top of page

Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star

Developed from Lockheed’s P/F-80 Shooting Star, the first operational jet aircraft in the U.S. Air Force, it was used to train pilots already qualified to fly propeller-driven aircraft. First flown in 1948 and in production until 1959, it became the most widely used advanced jet trainer in the world. The Museum’s T-33 was flown by helicopter to Martin State Airport in 1994.

T-33 Shooting Star …..  Fast Facts  


  • This 2 place jet aircraft was designed for training pilots already qualified to fly propeller-driven aircraft. It was developed from the single-seat F-80 fighter.

  • Originally designated the TF-80C, the T-33 made its first flight on 22 March 1948.

  • A total of 6,557 Shooting Stars were produced between 1948 and 1959.  Lockheed made 5,691, Kawasaki made 210 and Canadair made 656.

  • The T-33 was the only jet trainer in the USAir Force inventory from 1948 to the advent of the Cessna T-37 in 1957 and the Northrop T-38 in 1961. It also served as a utility aircraft as well as a test aircraft and was retired from service in the early 1980s.

  • The T-33 was also used as a trainer by the US Navy and the air forces of more than 38 other countries. 

  • A limited number of T-33s have found their way into private hands. They have been used by Boeing as a chase aircraft. In 2010, one of two T-33 Shooting Stars owned by Boeing was used as a chase aircraft during the maiden flight of the Boeing 787.

  • The Museum’s T-33 (Serial No. 53-5854) was last flown by the New York Air National Guard.  It was acquired from Aberdeen Proving Grounds and airlifted to the Museum site by a Chinook helicopter in the mid-1990s.  It was repainted to represent a T-33 flown by the Maryland Air National Guard and given a fictitious tail number.

bottom of page