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"It was great being at the Planes of Fame Air Museum yesterday. I'm so glad Sandy recruited me for the occasion. It was a worthwhile experience and I really enjoyed participating in the event. I must compliment you and all concerned on the extremely organized function. Enclosed are a couple photos of me wearing my 65-year old helmet, goggles and oxygen mask, which ended up like the paparazzi (taking pictures)."

Selwyn L., San Diego, CA
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Canadair CT-133

The most widely used jet trainer in the world is the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. Essentially a two-seat version of the USAF F-80, America's first operation jet fighter, the T-33 continues in use today.

After introduction of the P-80 Shooting Star, Lockheed undertook a private venture to develop the T-33 trainer. By xtending the fuselage and canopy by three feet, an extra pilot could be accommodated. The result was a world class jet trainer of which 5,781 would be built over its first decade of production. A generation of flying cadets became pilots in the front seat of the T-33.

The U. S. Navy also needed a Jet trainer but the low speed handling of the T-33 was judged unsuitable for carrier landings. Lockheed again went to work, creating the T2V-1 Sea Star which included leading and trailing edge flaps to solve the low speed requirements. By 1958 the Navy had received the first of 700 T2V-1s.

The operational life of America's T-33 finally came to its end in 1987 when the last T-33 was retired from the Air National Guard. However, it lives on in several Latin American countries which still operate the aircraft more than a half century since it was initially deployed.

Planes of FameAir Museum's T-33 is used as the pace airplane for the Unlimited Air Races every year at Reno, Nevada.


Status: Flyable Length: 37 ft. 8 in.
Manufacturer: Lockheed Height: 11 ft. 7 in.
Year: 1949 Maximum Speed: 525 mph
Model: T-33A Shooting Star Cruise Speed: 455 mph
Serial Number: 580-8495 Power Plant: 1-Allison J33-A-35 turbojet with
5,400 lbs. of thrust
Crew: 2 Range: 1,000 miles
Max T/O Weight: 15,100 lb. Service Ceiling: 45,000 ft.
Span: 37 ft. 6 in. Armament: none