- Crew: one–two
- Length: 11.48 m (37 ft 8 in)
- Wingspan: 12.93 m (42 ft 5 in)
- Height: 3.55 m (11 ft 8 in)
- Empty weight: 3830 kg (8440 lb)
- Max. takeoff weight: 7630 kg (16800 lb)
- Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Nene 10 turbojet, 22 kN (5000 lb)
- Maximum speed: 920 km/h (500 kn, 570 mi/h)
- Service ceiling: 14000 m (47000 ft)
The Silver Star is more often referred to as the T-33 or T-Bird. The CT-133 Silver Star has a long and distinguished history with the Canadian Forces. The world’s first purpose-built jet trainer, the T-33 evolved from America’s first successful jet fighter, the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star which briefly flew operationally during the Second World War. Initially known as the P-80C, the trainer variant flew better than its single seat cousins. Powered by an Allison J33-35 single-shaft, turbojet engine with a thrust rating of 5,200 lbs, the improvements to the trainer meant it climbed faster, cruised better and overall was slightly faster than the fighter version. In May 1949, the designation for the aircraft was officially switched to T-33.
The RCAF’s introduction to the aircraft followed two years later, when the first of twenty Lockheed built T-33As were delivered on loan. The aircraft was designated by the RCAF as the Silver Star Mk 1. This first batch was followed by a second loan of ten more aircraft. On September 13, 1951, Canadair signed a license agreement with Lockheed to build T-33 aircraft for the RCAF.
The Canadair built version was powered by an up-rated Nene 10 engine licensed by Rolls Royce and supplied by Orenda Ltd. Once in production, the aircraft was designated T-33 Silver Star Mk 3. Initially, the RCAF ordered 576 aircraft, but eventually a total of 656 would be delivered between 1952 and 1959. The T-Bird was used by a wide variety of Air Force and Navy units, until being de-commissioned in 2005. The Bolivian Air Force acquired some of these aircraft, using them until 2017.
Our T-33’s History
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