T-33 Silver Star, RCAF 21075

  • Status: Not on display

    Like the Shooting Star… Except Canadian

    A variant of Lockheed’s F80 “Shooting Star”, the T-33A was the most widely used tandem two-seat advanced trainer in the world. The prototype flew for the first time on March 22, 1948.

    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 the 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 1/2. During this period, the Canadair T-33 was employed in communication, target towing and enemy simulation.

    The aircraft was supplied to the air arms of some 25 countries, and built under licence in Japan by Kawasaki (210 machines), and in Canada by Canadair as the CL-30 Silver Star T-33AN, (656 examples). The Silver Star Mk 2 and 3 differed from the U.S. manufactured T-33A in that they were powered by a Rolls-Royce Nene 10 turbojet.

    The parent company had manufactured a total of 5,691 T-33A and T-33B trainers when the last was delivered in August 1959.

    Canadair was given a contract in September 1951 to manufacture the T-33 with the first flight being in December 1952. T-33’s were used as trainers with the RCAF in the 1950s and 1960s. Canada gave T-33’s to Bolivia, France, Greece, Portugal and Turkey under the Mutual Aid programme.

    The T-33 entered service in the RCAF as its primary training aircraft for fighter/interceptors. Its name is an interesting take of the USAF designation “Shooting Star.” 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 designation of the Silver Star in the Canadian Forces was CT-133.

    RCAF 21075 was used at Gimli, Manitoba for RCAF and NATO pilot training until it was retired in 1967.

    Donated to the Canadian Museum of Flight by Northwest Industries in 1977, with only 1,067 hours total time, CMF’s T-33 lacks an engine, instruments and cockpit furnishings.


    • Wing area: 238 sq ft (22.1 sq m)
    • Length: 11.49 m (37′ 9″)
    • Height: 3.6 m (11′ 8″)
    • Empty Weight: 3,832 kg (8,440 lbs)
    • Engine: 5,100 lb thrust Rolls-Royce Nene 10 turbojet
    • Max. Speed: Mach .787

Leave a Reply

* Name, Email, and Comment are Required