Friday, February 22, 2013

T-33 Shooting Star



RT-33A: 85 photo recon models with camera noses and mission equipment in place of the backseater. Production was undertaken for foreign customers, but in the early 1960s the USAF acquired several second hand examples for use over Laos as part of Project Field Goal.

 
T2V-1/T-1A Seastar: The last new build version of the F-80/T-33 family, the T2V-1 Seastar was started as the private venture L-245 prototype, built from an incomplete standard T-33 and first flown in December 1953. The design was quite different from the baseline aircraft, with a new rear fuselage, raised rear instructor seat for better visibility, and BLC and a slatted wing for slower approaches. The USAF passed on the program, but the USN elected to buy the type as the T2V-1 Seastar; fitting out the airframe for carrier use included strengthening the undercarriage and installing a tailhook.

Lockheed T2V Seastar model photo
T2V Seastar model
The T2V was redesignated as the T-1A in the fall of 1962, but by that time the Seastar had already been replaced in its originally intended role by North American's T-2 Buckeye. VT-10 would continue to fly the Seastar to train NFOs, and the type would see widespread use at USN and Marine Corps air stations as a utility aircraft.

Bibliography:

Photo: T-33 FT-4 of the Royal Belgian Air Force. Air Pictorial May 1961  p.143

Photo: A pair of Pakistani AF T-33s in flight. Air International February 1987  p.72

Photo: Paraguayan Air Force T-33 #1020  Air Forces Monthly October 2002  p.53

Photo: Former Belgian Air Force T-33 at Spadeadam. Air Forces Monthly October 2002  p.58

TV-2 "virtual cockpit" at the National Museum of Naval Aviation

A nice build article on the Sword 1/72 T-33 model kit

The Falcon Models 1/72 diecast T-33 model
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