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Lockheed NT-33A

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed NT-33A at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed NT-33A at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed NT-33A at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed NT-33A at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed NT-33A at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed NT-33A at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Restoration staff move the Lockheed NT-33A into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)

Restoration staff move the Lockheed NT-33A into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)

Restoration staff move the Lockheed NT-33A into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)

Restoration staff move the Lockheed NT-33A into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)

Restoration staff move the Lockheed NT-33A into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)

Restoration staff move the Lockheed NT-33A into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 13, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Don Popp)

Lockheed NT-33A in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lockheed NT-33A in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed NT-33A cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Photo courtesy of John Rossino, Lockheed Martin Code One)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed NT-33A cockpit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (Photo courtesy of John Rossino, Lockheed Martin Code One)

When the evaluation pilot in the front seat moved the controls, the NT-33A responded as would the simulated aircraft. The rear seat was occupied by a safety pilot whose standard controls enabled him to fly the aircraft in case the computer malfunctioned or if the simulation proved too difficult to control. (U.S. Air Force photo)

When the evaluation pilot in the front seat moved the controls, the NT-33A responded as would the simulated aircraft. The rear seat was occupied by a safety pilot whose standard controls enabled him to fly the aircraft in case the computer malfunctioned or if the simulation proved too difficult to control. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The NT-33A was an in-flight simulator operated for decades in support of numerous Department of Defense projects. The NT-33A was used to study flying qualities, cockpit displays, control sticks, and flight control design of many, widely-varied aircraft, including the X-15, A-10, F-15, F-16, F-18, F-117, and F-22. It also trained hundreds of U.S. Air Force and Navy test pilots.

Modified from a standard T-33 trainer in the late 1950s, the NT-33A could be programmed to simulate the flight of a completely different aircraft. It also had an “artificial feel” system that replicated the characteristics of the stick and rudder controls of the aircraft being simulated.

A civilian contractor -- the Calspan Corp. (formerly the Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory) -- modified, operated and maintained the aircraft. During the NT-33A's 40 years of distinguished service, Calspan performed numerous research programs around the country. The NT-33A conducted its last research project in April 1997, and it was placed on display at the museum in August 1997. 

TECHNICAL NOTES:

Maximum speed: 525 mph

Cruising speed: 455 mph

Range: 1,000 miles

Service ceiling: 45,000 feet

Click here to return to the Research & Development Gallery.

 

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