A Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, the first jet trainer introduced to aid in the transition to jet aircraft, was added to the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s collection today, officials said.
The “T-Bird” made its first flight in 1948, and is one of the world’s best known aircraft, the museum said. It was transferred from Honolulu Community College to Hangar 79 on Ford Island.
The addition of the T-33 brings the number of aircraft at the museum to 28.
The T-33 was created from the F-80 fighter by adding three feet to the fuselage, a second seat to the cockpit and six machine guns.
In addition to being used as a trainer, it also towed targets. The T-33 was thought to have an airframe that climbed faster, cruised more effortlessly and was slightly faster than its predecessors, the aviation museum said.
Although the T-33 was initially used by the Army Air Force, a second version was created for the Navy titled TV-2.
“This T-33 is a wonderful trainer jet,” said museum Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff. “It has been utilized at Honolulu Community College, and we are grateful to them for allowing us to move this aircraft to the museum’s collection.”
The T-33 will be available for viewing by visitors in Hangar 79, where the aircraft will undergo restoration by the museum’s Lt. Ted Shealy Restoration Shop team.