Lockheed T33 of the North East Aircraft Museum

Developed from the F-80 Shooting Star, the T-33 was one of the most widely used trainers of all time, 5,691 being built in the United States, as well as 210 in Japan (by Kawasaki) and 656 in Canada (by Canadair, these being fitted with Rolls-Royce Nene engines).

US production ended in 1959. By 2000 it was still being used by 7 nations.

Lockheed T-33 of the North East Aircraft Museum

F-80 Shooting Star


The Shooting Star was the USA's first operational jet fighter. Development started in 1943 and it first flew in December 1944, only 143 days later, after an enormous effort by a design team headed by Clarence (Kelly) Johnson.

The prototype was powered by a De Havilland H1 turbojet (as used for the Vampire), but this British engine became unavailable, so this meant re-designing to incorporate the General Electric J33.

The first production aircraft was handed over to USAAF in December 1945.

In June 1947, a specially modified Shooting Star raised the World Speed Record to 1103.9 km/hr.

It served in Korea, mostly in a Ground-Attack role, although in November 1950 one shot down a Mig-15, which was possibly the first conclusive combat between jet fighters.

It left front-line service with USAAF soon after the Korean War.

In 1980 it was still in service with 28 air forces, 120 aircraft still being used by USAF for target exercises or as an electronic jamming platform in interceptor exercises.

85 of a reconnaissance/attack version were also built.

Some modified for reconnaissance purposes

Lockheed T33 of the North East Aircraft Museum