General Characteristics
Crew: 2
Length: 37 ft 9 in (11.49 m)
Wingspan: 38 ft 10.5 in (11.86 m)
Height: 11 ft 8 in (3.57 m)
Empty weight: 8,300 lb (3,775 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 15,100 lb (6,865 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Allison J33-A-35 centrifugal compressor turbojet, 5,400 lbf (23 kN)
Maximum speed: 600 mph (970 km/h)
Range: 1,275 mi ferry (2,050 km)
Service ceiling: 48,000 ft (14,600 m)
Guns: 2 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) Browning M3 machine guns with 350 rpg (for AT-33)
Hardpoints: 2 with a capacity of 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs or rocket pods

T-33A Shooting Star

The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star is an American-built jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948, piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the U.S. Navy initially as TO-2 then TV-2, and after 1962, T-33B. Despite its vintage, the T-33 remains in service worldwide.

Cactus Air Force owns 3 T-33 Shooting Stars.


This aircraft was used by the by the Air Training Command at Hondo Air Force Base(AFB), Texas until being placed into storage area until 1961. Purchased as government surplus in 1962 and utilized as a private sport aircraft until being used as a spare parts source on the rebuild of T-28D’s and subsequently used as a “Wind Tee” at a New Jersey airport until being purchased by the Cactus Air Force, for the benefit of the Wings and Wheels Museum, in 1976.  As a “Bi-Centennial” project we began diligently putting forth stewardship to restore, fly and display this aircraft.

First flown by the CAF in 1980 and now painted in Sea 1968 color Scheme. This Aircraft has its original R-1300-1B engine of 800 H.P. and has been converted with a Hamilton-Standard 3 blade propeller in lieu of the original Aeroproducts 2 blade propeller.



This aircraft was purchased by the Cactus Air Force in 2001 was flown in to the CAF.


This aircraft too was purchased by the Cactus Air Force in 2001 and flown to the CAF. It is in the full “AUP” (Avionics Upgrade Program) configuration along with one piece windscreen and latest ejection seat.

Design & Development

The T-33 (aka “T-Bird”) was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 by lengthening the fuselage by slightly over three feet and adding a second seat, instrumentation and flight controls. It was initially designated as a variant of the P-80/F-80, the TP-80C/TF-80C.

Design work for the Lockheed P-80 began in 1943 with the first flight on 8 January 1944. Following on the Bell P-59, the P-80 became the first jet fighter to enter full squadron service in the United States Army Air Forces. As more advanced jets entered service, the F-80 took on another role – training jet pilots. The two-place T-33 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 on 22 March 1948 with US production taking place from 1948 to 1959. The US Navy used the T-33 as a land-based trainer starting in 1949. It was designated the TV-2, but was redesignated the T-33B in 1962. The Navy operated some ex-USAF P-80Cs as the TO-1, changed to the TV-1 about a year later. A carrier-capable version of the P-80/T-33 family was subsequently developed by Lockheed, eventually leading to the late 1950s to 1970s T2V-1/T-1A SeaStar. A total of 6,557 Shooting Stars were produced, 5,691 by Lockheed.

Operational History

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 T-37 Tweet and T-38 Talon aircraft began replacing it under the Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) construct. Similar replacement also occurred in the U.S. Navy with the TV-1 (also renamed T-33 in 1962) as more advanced aircraft such as the T-2 Buckeye came on line. USAF and USN versions of the T-33 soldiered on into the 1970s and 1980s with USAF and USN as utility aircraft and proficiency trainers, with some of the former USN aircraft being expended as full scale aerial targets for air-to-air missile tests from naval aircraft and surface-to-air missile tests from naval vessels. Several T-33s were assigned to USAF F-101 Voodoo, F-102 Delta Dagger and F-106 Delta Dart units, to include similarly equipped Air National Guard units, of the Aerospace Defense Command as proficiency trainers and practice “bogey” aircraft. Others later went to Tactical Air Command and TAC-gained Air National Guard F-106 and F-4 Phantom II units in a similar role until they were finally retired.

Some T-33s retained two machine guns for gunnery training, and in some countries, the T-33 was even employed as a combat aircraft: the Cuban Air Force used them during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, scoring several kills. The RT-33A version, reconnaissance aircraft produced primarily for use by foreign countries, had a camera installed in the nose and additional equipment in the rear cockpit. T-33s continued to fly as currency trainers, drone towing, combat and tactical simulation training, “hack” aircraft, electronic countermeasures and warfare training and test platforms right into the 1980s.

The T-33 has served with over 30 nations, and continues to operate as a trainer in smaller air forces. Canadair built 656 T-33s on licence for service in the RCAF – Canadian Forces as the CT-133 Silver Star while Kawasaki manufactured 210 in Japan. Other operators included Brazil, Turkey and Thailand which used the T-33 extensively.Specifications (T-33A)

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