplanes.net. Retrieved: 21 October 2011.
  5. ^ Gaillard, Pierre (1991). Les Avions Francaisde 1965 a 1990. Paris: Editions EPA. ISBN 2 85120 392 4. 
  6. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 35
  7. ^ "History of the Kawasaki Aerospace Division." Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. Retrieved: 21 March 2010.
  8. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 193
  9. ^ "Aircraft Enquiry: N109X." FAA Registry. Retrieved: 11 Mar 2012.
  10. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 336
  11. ^ http://www.paluba.info/smf/index.php/topic,14299.0.html
  12. ^ "First Weapons Shed." Chinese People's Revolutionary Military Museum. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  13. ^ http://www.paluba.info/smf/index.php/topic,14299.0.html
  14. ^ http://www.paluba.info/smf/index.php/topic,14299.0.html
  15. ^ http://www.hill.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=5692
  16. ^ http://vmap.wikispaces.com/T-33+Shooting+Star
  17. ^ "NASM Collections: T-33 data page". nasm.si.edu. Retrieved: 22 April 2010.
  18. ^ "T-33." Wings Over the Rockies Museum. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  19. ^ "T-33." American Airpower Museum. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  20. ^ Strategic Air & Space Museum
  21. ^ http://www.paluba.info/smf/index.php/topic,14299.0.html
  22. ^ "Wood County Regional Airport History." woodcountyairport.us. Retrieved: 7 March 2011.
  23. ^ "T-33 Display." hector.govoffice.com. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  24. ^ "T-33." City Of Muskogee. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  25. ^ "T-33." OSU Library. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  26. ^ "T-33." Illinois Aviation Museum. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  27. ^ "Lockheed TV-2 (T-33) 'Shooting Star'." New England Air Museum. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Baugher, Joe. "Lockheed P-80/F-80." USAF Fighters. Retrieved: 11 June 2011.
  • Davis, Larry. P-80 Shooting Star. T-33/F-94 in action. Carrollton, Texas: Squadron/Signal Publications, 1980. ISBN 0-89747-099-0.
  • Dorr, Robert F. "P-80 Shooting Star Variants". Wings of Fame Vol. 11. London: Aerospace Publishing Ltd., 1998. ISBN 1-86184-017-9.
  • Hiltermann, Gijs. Lockheed T-33 (Vliegend in Nederland 3) (in Dutch). Eindhoven, Netherlands: Flash Aviation, 1988. ISBN 978-90-71553-04-2.
  • Pace, Steve. Lockheed Skunk Works. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International, 1992. ISBN 0-87938-632-0.
  • Gaillard, Pierre (1991). Les Avions Francaisde 1965 a 1990. Paris: Editions EPA. ISBN 2 85120 392 4. 

External links[edit]