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Jet trainer added to aviation museum


  • COURTESY PACIFIC AVIATION MUSEUM
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A Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, the first jet trainer introduced to aid in the transition to jet aircraft, joined the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s collection Thursday.

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, titled TV-2, was created for the Navy.

"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.

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