Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star

The prototype F-80 “Shooting Star” flew on the 8th of January, 1944. Eight years later, the T-33A “Shooting Star” was introduced. The T-33A evolved from the F-80 “C” model fighter. The fuselage of the F-80C was lengthened to accommodate a second pilot sitting in tandem.

The first true American jet fighter was the P80 from Lockheed in 1945. In 1948, the F-80 fuselage was extended 38 inches and a second seat added under the lengthened canopy to become the T-33A trainer. 128 TF-80C’s were redesignated as T-33A’s in 1949 and production of the T-33A soon eclipsed that for F-80. The aircraft was now powered by the GE or Allison J33 turbojet. Maximum speed was 542 mph at 25,000 feet. Production ceased in 1959 after 5,700 had been delivered from factories in the U.S., Canada and Japan. Twenty-seven foreign countries bought the plane. The T-33A model trainers have taught many Air Force pilots basic fighter maneuvering skills; air combat tactics and low level flight skills.

The museum’s T-33A, serial number 58-0513, was delivered to the Air Force on 31 October 1958. Our T-33A last flew with the 84th Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron (FITS) based at Castle Air Force Base, Ca. The 84th FITS flew its T-33s equipped for the Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) training and in the role of target for the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD). This aircraft is on loan from the USAF.

According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA/RSA), Maxwell AFB, AL, the museum’s T-33A has the following history:

T-33A, s/n 58-513, was manufactured by Lockheed Aircraft, Burbank CA and delivered to the USAF on 31 Oct 1958. Its assignments were:

Oct 1958 - To 4600th Air Base Wing (ADC), Peterson AFB CO

Feb 1960 - To 4614th Consolidated Maintenance Squadron (ADC), Peterson AFB CO

13 Jul 60 - To 1001st Air Base Wing (HQ USAF), Andrews AFB MD

30 Jul 60 - Return to 4614th Consolidated Maintenance Squadron

Apr 1964 - To 460Oth Consolidated Maintenance Squadron (ADC), Peterson AFB CO

May 1973 - To 4600th Air Base Wing (ADC), Peterson AFB CO

Apr 1975 - To 46th Air Defense Wing (ADC), Peterson AFB CO

Jan 1980 - To 46th Fighter Training Squadron (TAC), Peterson AFB CO

Nov 1980 - To 460th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (TAC), Peterson AFB CO

May 1981 - To 84th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (TAC), Castle AFB CA

Mar 1987 - Dropped from USAF inventory by transfer to museum or school

In 1987, it was received at the museum at March Field.
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