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Shooting Star in Thunderbirds Overalls Didn’t Take Down Enemies, Sure Shot Some Awards

For the amount some above regular folks would pay for a very high-end, top-of-the-line, ultra expensive automobile, aviation enthusiasts can land themselves a historic subsonic jet trainer, the kind used decades ago by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.
1960 Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star 6 photos
1960 Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star1960 Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star1960 Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star1960 Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star1960 Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
That historic subsonic jet would be the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, a machine born in the late 1940s, the golden age of jet aircraft development. And the amount would be $300,000, the asking price for the aircraft on Aviators Market.

The Shooting Star, also known as the T-Bird, was born as a variant of the P-80/F-80 and came with two seats, which made it ideal for use as a trainer. Both the Air Force and the Navy quickly embraced it (and, later, even other nations), and Lockheed ended up making over 6,500 of them before the plane was officially retired in 2017 (the last to use it was the Bolivian Air Force).

That means quite a lot of them are still out there, but probably very few in tip top shape, like the one we have here.

You’re looking at a decorated plane, of sorts, recipient of several awards during its lifetime, including Best Jet, the Judges Appreciation Award, and the Silver Wrench Award during the 2006 EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Powered by the original Allison turbojet engine that gave it a top speed of 600 mph (970 kph) back in its day, the beast, born in 1960, presents itself as a restored example, just 148 hours since major overhaul.

It sells complete with the two tanks that come on the tip of the wings, two spare main wheels and one nose wheel complete, and an interior that has been “restored to stock military configuration.”

Although we do know about some of the shows this plane attended, and some of the awards it received, and despite the Thunderbirds overalls it is wearing, the seller says nothing about the machine’s past while serving in the military. Chances are, like with most other Shooting Stars, it didn’t fire anything at enemies.


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