Early Jet Age Aircraft
The T-33 Shooting Star, America’s first jet trainer, is an unusual aircraft for the CAF—and an excellent example of post-war aviation. With the rapid engineering advancements during World War II, jets made a brief appearance toward the tail end of the war. Germany debuted their Messerschmitt Me-262 and Britain their Gloster Meteor, but America’s first venture into jet engines, the Bell P-59 Airacomet, was not very well received. The technology developed, however, was invaluable, and is the foundation of American air power today. Lockheed aircraft manufacturing began to work on jet-powered aircraft, and in January, 1944 presented the P-80. The T-33 was a further development of the P-80, and as such it represents the very dawn of the Jet Age in the U.S. Air Force. The propeller aircraft of World War II quickly gave way to the much faster jet aircraft that the T-33 represents.
The CAF’s T-33 has not been operational since 2014. A significant amount of work is needed to get the aircraft ready to participate in events and flight programs. The plan is to thoroughly inspect and repair the aircraft’s fuel system and engine. The Squadron is eager to get the T-33 back in the air, and is hopeful that by shining some light on this Shooting Star project will garner some support from those who appreciate the early Jet Age of aviation.
The Squadron aims to use the T-33 to introduce the dramatic technological paradigm shift from the post-World War II propeller age to the Korean War as part of the CAF’s educational outreach program.
Gift with Donation
This December, Donate $75 or more to this
T-33 and receive a Shooting Star ball cap
as a thank you.