T-33A Shooting Star

The Shooting Star

The T-33 Shooting Star was a jet trainer aircraft developed by Lockheed Corporation for the United States Air Force (USAF). It was a derivative of the Lockheed P-80/F-80 fighter aircraft and was primarily used for training pilots in advanced jet flying techniques.

Lockheed T-33A

The T-33 first flew in 1948 and became one of the most widely used jet trainers in the world, serving with numerous air forces around the globe. It had a two-seat configuration and was powered by a single turbojet engine, introducing trainee pilots to jet-powered flight before transitioning to high-performance fighters. The T-33 also could be armed with machine guns and rockets for secondary combat missions. Overall, the T-33 Shooting Star played a crucial role in training generations of pilots and contributed to advancing military aviation.

Lockheed T-33A Cockpit


The T-33 was a jet trainer aircraft developed by Lockheed in the 1940s. The specifications of the T-33 are as follows:

  1. Dimensions:
  • Wingspan: 38 feet 10 inches (11.84 meters)
  • Length: 37 feet 8 inches (11.5 meters)
  • Height: 11 feet 8 inches (3.56 meters)
  1. Weight:
  • Empty Weight: 8,364 pounds (3,790 kilograms)
  • Maximum Takeoff Weight: 15,600 pounds (7,076 kilograms)
  1. Engine:
  • Powerplant: 1 × Allison J33-A-35 centrifugal flow turbojet engine
  • Thrust: 5,400 lbs (24 kN)
  1. Performance:
  • Maximum Speed: 600 mph (970 km/h)
  • Range: 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometers)
  • Service Ceiling: 48,000 feet (14,600 meters)
  • Rate of Climb: 6,120 feet per minute (31 meters per second)
  1. Armament:
  • Guns: None (although some variants were used for light attack roles and had provisions for machine guns or cannons)
  • External Stores: The T-33 could carry various external stores like rockets, bombs, and practice bombs on its wing hardpoints.
  1. Crew: Typically, a pilot and a student or instructor pilot.
  2. Avionics and Features:
  • Advanced flight instruments and navigational aids for training purposes
  • Cockpit equipped with ejection seats (later variants)
  • Pressurized cabin for high-altitude training
  • Dual flight controls for instructor-student configuration

Frequently Asked Questions

Were spins taught in the T-33?

Yes, spins were taught in the T-33 Shooting Star. The T-33 was a two-seat jet trainer aircraft used by the United States Air Force and several other air forces worldwide. It was known for its stability and was often used to teach pilots basic aerobatic maneuvers, including spins.

Did the T-33 have a pressurized cockpit?

Yes, the T-33 Shooting Star had a pressurized cockpit. The T-33 was the trainer variant of the Lockheed P-80/F-80 Shooting Star, one of the first operational jet fighters used by the United States Air Force.

Was the T-33 easy to fly?

The T-33 was considered relatively easy to fly compared to other military jet aircraft. It was designed specifically as a trainer aircraft, and its flight characteristics and controls were designed to be intuitive and forgiving for student pilots. The T-33 had relatively stable flight characteristics, good low-speed handling, and docile behavior during takeoff and landing. It was also equipped with dual controls, allowing instructors to take over if needed. As a result, many pilots found the T-33 a comfortable and straightforward aircraft to fly.


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