Lockheed T-33 outside Veterans Memorial Stadium, The History Center photograph collection.
The jet before you is designated as a T-33. The ‘T’ stands for trainer. It was manufactured by the Lockheed Corporation and designed by American aviation legend, Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. Over 6,500 of these aircrafts were built between 1948 and 1959. They were used as jet training aircrafts by both the United States Air Force and the Navy. In later decades, some 25 additional nations (mostly allies of the USA during the Cold War) flew this aircraft in a variety of roles, and another 656 were produced under license in Canada. This aircraft was essential for the in-flight training and testing of aviators within our armed forces as they transitioned from propeller driven aircrafts to the “jet” age. Jets operated at much higher speeds and offered higher rates of climb, different handling characteristics and altitude ceilings.
Maximum Speed 600 mph at sea level
Cruise Speed 455 mph
Service Ceiling 48,000 feet
Rate of Climb 4,870 feet per minute (about a mile per minute)
This aircraft is on loan to the Veterans Memorial Commission from the Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.
Mark W. Stoffer Hunter, Research Historian, The History Center