Canadair T-33 Silver Star

The Canadair T-33 Silver Star was the Canadian license-built version of the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star jet trainer aircraft (T-bird), in service from the 1950s to 2005. The Canadian version was powered by the Rolls-Royce Nene 10 turbojet.

Design and development

The Canadair CT-133 is the result of a 1951 contract to build T-33 Shooting Star Trainers for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). The powerplant would be a Rolls-Royce Nene 10 turbojet instead of the Allison J33 used by Lockheed in the production of the original T-33. A project designation of CL-30 was given by Canadair and the name was changed to Silver Star. The appearance of the CT-133 is very distinctive due to the large fuel tanks usually carried on each wingtip. A total of 656 CT-133 aircraft were built by Canadair. 

 

Operational history

The T-33 entered service in the RCAF as its primary training aircraft for fighter/interceptors. The RCAF named it the "Silver Star" in honour of Canada's (and the British Empire's) first flight of a heavier-than-air craft, the AEA Silver Dart.

 

The T-33 was reliable and had forgiving flight properties Its service life in the RCAF (and later the Canadian Forces) was extremely long. One of the more unusual roles it played was as an aerobatic demonstration aircraft, the RCAF's Red Knight. Although the aircraft stopped being used as a trainer in 1976, there were still over 50 aircraft in Canadian Forces inventory in 1995. The youngest of these airframes was then 37 years old and had exceeded its expected life by a factor of 2.5. During this period, the Canadair T-33 was employed in communication, target towing and enemy simulation.

 

The final Canadair Silver Star Mk. 3 was retired from the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada where it was used as an ejection seat testbed after 46 years of service and had 11394.6 flight hours at the time of retirement. It has been sold on the civil market, along with fifteen other CT-133s. These aircraft will continue to fly as a part of the living legacy of the early jet age.

 

T-33 Shooting Star in Royal Norwegian Air Force

The T-33 Shooting Star was introduced as the advanced trainer to take over for the de Havilland Vampire. It was used by the Royal Norwegian Air Force from 1953 to 1968. A total of 22 T-33A saw service with the 718 Squadron based at Sola.

Flyvåpnets Historiske Skvadron (Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron)

T-33 / serial number 133599 a CANADAIR license built CT-133 was purchased from USA in 2012 and arrived in Norway after a ferry flight over the Atlantic the same year. The aircraft was transferred to the Norwegian civil aircraft register and given the registration LN-DPS. This is the only airworthy T-33 in Europe. T-33 LN-DPS will together with the rest of Flyvåpnets Historiske Skvadron aircraft be displayed at airshows so new generations can se this fantastic historic aircraft in the air.

Specifications CT-133

  • Crew: 1–2

  • 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)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 920 km/h (500 kts, 570 mi/h)

  • Service ceiling: 14000 m (47000 ft)

 
 
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