Martin B-26 / Martin B-57 / Martin JRM Mars
Martin PBM-1 / Martin P5M / Martin 4.0.4 / Martin RB-57 Nasa
Lockheed C-5M Galaxy • C-121 • C-130 Hercules (KC-130) (AC-130) • C-130J • C-141 Starlifter
Role Training aircraft
Designer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson
First flight 22 March 1948
Retired 31 July 2017 (Bolivian Air Force)
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 a subsonic American jet trainer. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948. 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. The last operator of the T-33, the Bolivian Air Force, retired the type in July 2017, after 44 years of service.
The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 by lengthening the fuselage by slightly more than 3 feet (1 m) 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.
Design work on 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.
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A limited number of T-33s have been owned privately, with two used by Boeing as chase aircraft. In 2010, one T-33 owned by Boeing was used as a chase aircraft during the maiden flight of the Boeing 787. The maiden flight of the Boeing 737 MAX-7 on 16 March 2018 also featured a T-33 chase plane. The maiden flight of the Boeing 777-9 on January 25, 2020 also featured a T-33 chase plane, taking off from KBFI and meeting the 777-9 at KPAE, it stopped at KMWH and it took off again to chase the 777-9 on its way back to KBFI, flying around Mount Rainier before their landing
Length: 37 ft 9 in (11.51 m)
Wingspan: 38 ft 10.5 in (11.849 m)
Height: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
Empty weight: 8,365 lb (3,794 kg)
Gross weight: 12,071 lb (5,475 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 15,061 lb (6,832 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Allison J33-A-35 centrifugal flow turbojet engine, 5,400 lbf (24 kN) thrust for take-off with water injection
Maximum speed: 600 mph (970 km/h, 520 kn) at sea level
Cruise speed: 455 mph (732 km/h, 395 kn)
Range: 1,275 mi (2,052 km, 1,108 nmi)
Service ceiling: 48,000 ft (15,000 m)
Rate of climb: 4,870 ft/min (24.7 m/s)
Hardpoints: 2 with a capacity of 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs or rockets
Some T-33s retained two machine guns for gunnery training, and in some countries, the T-33 was even used in combat: the Cuban Air Force used them during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, scoring several kills including sinking two transport ships. 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.