Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star

Country of Origin:United States of America.
Type:Advanced trainer, light attack, liaison &EW trainer.
Powerplant:One 24.0kN (5400lb) Allison J33-A-35 turbojet.
Performance:Max speed 965km/h (520kt), cruising speed 732km/h (395kt). Max initial rate of climb 4870ft/min. Service ceiling 48,000ft. Ferryrange with tip tanks 2050km (1105nm), range with internal fuel 1650km (890nm).
Weights:Empty equipped 3795kg (8365lb), max takeoff 6830kg (15,060lb).
Accommodations:Two in tandem. Pilot only in RT-33.
Armament:Can be fitted with two 12.7mm M-3 machine guns mounted in the nose. Can carry upto 10kg (2000lb) of external armament including bombs and rockets.
Operators:Bolivia, Canada, Greece, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay.
History:T-33 is the most successful jet trainer in history, with more than 6000 built. More remarkable than that, significant numbers continue to serve around the world in the 1990s.

The T-33 is the development of F-80 Shooting Star, the USAAF's first operational jet fighter. The T-33 arose from a USAF requirement for an advanced two seat jet trainer, which Lockheed was easily able to meet by stretching the F-80 and adding a second seat. The first prototype designated FT-80C first flew on March 22 1948.

Subsequently Lockheed T-33 production between 1948 and 1959 amounted 5771 aircraft. The largest T-33, or T-bird, operator was the USAF, while just under 700 modified examples were delivered to the US Navy as TV-2 Sea Stars. Several thousand T-birds were built under the auspices of the USA's MAP (Military Asistance Program) and were delivered to friendly nations.

Lockheed built varients of the T-33 included the AT-33, an armed close air support version delivered under MAP to various countries, and RT-33, a single seat variant with various reconnaissance sensors in the nose. Limited number of AT-33 remain in service, while Thailand and Pakistan still operate the RT-33s.

Aside from Lockheed the T-33 was also built under license in Japan by Kawasaki (210) and in Canada (656). Around 60 remain in service with the Canadian Airforce, used as EW aggressors, or for various test duties. Japan meanwhile remains the largest user with about 100 aircraft used for training and various liaison tasks.