1945-3-16 Lockheed XP-80A Shooting Star 44-83021 with test pilot Tony LeVier.jpg

Lockheed XP-80A Shooting Star prototype "Gray Ghost" piloted by test pilot Tony LeVier 44-83021
Extended Description
The second prototype, designated XP-80A, was designed for the larger General Electric I-40 engine (an improved J31, later produced by Allison as the J33). Two aircraft (44-83021 and 44-83022) were built. 44-83021 was nicknamed the Gray Ghost after its "pearl gray" paint scheme, while 83022, left unpainted for comparison of flight characteristics, became known as the Silver Ghost. The XP-80A's first test flight was unimpressive, but most of the problems with the design were soon addressed and corrected in the test program. Initial opinions of the XP-80A were not positive, with Lockheed Chief Engineering Test Pilot Milo Burcham commenting that an aircraft he very much enjoyed (powered by the Halford engine) had now become a "dog." The XP-80As were primarily testbeds for larger, more powerful engines and air intake design, and consequently were larger and 25% heavier than the XP-80.


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Lockheed P-80/F-80 Shooting Star
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1945-3-16 Lockheed XP-80A Shooting Star 44-83021 with test pilot Tony LeVier.jpg
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