Italy's Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star

Would you like to fly this in game?
  • YES!
  • NO :(
0 voters

The history of the T-33A traces back to the Lockheed P-80/F-80 aircraft, which was conceptualized in 1943 and marked the dawn of operational jet fighters in the United States. Recognizing the need to train pilots on the intricacies of flying these new-generation fighters, a decision was made to repurpose the P-80 aircraft into a dedicated training platform, giving rise to the T-33.

On March 22, 1948, the first iteration of the T-33, initially designated as TF-80C, gracefully took to the skies. Over the following years, from 1948 to 1959, the United States embarked on a prolific production run of the T-33.

Serving as a vital cog in the training apparatus, the T-33 facilitated the transition of countless pilots into the realm of jet-powered flight. Its dual-role capability, both as a trainer and a light attack aircraft, ensured its enduring relevance in military aviation circles.

The legacy of the T-33 endured for decades, with the last U.S. T-33 retiring from service in 1997, marking the end of an illustrious era in aviation training and combat support.
In total more than 5600 were built, plus another 800 or so under license in Canada and Japan.

The RT-33 variant, primarily utilized for reconnaissance, omitted forward-facing armament in favor of cameras and specialized instruments. Italy’s adoption of the T-33 stemmed from the widespread success of the aircraft in the export market, prompting nearly every NATO member to embrace the design.

Italy received its first T-33s from the U.S. under the MDAP (Mutual Defense Assistance Program) in 1952 and they were assigned to the Reaction Aircraft Training Core on the Amendola base and became the mainstay for pilot training until the MB-326E was commissioned.

The Italian Air Force acquired 75 T33 units starting in 1952, plus another 15 in the RT-33A version for photographic reconnaissance from the US at a favorable price. The T-33 dashed the hopes for more expensive Italian trainers that lacked international aid. This is why the Fiat G-80 and G-82 were unsuccessful, and it took until the Aermacchi MB.326, designed for ground attack, to achieve significant export success.
The last Italian T-33 was retired in 1982, while at least 20 other countries around the world continued to use it to train their pilots.

Armament

x2 nose mounted 12.7mm machine guns
x4 250lb bomb
x4 500lb bomb
x2 1000lb bomb
(Hardpoints can also support various types of rockets)

Specifications

General characteristics

  • Length: 37 ft 9 in (11.51 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 10.5 in (11.849 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
  • Wing area: 234.8 sq ft (21.81 m2)
  • Airfoil: NACA 65-213
  • Empty weight: 8,365 lb (3,794 kg)
  • Gross weight: 12,071 lb (5,475 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 15,061 lb (6,832 kg)
  • Maximum speed: 600 mph (970 km/h, 520 kn) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 455 mph (732 km/h, 395 kn)
  • Range: 1,275 mi (2,052 km, 1,108 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 48,000 ft (15,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 4,870 ft/min (24.7 m/s)
  • Crew: 2 (pilot and trainer)
  • Engine: 1 Allison J33-A-35 5,400 lbf (24 kN) thrust for take-off with water injection
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Images

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RT-33A walk around: Lockheed RT-33A-1-LO (9-35) Shooting Star Walk Around Page 1

Why it should be in game
Given the circumstances towards the conclusion of World War II, Italy faced challenges in developing early jet fighters comparable to those of Germany or the United States. Introducing the Lockheed T-33 to the Italian tech tree would provide Italian players with access to an aircraft of this caliber at a rattle rating where viable alternatives are scarce. Additionally, the T-33 features hardpoints for mounting rockets and bombs, enhancing Italy’s capabilities as a ground attacker in Ground RB scenarios.

Sources

https://www.aeronautica.difesa.it/2023/05/29/lockheed-t-33/
Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star - Wikipedia
Aeronautica Militare Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star - The Aviation
LOCKHEED T-33A/RT-33A IN ITALIAN SERVICE < Pubblicazioni-Lingua Italiana < Milistoria
https://www.aviastore.it/?p=5733
Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star | Ailes Anciennes Toulouse
https://www.haf.gr/en/history/historical-aircraft/t-33-silver-star/
https://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/198079/lockheed-t-33a-shooting-star/
Aviation Collectibles Company 9788890523151 Lockheed T33A/RT33A S
https://www.aviastore.it/?p=5022
Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star | Ailes Anciennes Toulouse
La "lepre" - FINITO - - Campagna "N.A.T.O."
Avialogs: Aviation Library - No 101A - T33 Mk3 Instruction Guide
Avialogs: Aviation Library - No 101A - T33 Mk3 Instruction Guide

5 Likes

Love armed trainers/light attackers. +1

3 Likes

I prefer the G.80 and G.82 instead.

4 Likes

what br would you place this at?
also +1

Do you have any data on what rockets Italian T-33’s aside from the HVAR’s and Mighty Mouse’s since that is a given for the T/AT-33’s

Personally, I think at rank V and better Fiat G.80 but would be 7.3 BR

1 Like

I’d say 7.3

I also do, but why not having everything 🤷🏻‍♂️

2 Likes

I’ve seen T-33 suggested almost everywhere. It’s nowhere near being unique or interesting. Even the youngest Asian countries had one

And…?

Mid plane, not unique Italian boi and not that interesting.

Yes!

1 Like