With over 6,800 aircraft built, the Lockheed T-33 is by far the most successful jet trainer yet developed for service anywhere in the world, and it says much for the durability of the 'T-bird' that many aircraft remain airworthy around the world today, more than 40 years after the type first flew.

In addition to being used in service with the USAF and US Navy, the T-33 found a ready market overseas, many of the aircraft built being supplied to 'friendly nations' under the Military Assistance Program'. Countries which acquired this plane in such a manner include france, Greece, Italy, the Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey and Germany. Licence production was also undertaken by Canada and Japan.

Basically a trainer, Lockheed's jet has performed many other roles including reconaissance functions. Another notable role was that of a target drone, the US Navy being perhaps the major operator and destroyer of drone configured 'T-birds' for target practice.


Lockheed T-33A

Wing: span 38ft 10.5in; aspect ratio 6.44; area 234 sq ft
Fuselage and tail: length 37 ft 8 in; height 11 ft 8 in
Powerplant: Allison J33-A-35 turbojet @ 24.02 kN
Speed: maximum level speed 'clean' at sea level 600 mph; cruising speed at optimum altitude 455 mph
Range: ferry range with tip tanks 1,275 miles; with internal fuel only - 1.025 miles
Performance: maximum rate of climb at sea level 4,870 feet per minute; service ceiling 48,000 ft (14,630 m).
The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircaft -- ISBN: 1-84013-393-7

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