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.
Role Training aircraft
Manufacturer Lockheed
Designer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson
First flight 22 March 1948
Status Retired
Primary users United States Air Force
United States Navy
Japan Air Self Defense Force
German Air Force
Produced 1948–1959
Number built 6,557
Developed from Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star
Variants Lockheed T2V SeaStar
Canadair CT-133 Silver Star
Developed into Lockheed 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. As of 2015, Canadian-built examples were 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, with the last being an NT-33 variant retired in April 1997.

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] Actor and pilot Michael Dorn owned a T-33.[3] Dorn, who played the character Worf in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, jokingly referred to the aircraft as his 'starship'.

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. Also used in the original fighter lead-in program at Cannon AFB, NM approximately 1972- 1975.
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.[4]
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.[5]
Aérospatiale Pégase[6]
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
 Bolivia
  • Bolivian Air Force - Bolivia acquired 15 T-33AN from Canada in 1973–74, purchasing 5 more from Canada in 1977 and 18 T-33SFs from France in 1985.[7] 18 were upgraded to T-33-2000 standard in 2000–2001.[8] 14 remain operational as of December 2015.[9]
 Brazil
 Burma
 Canada
 Chile (all retired)
 Republic of China
 Colombia
 Cuba
 Denmark
 Dominican Republic
 Ecuador
 El Salvador
  • (all retired)
 France
  • French Air Force – 163 x T-33A and RT-33A (also 61 Canadian-built T-33AN), all retired
 Germany
 Greece
 Guatemala
 Honduras
 Indonesia
 Iran
 Italy
 Japan (all retired)
 Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
 Mexico
 Netherlands
 Nicaragua
  • Fuerza Aérea de Nicaragua FAN received delivery of four AT-33A aircraft from the US Government after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Retired from service in 1979.
 Norway
 Pakistan
 Paraguay
  • Paraguayan Air Force operated six AT-33A donated by Taiwan in 1990. The belonged to the Grupo Aerotáctico (GAT) 2nd. Fighter Squadron called "Indios". They were withdrawn from use in 1998.
 Peru
 Philippines
 Portugal
 Saudi Arabia
 Singapore
 South Korea
 Spain
 Thailand
 Turkey
 United States
 Uruguay
 Yugoslavia
  • Yugoslav Air Force – Operated 125 Shooting Stars in four variants: 25 T-33A, 22 RT-33A, 70 TV-2 and 8 TT-33A (all retired)[17]

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
  • RT-33A 51-4413 of the USAF was forced to land in December 1957 at Rinas Airport (Albania) by a squadron of 2 Albanian MiG-15bis - on display at Gjirokastra Museum[citation needed]

Belgium[edit]

On display

T-33 - Royal Military Museum in Brussels

Burma[edit]

On display
  • Unknown T-33 - Armed Forces Museum in Yangon .

Brazil[edit]

On display

Canada[edit]

Most examples in Canada are Canadair CT-133 Silver Stars

On display
  • T-33A 53-5413 of the United States Air Force at Happy Valley, Goose Bay

China[edit]

On display

Denmark[edit]

T-33A Royal Danish Air Force - Now gate guard at the Air Force Flying School
On display
  • T-33A RDAF DT-102 at Danmarks Flymuseum, Stauning
  • T-33A RDAF DT-289 at Garnisonsmuseet, Aalborg
  • T-33A RDAF DT-491 at Danmarks Tekniske Museum, Helsingør
  • T-33A RDAF DT-497 a Gate Guard at RDAF Flying School
  • T-33A RDAF DT-905 at Gedhus museum
Stored or under restoration
  • T-33A RDAF DT-104 in storage at Aalborg Air Force Base
  • T-33A RDAF DT-884 under restoration at Skrydstrup Air Force Base
  • T-33A RDAF DT-923 in storage at Danmarks Tekniske Museum, Helsingør

Greece[edit]

On display

Germany[edit]

On display

Japan[edit]

On display

Mexico[edit]

  • Various T-33s are on static display at the Mexican Air Force Museum, Mexican Army and Air Force Museum and individual air bases.

Netherlands[edit]

  • There is a former RNLAF T-33A preserved at the National Military Museum in Soesterberg

Norway[edit]

On display

Pakistan[edit]

Peru[edit]

On display
  • T-33A at Las Palmas Air Base, Lima.

Philippines[edit]

On display
  • T-33 at the Philippine Air Force Museum at Villamor Air Base
  • T-33 at the Clark Air Base Pampanga Province.
  • T-33 at the Basa Air Base in Pampanga Province.
  • T-33 at Camp Aquino Museum in Tarlac Province.

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
  • T-33A F11-23/13 of the Royal Thai Air Force at the Royal Thai Air Force Museum, Don Muang AFB.
  • T-33A F11-27/13 of the Royal Thai Air Force at Chitladda Palace.

Turkey[edit]

T-33A[19]
RT-33A

United Kingdom[edit]

On display
  • T-33A 14286 of the French Air Force on display in USAF markings at the American Air Museum, Duxford.
  • T-33A 14419 of the French Air Force on display in USAF markings at the Midland Air Museum, Coventry.
  • T-33A 17473 of the French Air Force on display in Royal Canadian Air Force markings at the Midland Air Museum, Coventry.
  • T-33A 54439 of the French Air Force at the North East Aircraft Museum, Sunderland.
  • T-33A 16718 of the French Air Force on display in USAF markings at City of Norwich Aviation Museum, Norwich

United States[edit]

Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
T-33 training aircraft at Douglas, Georgia airport
T-33 in Willacoochee, Georgia. A T-33 crashed here ca. 1960s
Lockheed T-33A on display at the Museum of Aviation, Robins AFB
Illinois
Iowa
  • T-33A at Southeast Iowa Regional Airport in Burlington, Iowa.
  • T-33 Sheldon Regional Airport - Tail no. 29614
Kansas
Louisiana
Massachusetts
  • T-33A 51-2129? at the Collings Foundation in Stow, Massachusetts.
Michigan
T-33A, Jackson County Airport
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
  • T-33 is on outside display at Maurice Roberts Park, Richmond, MO.[25]
  • T-33 is on outside display at Caruthersville Municipal Park and Airport, Caruthersville, MO.
  • T-33 on private property just outside Joplin Regional Airport in Joplin, MO
Nebraska
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
  • T-33A at a VFW post in Wilmington, North Carolina.
  • T-33A 51-4505 at Tri-County Airport west of Ahoskie, North Carolina.
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Dakota
  • T-33 is on outside display at South Dakota Veterans Park at Chamberlain. Was moved from Huron VFW to Chamberlain in October 2014.[1]
Tennessee
  • T-33 Tail Number 52-6009, On display in Johnson City, TN, at the Johnson City Radio Controllers airfield.
The "Johnson City" T-33a on display at the Johnson City Radio Controllers airfield.
Texas
Utah
Washington State
Washington DC
Stored or under restoration
  • Unknown T-33, is under restoration to flying condition with the Collings Foundation out of their Houston, Texas facility.
  • Unknown T-33 in storage at Carolinas Aviation Museum, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Second unknown T-33 in storage at Carolinas Aviation Museum, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Uruguay[edit]

On display
  • Uruguayan Air Force Airbase #2 (St. Bernardina, Durazno)
  • Airbase #1 (Carrasco Intl. Airport)
  • ETA (Technical Air School)
  • Cnel. (Av.) Jaime Meregalli.Museo Aeronáutico (Air Museum)

Specifications (T-33A)[edit]

Data from Lockheed Aircraft since 1913[34]

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

  • Hardpoints: 2 with a capacity of 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs or rockets (AT-33)

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. ^ Freeze, Di. "Michael Dorn: A Trek worth Remembering". Airportjournals.com. Airport Journals. Retrieved June 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Jansen, Clay. " US Marine Corps Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star." Cloud 9 Photography, October 1961. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  5. ^ Beck, Simon. "Lockheed Shooting Star Series." US Warplanes.net. Retrieved: 21 October 2011.
  6. ^ Gaillard, Pierre (1991). Les Avions Francaisde 1965 a 1990. Paris: Editions EPA. ISBN 2 85120 392 4. 
  7. ^ Siegrist 1987, p. 175.
  8. ^ International Air Power Review Summer 2001, p. 28.
  9. ^ Hoyle Flight International 8–14 December 2015, p. 33.
  10. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 35
  11. ^ Schrøder, Hans (1991). Royal Danish Airforce. Ed. Kay S. Nielsen. Tøjhusmuseet, 1991, p. 1–64. ISBN 87-89022-24-6.
  12. ^ "Il portale dell'Aeronautica Militare – Lockheed RT-33". aeronautica.difesa.it. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  13. ^ "History of the Kawasaki Aerospace Division." Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. Retrieved: 21 March 2010.
  14. ^ Pocock 1986, p. 92.
  15. ^ "Aircraft Enquiry: N109X." FAA Registry. Retrieved: 11 Mar 2012.
  16. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 336
  17. ^ a b c d "Letelice Lockheed T-33A, RT-33A i TV-2 u JRV i njihove sudbine". paluba.info. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  18. ^ "First Weapons Shed." Chinese People's Revolutionary Military Museum. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  19. ^ http://www.tayyareci.com/digerucaklar/turkiye/1951ve2006/rt-t33.asp
  20. ^ http://www.aviationmuseum.eu/World/Europe/Turkey/Istanbul/Yesilkoymuseum.htm
  21. ^ "T-33." Wings Over the Rockies Museum. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  22. ^ "Lockheed TV-2 (T-33) 'Shooting Star'." New England Air Museum. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  23. ^ "T-33." Illinois Aviation Museum. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  24. ^ "T-33 Display." hector.govoffice.com. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  25. ^ "More is known about Maurice Roberts' jet than the park itself". 
  26. ^ "Ashland, NE - Strategic Air & Space Museum". Strategic Air & Space Museum. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  27. ^ "T-33." American Airpower Museum. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  28. ^ "Wood County Regional Airport History." woodcountyairport.us. Retrieved: 7 March 2011.
  29. ^ "T-33." City Of Muskogee. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  30. ^ "T-33." OSU Library. Retrieved: 6 August 2013.
  31. ^ "vmap - T-33 Shooting Star". Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  32. ^ "Factsheets : T-33A "Shooting Star"". Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  33. ^ "NASM Collections: T-33 data page". nasm.si.edu. Retrieved: 22 April 2010.
  34. ^ Francillon 1982, pp. 287, 293.

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.
  • Francillon, René J. Lockheed Aircraft since 1913. London: Putnam, 1982. ISBN 0-370-30329-6.
  • "Fuerza Aérea Boliviana". International Air Power Review. Volume 1, Summer 2001. pp. 28–31. ISSN 1473-9917.
  • Gaillard, Pierre (1991). Les Avions Français 1965 a 1990. Paris: Editions EPA. ISBN 2 85120 392 4. 
  • Hiltermann, Gijs. Lockheed T-33 (Vliegend in Nederland 3) (in Dutch). Eindhoven, Netherlands: Flash Aviation, 1988. ISBN 978-90-71553-04-2.
  • Hoyle, Craig. "World Air Forces 2015". Flight International, 8–14 December 2015, Vol. 188, No. 5517. pp. 26–53. ISSN 0015-3710.
  • Pace, Steve. Lockheed Skunk Works. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International, 1992. ISBN 0-87938-632-0.
  • Pocock, Chris. "Singapore Sting". Air International, Vol. 31, No. 2. pp. 59–64, 90–92.
  • Siegrist, Martin. "Bolivian Air Power — Seventy Years On". Air International, Vol. 33, No. 4, October 1987. pp. 170–176, 194. ISSN 0306-5634.

External links[edit]