Canadair CT-133 Silver Star
|CT-133 Silver Star|
|CT-133 Silver Star Mk.3|
|Role||Military trainer aircraft|
|Manufacturer||Canadair / Lockheed|
|First flight||December 1952|
|Retired||2005 (Canadian Forces)|
|Primary users||Royal Canadian Air Force|
|Developed from||Lockheed T-33|
The Canadair CT-133 Silver Star (company model number CL-30) is the Canadian license-built version of the Lockheed T-33 jet trainer aircraft, in service from the 1950s to 2005. The Canadian version was powered by the Rolls-Royce Nene 10 turbojet, whereas the Lockheed production used the Allison J33.
Design and development
The Canadair CT-133 was the result of a 1951 contract to build T-33 Shooting Star trainers for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). The powerplant is a Rolls-Royce Nene 10 turbojet instead of the Allison J33 used by Lockheed in the production of the original T-33. A project designation of CL-30 was given by Canadair and the name was changed to Silver Star. The appearance of the CT-133 is very distinctive due to the large fuel tanks usually carried on each wingtip.
A total of 656 CT-133 aircraft were built by Canadair.
The CT-133 entered service in the RCAF as its primary training aircraft for fighter/interceptors. The designation of the Silver Star in the Canadian Forces was CT-133.
The CT-133 was reliable and had forgiving flight properties. Its service life in the RCAF (and later the Canadian Forces) was extremely long. One of the more unusual roles it played was as an aerobatic demonstration aircraft, the RCAF's Red Knight. Although the aircraft stopped being used as a trainer in 1976, there were still over 50 aircraft in Canadian Forces inventory in 1995. The youngest of these airframes was then 37 years old and had exceeded its expected life by a factor of 2.5. During this period, the Canadair T-33 was employed in communication, target towing, and enemy simulation.
The final Canadair Silver Star Mk. 3 was retired from the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, where it was used as an ejection seat testbed after 46 years of service. CT-133 number 133648 was delivered to CFD Mountain View on 26 April 2005. Having been built in March 1959 as a CT-133 with original RCAF serial number 21648, it had reached a total of 11394.6 flight hours at the time of its retirement from military use. It has been sold on the civil market, along with fifteen other CT-133s. These aircraft will join the fifty others on the United States Civil Register and continue to fly as a part of the living legacy of the early jet age.
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- T-33A Silver Star Mk 1: Two-seat jet training aircraft for the RCAF. Built by Lockheed in the United States, 30 on loan to the RCAF.
- CT-133ANX Silver Star Mk 2: The first Canadian prototype. One built.
- Silver Star Mk 3: Two-seat jet training aircraft for the RCAF.
- Silver Star Mk 3PT: Unarmed version.
- Silver Star Mk 3AT: Armed version.
- Silver Star Mk 3PR: Photo-reconnaissance version.
- CE-133: Upgraded electronic warfare training aircraft.
- CX-133: Ejection seat testbed.
- ET-133: Aerial threat simulator aircraft.
- TE-133: Anti-ship threat simulator aircraft.
Aircraft on display
The following locations have CT-133 Silver Stars on display or in flyable condition:
- British Columbia
- Nova Scotia
- Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum
- Greenwood Military Aviation Museum Greenwood, Nova Scotia
- Shearwater Aviation Museum
- Canadian Air and Space Museum
- Canada Aviation Museum
- Canadian Historical Aircraft Association
- Jet Aircraft Museum – will eventually have six operational examples
- London International Airport
- National Air Force Museum of Canada
- United Kingdom
- RAF Manston History Museum, at RAF Manston, Kent, England
- Yorkshire Air Museum, at RAF Elvington, England
Data from
- Crew: one–two
- Length: 11.48 m (37 ft 8 in)
- Wingspan: 12.93 m (42 ft 5 in)
- Height: 3.55 m (11 ft 8 in)
- Empty weight: 3830 kg (8440 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 7630 kg (16800 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Nene 10 turbojet, 22 kN (5000 lb)
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