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T-33 “Shooting Star”


  • Manufacturer----Lockheed Aircraft Corp.

  • Type      Trainer

  • Length  37 feet 8 inches

  • Wing Span           37 feet 6 inches

  • Height   11 feet 7 inches

  • Fuel Capacity     677.5 Gallons Maximum Weight -15,000 pounds

  • Power Plant        One 5,400 lb Allison J33-A

  • turbojet

  • Cost       $123,000

  • Speed- 455 mph

  • Service Ceiling---45, 000 feet

  • Range   1, 343 miles

  • Crew     2- Instructor and student

The T-33 trainer "T-Bird" came from the F-80 fighter, which also bore the name "Shooting Star". By adding three feet to the fuselage the world's first jet trainer was born. The cockpit grew to two places and the six machine guns came out.

The two seat, 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 in March 1948. Production continued until August 1959 with 5,691 T-33s built. 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 for the Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) program.

The Travis Museum T-33, 55-3021 was donated by the Solano Community City College, Suisun Ca. in 2007, after being used for aircraft maintenance education.

Information based on, “Travis Heritage Center” by Nick Veronico, copyright Travis AFB Historical Society and Travis AFB Heritage Center Foundation.

This book is available from the Travis Heritage Center gift shop.

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