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The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star (aka Thunderbird) is an American subsonic jet trainer first flown in 1948. It was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 by lengthening the fuselage by slightly more than 3 feet and adding a second seat, instrumentation, and flight controls. Design work on the Lockheed P-80 began in 1943, with the first flight in 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.
Our T-33 taken by the USAF sometime in 1951 with s/n 51-4033 . After a decade of service, it was adopted by the US Navy. After being retired from the service, it became part of Planes of Fame museum in Chino, CA, during which it served as a pace plane at the Reno Air Races for many years. In 2011, it became part of our collection.