The two-place T-33 jet was designed for training pilots already qualified to fly propeller-driven aircraft. It was developed from the single-seat F-80 fighter by lengthening the fuselage about three feet to accommodate a second cockpit.
Originally designated the TF-80C, the T-33 made its first flight in 1948. Production continued until 1959 with 5,691 T-33s built. In addition to its use as a trainer, the T-33 has been used for such tasks as drone director and target towing, and in some countries even as a combat aircraft. The RT-33A, a reconnaissance version made primarily for use by foreign countries, had a camera installed in the nose and additional equipment in the rear cockpit.
The T-33 is one of the world's best-known aircraft, having served with the air forces of more than 20 different nations over several decades. The T-33A on display was flown to the museum in 1962.
Armament: Two .50-cal. machine guns in nose
Maximum speed: 525 mph
Cruising speed: 455 mph
Range: 1,000 miles
Ceiling: 45,000 ft.
Span: 37 ft. 6 in.
Length: 37 ft. 8 in.
Height: 11 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 15,000 lbs. maximum
Serial number: 53-5974
Click here to return to the Cold War Gallery.
|Find Out More
|Related Fact Sheets
|Lockheed F-80C Shooting Star
|Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.