Devil Child

Cosmic Wierdo
Staff member
Super Moderator
Apr 14, 2019
***05/28/19: Updated with new pics***

Looking to share from my various collection and focus on some machines I find interesting. To start I have chosen the Lockheed P-80/F-80 Shooting Star, its family members, and variants. Feel free to share along with pictures, discussion, links, or suggestions/corrections. I am by no means an expert just an enthusiast. More to come!

Brief background:
The Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star was the first jet fighter used operationally by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Designed and built by Lockheed in 1943 and delivered just 143 days from the start of the design process, production models were flying, and two pre-production models did see very limited service in Italy just before the end of World War II. Designed with straight wings, the type saw extensive combat in Korea with the United States Air Force (USAF) as the F-80.​
America's first successful turbojet-powered combat aircraft, it helped usher in the "jet age" in the USAF, but was outclassed with the appearance of the swept-wing transonic MiG-15 and was quickly replaced in the air superiority role by the transonic F-86 Sabre. The F-94 Starfire, an all-weather interceptor on the same airframe, also saw Korean War service. The closely related T-33 Shooting Star trainer would remain in service with the U.S. Air Force and Navy well into the 1980s, with the last NT-33 variant not retired until April 1997. Many still serve in a military role in foreign air arms or are in private hands.​

  • XP-80: Prototype powered by a de Havilland-built Halford H.1B turbojet and first flown 8 January 1944, one built.
  • XP-80A: Production prototype variant powered by a General Electric I-40 turbojet, increased span and length but wing area reduced, two built.
  • YP-80A: 12 pre-production aircraft. One aircraft, 44-83027, lent to Rolls-Royce Limited and used for development of the Nene engine.
  • XF-14: One built from YP-80A order 44-83024, lost in midair collision with B-25 Mitchell chase plane on 6 December 1944; USAAF photo reconnaissance prototype.
  • P-80A: 344 block 1-LO aircraft; 180 block 5-LO aircraft. Block 5 and all subsequent Shooting Stars were natural metal finish. Fitted with 225 US gal (187imp gal; 850 l) tiptanks.
  • F-80A: USAF designation of P-80A.
  • EF-80: Modified to test "Prone Pilot" cockpit positions.
  • F-14A: Unknown number of conversions from P-80A, all redesignated FP-80A.
  • XFP-80A: Modified P-80A 44-85201 with hinged nose for camera equipment.
  • F-80A: test aircraft 44-85044 with twin 0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine guns in oblique mount, similar to World War II German Schräge Musik, to study the ability to attack Soviet bombers from below
  • F-80: with Schräge Musik configuration at full elevation
  • FP-80A: 152 block 15-LO operational photo reconnaissance aircraft.
  • RF-80A: USAF designation of FP-80A, 66 operational F-80A's modified to RF-80A standard.
  • ERF-80A: Modified P-80A 44-85042 with experimental nose contour.
  • XP-80B: Reconfigured P-80A, improved J-33 engine, one built as prototype for P-80B
  • P-80B: 209 block 1-LO; 31 block 5-LO; first model fitted with an ejection seat (retrofitted into -As)
  • F-80B: USAF designation of P-80B.
  • P-80R: Modification of XP-80B to racer.
  • P-80C: 162 block 1-LO; 75 block 5-LO; 561 block 10-LO
  • F-80C: USAF designation of P-80C; 128 F-80A modified to F-80C-11-LO with J-33-A-35 engine and ejection seat installed; fitted with 260 US gal (220 imp gal;980 l) tiptanks; major P-80 production version.
  • RF-80C: 70 modified F-80A and F-80C, and six modified RF-80A, to RF-80C and RF-80C-11, respectively; upgraded photo recon plane.
  • DF-80A: Designation given to number of F-80As converted into drone directors.
  • QF-80A/QF-80C/QF-80F: Project Bad Boy F-80 conversions by Sperry Gyroscope to target drones. Q-8 was initially proposed as designation for the QF-80.
  • TP-80C: First designation for TF-80C trainer prototype.
  • TF-80C: Prototype for T-33 48-0356.
  • TO-1/TV-1: U.S. Navy variant of F-80C; 49 block 1-LO and one block 5-LO aircraft transferred to USN in 1949; 16 initially went to U.S. Marine Corps.
General characteristics (P-80C/F-80C):
  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 34 ft 5 in (10.49 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 9 in (11.81 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 3 in (3.43 m)
  • Wing area: 237.6 ft² (22.07 m²)
  • Aspect ratio: 6.37
  • Empty weight: 8,420 lb (3,819 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 12,650 lb (5,738 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 16,856 lb (7,646 kg)
  • Zero-lift drag coefficient: 0.0134
  • Drag area: 3.2 ft² (0.30 m²)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Allison J33-A-35 centrifugal compressor turbojet, 4600 lbf (20.46 kN) / 5400 lbf (24.02 kN) with water injection
  • Maximum speed: 600 mph, Mach .76 (P-80A 558 mph at sea level and 492 mph at 40,000 ft)[8] (965 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 410 mph (660 km/h)
  • Range: 1,200 mi (1,930 km)
  • Service ceiling: 46,000 ft (14,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 4,580 ft/min (23.3 m/s) 5.5 min to 20,000 ft (6,100 m)
  • Wing loading: 53 lb/ft² (260 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.364 (0.427 with water injection)
  • Lift-to-drag ratio: 17.7
  • Guns: 6 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M3 Browning machine guns (300 rpg)
  • Rockets: 8 × 127mm unguided rockets
  • Bombs: 2 × 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs
  • Brazil: 33 F-80Cs delivered starting in 1958, withdrawn from service in 1973.
  • Chile: approx 30 F-80Cs delivered from 1958 on, last ones retired from service in 1974.
  • Colombia: 16 F-80Cs delivered starting in 1958, retired by 1966.
  • Ecuador: 16 F-80Cs delivered between 1957 and 1960, six returned to the United States in 1965.
  • Peru: 16 F-80Cs delivered starting in 1958, used by the 13th Fighter-Bomber Group until the type was phased out in 1973.
  • United States:
    • United States Air Force
    • United States Navy, 1945 to 1970s
  • Uruguay: approx 17 F-80Cs delivered, withdrawn from use in 1971.

The first Shooting Star prototype (44-83020) was nicknamed Lulu-Belle (also known as "the Green Hornet" because of its paint scheme). Powered by the replacement Halford H1-B taken from the prototype de Havilland Vampire jet fighter, it first flew on 8 January 1944, with Lockheed test pilot Milo Burcham at the controls. In test flights, the XP-80 eventually reached a top speed of 502 mph (808 km/h; 436 kn) at 20,480 ft (6,240 m), making it the first turbojet-powered USAAF aircraft to exceed 500 mph in level flight, following the August 1944 record flight of 502 mph (808 km/h; 436 kn) by a special high-speed variant of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.

Shooting Star sources & resources:

Good serial number listing and plane history for many Shooting Stars.

USAF serial number registry.

Write up on the Shooting Star and first engagements during Korean War.

Smithsonian article on the history of the Shooting Star.

Brief write up on the first engagement between the MiG-15 and F-80C over Korea.

Full gallery link:

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Lockheed YP-80 Shooting Stars in flight near Vesuvio, Italy 1945. 44-83028 & 44-83029.


Lockheed P-80A Shooting Star block 1-LO piloted by USAAF test pilot Colonel William H. Councill.


Lockheed XP-80A Shooting Star prototype "Gray Ghost" piloted by test pilot Tony LeVier 44-83021


Lockheed P-80A Shooting Star at NACA Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory, Cleveland, Ohio 1946. 44-85044.


Lockheed P-80A Shooting Star 44-85069, 1946 at Hamilton AB.


Lineup of in production Lockheed P-80A Shooting Stars awaiting engines, 1946.
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@Bombardier that I am! I am digging the interface and ease of use. Pretty quick for me to get hang of. The tag system and ability to add/organize info satisfies some deep-seated control issues in me! :D
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Updates with some P80-As


USAF Lockheed P-80A-1-LO Shooting Star "Honk" 44-85065, 1946


USAAF Lockheed P-80A-1-LO Shooting Star 44-85226 and friends, Chanute AFB, 1946.


USAF Lockheed P-80A-1-LO Shooting Star 44-85059, Hamilton AFB, June 22 1946

Lockheed P-80R Shooting Star piloted by Colonel Albert Boyd sets 3km course speed record at Muroc Army Airfield, June 19th 1947. 44-85201.


Lockheed P-80A-1-LO Shooting Star testing modification of twin 0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine guns in oblique mount, July 15 1947. 44-85044.
**There are several photo's in various places in the site, I thought I would amalgamate them into your thread @Devil Child **
Lockheed T-33 ‘Shooting Star’ in USAF ‘Thunderbird Livery’, Grand Junction, Colorado, 2008.
A privately owned rebuilt Lockheed T-33 “Shooting Star” in Thunderbirds livery Hollywoods the length of the demonstrator’s ramp, chortling the way, no doubt.


Awesome! Thanks for the addition @BravoZulu! I greatly appreciate the high res pics of the T-33 sporting that sweet Thunderbirds livery.

I just love the looks of this plane for some reason. Early jet aircraft are the best. Lots more to come.

added tags for the T-33 to the thread.

Test pilot Lawrence A. Clousing climbs into his Lockheed P-80A-1-LO Shooting Star for a test flight at the Ames Aeronautical Laboratory, Moffett Field, California. Clousing was a test pilot for NASA's precursor the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics or NACA. 1948. 44-85299.


Lockheed P-80A-1-LO Shooting Star most likely with the USAF 334th FS (4th FG), 1948. 44-85043.
One more before bed. A P-80B will do.


Lockheed P-80B-1-LO Shooting Star of the 22nd Fighter Squadron (36th Fighter Group) at Furstenfeldbruck AB, West Germany, 1948. 44-58634.
Thanks for the addition @Junglejim! Any back story or shot on the plane number? Phil must be an important dude getting his own air force :D

If my CSI image enhancement skills are accurate it looks like it MIGHT be this bird:

T-33A-1-LO 56-1728

1978: USAF 3rd TFW.
Transferred to the Philippine AF.
1988: 105th CCTS (5th FW).
Impressive thread and subscribed as I might build a Shooting Star in future
Excellent @tomthounaojam I was hoping you'd say that. Would love to see you honor a Shooting Star with a build. Classic retro forgotten bird with many options for the livery. Natural metal finish and nose art? You got it!
I have a doubt friend, where can I get serial numbers from the F-80s? in my country (Colombia), we use some of them, I would like to know their serial numbers
I have a doubt friend, where can I get serial numbers from the F-80s? in my country (Colombia), we use some of them, I would like to know their serial numbers
@TIGREDELAIRE Colombia received 16 P-80C starting in 1958. Colombia was a recipient of the T-33 two-seater trainer derivative. Not sure how many they received. The links can help with identification of any T-33 also.

Should be able to track down which serial numbers went to Colombia using these two sites:

Happy hunting and don't forget to share anything of interest.
@ao_sepia if by flight you mean fight indeed they did. The Shooting Star has the distinction of being the first jet fighter to see action in the Korean War. Also, arguably the distinction in participating in the first ever combat engagement between jet fighters. It was outclassed facing the MiG-15 in numerous ways and the P-80/F-80 helped force the entry of the F-86 Sabre to the Korean War. The Shooting Star spent the majority of service in The Korean War engaging in ground attack role.

In the encounter with P-80s on November 8, only two of the Soviet fighters persisted on an intercept course. Stephens and Brown banked sharply to the left and maneuvered into a firing position on the approaching fighters. Though four of Brown’s six M3 machine guns had jammed, he managed to fire several short bursts at his chosen target. The MiG rolled over and dove—and Brown followed, hurtling towards the ground at six hundred miles per hour. Holding down the trigger, he raked the jet until he saw it burst into flames, then pulled back up at the last possible moment.

However, Soviet records for November 8 tell a different story. MiG pilot Lt. Vladimir Kharitonov reported he was ambushed by an American jet—but that he successfully evaded in a dive while ditching his external fuel tanks. In fact, Russian histories claim the first jet-on-jet battle occurred on November 1, in which a MiG piloted by Lt. Semyon Khominich shot down the F-80 of Lt. Frank Van Sickle. However, U.S. records list Van Sickle as falling to ground fire. In any event, the day after Brown’s engagement, the MiG-15 of Capt. Mikhail Grachev was shot down by a U.S. Navy F9F Panther jet—a kill upon which both side’s records agree.

While credit for the first jet-on-jet kill may remain disputed, the fact that the MiG-15 could outrun, outmaneuver and outgun the F-80 is not. U.S. records show that a total of seventeen Shooting Stars were lost in air-to-air combat, while claiming six MiG-15s in return, in addition to eleven propeller planes. When a formation of huge B-29 bombers escorted by one hundred F-80s and F-84s was ambushed thirty MiGs on April 12, 1951, three B-29s went down in flames without a single attacking fighter lost.

Good read on the Shooting Star's arrival to North Korea.
Shooting Star
From Lockheed’s famed design chief Kelly Johnson, the first U.S. jet to fight.

On June 8, 1943, Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, to sell Lockheed’s Model L-140. Johnson showed specifications and drawings, then threw down the gauntlet: He would deliver his jet prototype within 180 days. Johnson would later write in his memoir, Kelly: More Than My Share of it All, that General Frank Carroll told him,“You will have a Letter of Intent this afternoon by 1:30 p.m. There is a plane leaving Dayton for Burbank at two o’clock. Your time starts then.”


Johnson knew he’d need to sequester his top-secret project. But the aircraft factory’s six football fields’ of floor space was already spoken for, cranking out 28 warplanes a day. Returning to Burbank, Johnson did an end-run around company bureaucracy. He built his own manufacturing site around a small shack near the wind tunnel, and stole personnel from all over the plant. His team bought out a local machine shop to get the tooling it needed, built walls from a vast supply of wooden packing crates that came with the Wright Cyclone engines that powered their Hudson bombers, and topped off the ad hoc facility with a big top rented from a local circus. The unsightly hybrid was christened the Skunk Works after the still that made moonshine in the backwoods of Al Capp’s popular cartoon “Lil’ Abner.”

continue reading at link

Very good read by Smithsonian Air & Space magazine on the development of the Shooting Star.