Lockheed T-33
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Lockheed T-33

Lockheed's P-80 Shooting Star has its own special niche in USAAF/USAF history. From it evolved a lengthened-fuselage two-seat trainer version, designated originally TF-80C. The first of these flew on 22 March 1948. In addition to the fuselage 'stretch', a second cockpit in tandem was provided with dual controls, the transparent canopy was extended to cover both cockpits and the armament of the F-80 was deleted.

A total of 128 TF-80C were built before the designation was changed to T-33A in May 1949. Adopted as the USAF's standard jet trainer, it remained in production for a further ten years. A total of 649 were also built for service with the US Navy and Marine Corps under the designation TV-2, later T-33B. Total production amounted to 5,691 aircraft (including those for the Navy): 1,058 for supply to friendly nations under the Military Assistance Program and the balance to the USAF. T-33A were also licence-built in Canada (656 as the Silver Star, with Rolls-Royce Nene engine) and Japan (210). Variants included small numbers modified as DT-33A drone directors and AT-33A armed close-support aircraft.

Lockheed T-33A three-view drawing (530 x 827)

 ENGINE1 x Allison J-33-A-5, 24.0kN
    Take-off weight5900 kg13007 lb
    Empty weight3810 kg8400 lb
    Wingspan11.9 m39 ft 1 in
    Length11.5 m38 ft 9 in
    Height3.6 m12 ft 10 in
    Wing area22.0 m2236.81 sq ft
    Max. speed965 km/h600 mph
    Ceiling14700 m48250 ft
    Range w/max.fuel2150 km1336 miles
 ARMAMENT2 x 12.7mm machine-guns

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120 121-140 141-160
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Bob Martin, 26.01.2018

Letís get back to the T-33 stories. I was a student pilot in Class 63-G at Laredo AFB. We started with 25; which included 3 Afgan students who had washed back; and two from Norway. We ended up with 13 Americans and one Norwegian student graduating. Six of us came in from OCS Class 62C. I still have both Annuals. The 63-G pilots annual also includes pictures of 63-H. I have some pictures of the 16 T-33 aircraft flyover and some Graduation Ball pictures of us and some of the Instructors. I also made the mistake of crabbing the nose wheel on my first taxi out and had to have the maintenance guys straighten it out. Most of us have passed on but I will gladly share pictures if anyone would care to have them. BTW, why no picture of a KC-135. I flew that for 9 years.
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Robert Daniel, 28.12.2017

I can't find any info on two T-33's that collided near Crawford Texas in the early 1960's. There was one fatality. My brother witness the collision and saw the parachutes. He was on our street in Waco. My dad took us to the crash site. We were able to walk up to one the planes. The other plane was burning and they wouldn't let us near it. I remember two ejection seats sitting on the ground just like they sit in the plane.

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Eric W Munson, 20.08.2017

I am looking for information on crash of a T-33 trainer out of Perrin AFB (crash was 1.5 miles NW of base) on February 23, 1956. Pilot was George M. Munson (my uncle). I have a copy of the death certificate, but am just looking for anyone who might have any specific information.

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Part 1 of this post is to everyone.
Part 2 is specific to Michael Coleman's post from 2014.
I am a historian/archaeologist writing a report on a crash site approximately 6 miles from the center of the runways on Tyndall AFB. The remaining fragments from the crash on site are consistent with both Lockheed T-33 and F-94 aircraft. I did not locate a serial number on site, so I am narrowing the identity of the precise aircraft down by crash location. In anyone has any info of a crash site approximately 6 miles from the center of the Tyndall runways please email me at gfquigg@gmail.com. Thank you. Now for part 2: Michael Coleman if you ever check these comments please contact me at gfquigg@gmail.com. Thanks.

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Deborah Taylor, 24.12.2016

I'm trying to see if anyone has any information about my father's(Capt. Craven P Almond)accident in the T33A (53-5207 per the accident report). December 30th 1954 while exiting the aircraft, the ejection seat went off and hit my father. He died a few days later in DC. One story has it that his parachute got caught on the lever setting off the ejection seat. The other story is that this was a defect in the plane which killed other pilots as well and he was the last to die from this defect. Does anyone have anything to add to this account.

Jim Quinn, 03.11.2016

I am one of several old veterans working on the restoration of a T-33, S/N 53-6132, for installation at our Veterans Memorial Park in the town of Dunlap, TN. The aircraft was formerly on display in Douglas, GA, but has been transferred by the USAF to us for restoration. I have two questions: (1) The aircraft has a very large stencil, TR-132, on the side. Obviously the 132 represents the last three digits of the S/N, but am I safe in assuming the TR was an abbreviation for training? (2) Does anyone know of a reliable source for parts, especially a canopy and tip tanks? The old bird has been sitting for many years... Thank you!

Richard Lambert, 24.09.2016

Researching T-33 Aircraft serial Numbers staioned at Richards Gebauer AFB in 1966-68. Hoping someone can give me these as was stationed there and worked on 7 i believe.

Wally Leland, 23.04.2016

I have over a 1000 hrs. In the T Bird, and enjoyed reading the comments of other T Bird pilots.
While flying out of Lowry AFB in the 60's, while stationed at the USAFA, Capt. Lou Andrews and I logged 4.2 hrs. In a T Bird. I doubt if any one else has come anywhere close to that.
We utilized the Mountain Wave off the Santa de Cristo mountains Southwest of Pueblo,Co. flying @ 12000 feet , crabbing into the westerly winds. On one leg of 20 miles we gained 1500 ft. @ flight idle, 115 Kts, 1/4 flaps.

After two hours working the wave, we climbed up to 20 K, and contacted Lowry base ops to see if they would extend our flying period. They said there was no schedule for the next period, and gave us 2 more hrs.
When we landed after over 4 hours, the crew chief wanted to know why we had gone cross country, when we were only scheduled for a local flight. The only explanation we gave him was that operations had authorized a 2nd period.
We were restricted to 165 gallons in the tip tanks, and when we landed , we had a full fuselage tank a some fuel in the inboards.
Unfortunately Lou has " Gone West", but I do have the flight logged in my Form 5.

At the time, I was the only USAF pilot on orders to log flying time In Sailplanes ( Gliders ) . One month, I flew over 4 hrs. In a USAFA sailplane and logged that to meet my monthly flight requirement.

Lt. Col. James W. Leland, Retired, USAF

Wendell Wilson, 17.03.2016

I am trying to find information about my father 1st Lt Robert Gordon Wilson who died when his T-33 went down in France on March 22, 1959. He was stationed in England (we lived in Bury St Edmonds). He was with the 81st Supply SQ. I found on another site that his s/n was 53-5828 and crashed at Chaumont AB - not sure if this is correct. I was always told that his aircraft experience hydraulic failure and he had to stay with it to use up fuel and guide it to a safe crash site. For whatever reason he was not able to eject and attempted to parachute but was entangled with the rear stabalizer. I would love to hear from anyone that knew him or any details about his service.

Charles Northway, 09.01.2016

I was stationed at Greenville Air Force Base, Mississippi, an ATC base until 1961. I was there from 1957, until 1961. I worked in base operations, and got to know quite a few of the IP's who were kind enough to take me on Maint. flights with them. Had some interesting experiences inm the old T-Bird. Those who know the T-Bird, know it had a habit of having a cocked nose wheel at take off, which made for some interesting landings. I made two foamed runway landings with cocked nose gear, and one landing with no nose gear. My worst incident happened while sitting on the end of the active waiting for clearance. The IP ran the J-33 up, and we heard a loud explosion, and the whole aircraft shuddered. I turned around, and looked behind us, and the engine had exploded. The rear fuselage looked like some one had shot it full of big holes with a shot gun. It wasn't until a few days later thst it really began to sink in, and I thought, what if we had gotten off the ground and had this happen on climb out? I wouldn't be here writing this now. To low for the old ejection seats. We didn't know what zero-zero was back then. This would have been in about 1960. I had some great times in that old bird, though. She was tough, and reliable.

Larry Deal, 11.08.2015

I was a plane captain on USMC T-33B at Headquarters Marine Corps, Flight Section, Andrews AFB from 1966-69. I had a taxi license and often did high power run ups to diagnose engine problems or insure proper operation after maintenance. Flew in back seat many times and got stick time often. It was a great trainer and enjoyed a long service history.

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