Aircraft Type: Lockheed T-33A, 58-0548, “T-Bird”
Mission: Advanced Trainer
Number built: 5,69
Powerplant: One Allison J33-A-35 turbojet, 5,400 lbs. thrust
Weight: Empty 8,084 pounds, Loaded 11,965 lbs., Maximum takeoff weight 14,442 pounds
Dimensions: Wingspan 38’10″, Length 37’9″, Height 11’8″
Performance: Maximum speed 546 MPH, Cruising speed 450MPH, Service Ceiling 48,000 feet, Range 1,345 miles
Significance of Type
The mainstay of the USAF pilot training program, the T-33 is the most successful jet trainer yet developed. In the 1950′s, more T-33′s were built than any other jet aircraft. Based upon the F-80 fighter, this aircraft is a stretched, dual control, two-seater which has a larger canopy to cover both cockpits.
Popular with friendly Air Forces as well, the T-33A has served in the militaries of France, Greece, Italy, Thailand, Phillipines, Taiwan, Turkey, Colombia and more. It is still active at many bases around the world. Several variations of this aircraft were developed, including a reconnnaissance aircraft (RT-33A), an attack aircraft (AT-33A), and a target drone director aircraft (DT-33A).
About our T-33A: This T-33A was manufactured by Lockheed Aircraft and delivered to the Air Force on December 8, 1958. It was dropped from the inventory and delivered to the Strategic Air & Space Museum on December 14, 1972.