Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star

The Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star was the first jet fighter used operationally by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF).[2] 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 T-33s still serve in a military role in foreign air arms or are in private hands, although the F-80 itself has long been retired from active service.

P-80 / F-80 Shooting Star
P80-1 300 (cropped)
Role Jet fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed Corporation
Designer Clarence "Kelly" Johnson
First flight 8 January 1944
Introduction 1945
Retired 1973 (Brazil)
1974 (Chile)
Status Retired
Primary users United States Air Force
United States Navy
Number built 1,715
Unit cost
$110,000 in 1945 (equivalent to $1.53 million today)[1]
Developed into Lockheed F-94 Starfire

Design and development

The XP-80 had a conventional all-metal airframe, with a slim low wing and tricycle landing gear. Like most early jets designed during World War II—and before the Allies captured German research data that confirmed the speed advantages of swept-wings—the XP-80 had straight wings, similar to previous propeller-driven fighters. It was the first operational jet fighter to have its engine in the fuselage, a format previously used in the pioneering German Heinkel He 178 V1 of 1939, and the later British Gloster E.28/39 demonstrator of 1941. Other early jets generally had two engines because of their limited power, these being mounted in external nacelles for easier maintenance. With the advent of more powerful British jet engines, fuselage mounting was more effective, and it was used by nearly all subsequent fighter aircraft.

Concept work began on the XP-80 in 1943 with a design being built around the blueprint dimensions of a British Halford H-1 B turbojet (later called the de Havilland Goblin), a powerplant to which the design team did not have actual access. Lockheed's team, consisting of 28 engineers, was led by the legendary Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson. This teaming was an early product of Lockheed's Skunk Works, which surfaced again in the next decade to produce a line of high-performance aircraft beginning with the F-104.

Lulu-Belle af
The original XP-80 prototype Lulu-Belle

The impetus for development of the P-80 was the discovery by Allied intelligence of the Me 262 in spring 1943, which had made only test flights of its own first quartet (the V1 through V4 airframes) of design prototypes at that time, all fitted with retracting tailwheel landing gear. After receiving documents and blueprints comprising years of British jet aircraft research, the commanding General of the Army Air Forces, Henry H. Arnold, believed an airframe could be developed to accept the British-made jet engine, and the Materiel Command's Wright Field research and development division tasked Lockheed to design the aircraft. With the Germans and British clearly far ahead in development, Lockheed was pressed to develop a comparable jet in as short a time as possible. Kelly Johnson submitted a design proposal in mid-June and promised that the prototype would be ready for testing in 180 days.[3] The Skunk Works team, beginning 26 June 1943, produced the airframe in 143 days,[3] delivering it to Muroc Army Airfield on 16 November.

The project was so secret that only five of the more than 130 people working on it knew that they were developing a jet aircraft, and the British engineer who delivered the Goblin engine was detained by the police because Lockheed officials could not vouch for him.[3] After the engine had been mated to the airframe, foreign object damage during the first run-up destroyed the engine, which delayed the first flight until a second engine (the only other existing)[4] could be delivered from Britain.[5]

The first prototype (44-83020) was nicknamed Lulu-Belle (also known as "the Green Hornet" because of its paint scheme). Powered by the replacement Halford H1 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. Following this flight, Johnson said, "It was a magnificent demonstration, our plane was a success – such a complete success that it had overcome the temporary advantage the Germans had gained from years of preliminary development on jet planes." The donated British jet program data had no doubt proved invaluable. 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. Contemporary pilots, when transitioning to pioneering jets like the Shooting Star, were unused to flying at high speed without a loud reciprocating engine and had to learn to rely on the airspeed indicator.[3]

XP-80A Gray Ghost af
XP-80A Gray Ghost in flight

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.

The P-80 testing program proved very dangerous. Burcham was killed on 20 October 1944 while flying the third YP-80A, 44-83025. The Gray Ghost was lost on a test flight on 20 March 1945, although pilot Tony LeVier escaped. Newly promoted to chief engineering test pilot to replace Burcham, LeVier bailed out when one of the engine's turbine blades broke, causing structural failure in the aircraft's tail. LeVier landed hard and broke his back, but returned to the test program after six months of recovery. The top-scoring World War II USAAF ace Major Richard Bong was also killed on an acceptance flight of a production P-80 in the United States on 6 August 1945. Both Burcham and Bong crashed as a result of main fuel pump failure. Burcham's death was the result of a failure to brief him on a newly installed emergency fuel pump backup system, but the investigation of Bong's crash found that he had apparently forgotten to switch on this pump, which could have prevented the accident. He bailed out when the aircraft rolled inverted but was too close to the ground for his parachute to deploy.

After the war, the USAAF compared the P-80 and Me 262A concluding, "Despite a difference in gross weight of nearly 2,000 lb (900 kg), the Me 262 was superior to the P-80 in acceleration, speed and approximately the same in climb performance. The Me 262 apparently has a higher critical Mach number (the Me 262A's being at M 0.86), from a drag standpoint, than any current Army Air Force fighter."[6]


The costs are in approximately 1947 United States dollars and have not been adjusted for inflation.[1]

P-80A FP-80A (RF-80A) P-80B F-80C/TF-80C
Airframe $75,967 $62,050
Engine $21,584 $21,192
Electronics $4,195 $5,536
Armament $3,715 $4,678
Ordnance $2,335
Flyaway cost $110,000 $107,796 $95,000 $93,456

This is roughly $1,238,644 in 2018 dollars

Operational history

Production P-80s af
Operational P-80Bs at Langley AFB

The Shooting Star began to enter service in late 1944 with 12 pre-production YP-80As, one of which was destroyed in the accident in which Burcham was killed. A 13th YP-80A was modified to the sole F-14 photo reconnaissance model and lost in a December crash.

Four were sent to Europe for operational testing (demonstration, familiarization, and possible interception roles), two to England and two to the 1st Fighter Group at Lesina Airfield, Italy, but when test pilot Major Frederic Borsodi was killed in a crash caused by an engine fire demonstrating a YP-80A (44-83026) at RAF Burtonwood, Lancashire, England, on 28 January 1945, the YP-80A was temporarily grounded.[7][8]

Before World War II ended, however, two American pre-production Lockheed YP-80A Shooting Star fighter jets did see limited service in Italy with the USAAF on reconnaissance, in February and March 1945.[9] Because of delays in delivery of production aircraft, the Shooting Star saw no actual combat during the conflict.[10]

The initial production order was for 344 P-80As after USAAF acceptance in February 1945. A total of 83 P-80s had been delivered by the end of July 1945 and 45 assigned to the 412th Fighter Group (later redesignated the 1st Fighter Group) at Muroc Army Air Field. Production continued after the war, although wartime plans for 5,000 were quickly reduced to 2,000 at a little under $100,000 a copy. A total of 1,714 single-seat F-80A, F-80B, F-80C, and RF-80s were manufactured by the end of production in 1950, of which 927 were F-80Cs (including 129 operational F-80As upgraded to F-80C-11-LO standards). However, the two-seat TF-80C, first flown on 22 March 1948, became the basis for the T-33 trainer, of which 6,557 were produced.

On 27 January 1946, Colonel William H. Councill flew a P-80 nonstop across the U.S. to make the first transcontinental jet flight.[11] He completed the 2,457 miles (3,954 km) run between Long Beach and New York in 4 hours 13 minutes 26 seconds at an average speed of 584 mph (507 kn; 940 km/h) to set a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale record. The P-80B prototype, modified as a racer and designated P-80R,[12] was piloted by Colonel Albert Boyd to a world air speed record of 623.73 mph (1,004.2 km/h) on 19 June 1947.[13]

The P-80C began production in 1948; on 11 June, now part of the USAF, the P-80C was officially redesignated the F-80C. The USAF Strategic Air Command had F-80 Shooting Stars in service from 1946 through 1948 with the 1st and 56th Fighter Groups. The first P-80s to serve in Europe joined the 55th Fighter Group (later redesignated the 31st FG) at Giebelstadt, Germany, in 1946, remaining 18 months. When the Soviet Union blockaded Berlin, a squadron of the 56th FG led by Colonel David C. Schilling made the first west-to-east Atlantic crossing by single-engined jets in July, flying to Germany for 45 days in Operation Fox Able I.[N 1] Replaced by the newly F-80-equipped 36th Fighter Group at Fürstenfeldbruck, the 56th FG conducted Fox Able II in May 1949. That same year F-80s first equipped the 51st Fighter Group, based in Japan.

The 4th (Langley Air Force Base, Virginia), 81st (Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico), and 57th (Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska) Fighter Groups all acquired F-80s in 1948, as did interceptor squadrons of the Air Defense Command. The first Air National Guard unit to fly the F-80C was the 196th FS of the California ANG in June 1947.[14]

U.S. Navy service

VMF-311 TO-1 in 1948
TO-1 Shooting Star of VMF-311

Several P-80A Shooting Stars[N 2] were transferred to the United States Navy beginning 29 June 1945, retaining their P-80 designations. At Naval Air Station Patuxent River, one Navy P-80 was modified with required add-ons, such as an arrestor hook, and loaded aboard the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt at Norfolk, Virginia, on 31 October 1946. The following day the aircraft made four deck-run takeoffs and two catapult launches, with five arrested landings, flown by Marine Major Marion Carl. A second series of trials was held on 11 November.[15]

The U.S. Navy had already begun procuring its own jet aircraft, but the slow pace of delivery was causing retention problems among pilots, particularly those of the Marines who were still flying Vought F4U Corsairs. To increase land-based jet-transition training in the late 1940s, 50 F-80Cs were transferred to the U.S. Navy from the U.S. Air Force in 1949 as jet trainers. Designated TO-1 by the Navy (changed to TV-1 in 1950), 25 were based at Naval Air Station North Island, California, with VF-52, and 16 assigned to the Marine Corps, equipping VMF-311 at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. These aircraft were eventually sent to reserve units. The success of these aircraft led to the procurement by the Navy of 698 T-33 Shooting Stars (as the TO-2/TV-2) to provide a two-seat aircraft for the training role. Lockheed went on to develop a carrier-capable version, the T2V SeaStar, which went into service in 1957.[15]

Korean War

F-80Cs of the 8th Fighter-Bomber Group

Shooting Stars first saw combat service in the Korean War, and were among the first aircraft to be involved in jet-versus-jet combat.

The Americans used the F-80C variant and RF-80 photo-recon variants in Korea. The F-80 flew both air-to-air and air-to-ground sorties, claiming several aerial victories against North Korean Yak-9s and Il-10s.

On 1 November, 1950, a Russian MiG-15 pilot, Lieutenant Semyon F. Khominich, became the first pilot in history to be credited with a jet-versus-jet aerial kill after he claimed to have shot down an F-80. According to the Americans, the F-80 was downed by flak. One week later, on 8 November, the first American claim for a jet-versus-jet aerial kill was made when Lieutenant Russell J. Brown, flying an F-80, reported that he shot down a MiG-15.[16] Soviet records show that no MiGs were lost that day and that their pilot, Senior Lieutenant Kharitonov, survived by pulling out of a dive at low altitude.[16]

Despite initial claims of success, the speed of the straight-wing F-80s was inferior to the 668 mph (1075 km/h) MiGs. The MiGs incorporated German research that showed that swept wings delayed the onset of compressibility problems, and enabled speeds much closer to the speed of sound. F-80s were soon replaced in the air superiority role by the North American F-86 Sabre, which had been delayed to also incorporate swept wings into an improved straight-winged naval FJ-1 Fury. However, F-80 pilots still claimed to have destroyed a total of six MiG-15s in aerial combat. When sufficient Sabres were in operation, the Shooting Star flew exclusively ground-attack missions, and were also used for advanced flight training duties and air defense in Japan. By the end of hostilities, the only F-80s still flying in Korea were photo-reconnaissance variants.

F-80Cs equipped 10 USAF squadrons in Korea:

  • 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing (35th, 36th, and 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadrons), based at Suwon Air Base, was the longest-serving F-80 unit in Korea. It began missions from Japan in June 1950 and continued to fly the Shooting Star until May 1953, when it converted to F-86 Sabres.
  • 49th Fighter-Bomber Group (7th, 8th, and 9th FBS) deployed to Taegu AB (K-2), Korea, from Japan in September 1950 and continued fighter-bomber missions in the F-80C until June 1951, when it converted to the F-84 Thunderjet.
  • 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing (16th and 25th FIS) operated F-80Cs from Kimpo AB (K-14) and Japan from September 1950 to November 1951 when it transitioned to F-86s.
  • 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group and two squadrons, the 39th and 40th FIS, went to Pohang, Korea in July 1950, but converted to the P-51 Mustang before the end of the year.

One RF-80A unit operated in the Korean War:

  • 8th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, later redesignated 15th TRS, served from 27 June 1950 at Itazuke, Japan, Taegu (K-2), and Kimpo (K-14), South Korea, until after the armistice. The squadron also utilized a few converted RF-80Cs and RF-86s.

Of the 277 F-80s lost in operations (approximately 30% of the existing inventory), 113 were lost to ground fire and 14 to enemy aircraft.[1] F-80s are credited by the USAF with destroying 17 aircraft in air-to-air combat and 24 on the ground.[17] Major Charles J. Loring, Jr. was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions while flying an F-80 with the 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing on 22 November 1952.



1714 production aircraft were delivered to the Air Force prior to any conversions or redesignations, with their original block numbers.

EF-80 prone pilot test aircraft
Prototype powered by a de Havilland-built Halford H.1B turbojet and first flown 8 January 1944, one built.
Production prototype variant powered by a General Electric I-40 turbojet, increased span and length but wing area reduced, two built.
12 pre-production aircraft. One aircraft, 44-83027, lent to Rolls-Royce Limited and used for development of the Nene engine.[18]
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.
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 (187 imp gal; 850 l) tiptanks.[19]
USAF designation of P-80A.
Modified to test "Prone Pilot" cockpit positions.[N 3]
Lockheed FP-80 Shooting Star
A F-14A/FP-80A reconnaissance aircraft
Unknown number of conversions from P-80A, all redesignated FP-80A.
Modified P-80A 44-85201 with hinged nose for camera equipment.
F-80 Schraege Muzik
F-80A test aircraft (s/n 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 Schräge Musik 2
F-80 with Schräge Musik configuration at full elevation
152 block 15-LO; operational photo reconnaissance aircraft.
USAF designation of FP-80A, 66 operational F-80A's modified to RF-80A standard.
Modified P-80A 44-85042 with experimental nose contour.
Reconfigured P-80A, improved J-33 engine, one built as prototype for P-80B
209 block 1-LO; 31 block 5-LO; first model fitted with an ejection seat (retrofitted into -As)[20]
USAF designation of P-80B.
Modification of XP-80B to racer.
162 block 1-LO; 75 block 5-LO; 561 block 10-LO
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.[19]
70 modified F-80A and F-80C, and six modified RF-80A, to RF-80C and RF-80C-11, respectively; upgraded photo recon plane.
Designation given to number of F-80As converted into drone directors.
Project Bad Boy F-80 conversions by Sperry Gyroscope to target drones. Q-8 was initially proposed as designation for the QF-80.
First designation for TF-80C trainer prototype.
Prototype for T-33 (48-0356).
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.


Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star

Lockheed also produced a two-seat trainer variant with a longer fuselage, the T-33, which remained in production until 1959 and was produced under license in Japan and Canada. The trainer was used by more than 20 different countries. A total of 6,557 T-33s were built and some are still flying.

Lockheed F-94 Starfire

Two TF-80Cs were modified as prototypes for the F-94 Starfire, an all-weather fighter produced in three variants.


Parque del Avión Rímac Lima - Aircraft
Peruvian F-80C preserved in a Lima park
33 F-80Cs delivered starting in 1958, withdrawn from service in 1973.[21]
around 30 F-80Cs delivered from 1958 on, last ones retired from service in 1974.[22]
16 F-80Cs delivered starting in 1958, retired by 1966.[23]
16 F-80Cs delivered between 1957 and 1960, six returned to the United States in 1965.[24]
16 F-80Cs delivered starting in 1958, used by the 13th Fighter-Bomber Group until the type was phased out in 1973.[25]
 United States
at least 17 F-80Cs delivered, withdrawn from use in 1971.[26]

Aircraft on display




United States

Lockheed XP-80 Lulu-Belle
Lockheed XP-80 "Lulu-Belle" at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • 44-83020 (Lulu-Belle) – National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.. First flown on 8 January 1944, it was restored right after the 1976 opening of the National Air and Space Museum and is still in their collection.[29]
  • 44-85200 – National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. This aircraft was specially modified for racing by equipping it with a smaller canopy, a shorter wing, and redesigned air intakes. On 19 June 1947, it was flown by Colonel Albert Boyd to a new world speed record of 623.73 mph (1,004.2 km/h), equaling Heini Dittmar's 623 mph (1,004 km/h) unofficial record velocity in one of the Me 163A liquid-fueled rocket fighter prototypes, set on 2 October 1941 after being towed to the height for the attempt by a Bf 110. The P-80R aircraft was shipped to the Museum from Griffiss Air Force Base in New York in October 1954.[12][53] The next American jet speed record would be set only two months later, on 20 August by Commander Turner Caldwell, USN, reaching 640.744 miles per hour (1,031.178 km/h) while flying the turbojet-powered Douglas Skystreak D-558-1 No. 1.



Specifications (P-80C/F-80C)

Lockheed P-80 PN-155
USAF P-80A of the first production series, bearing a buzz number
F-80C Shooting Star Silh
F-80C Shooting Star

Data from Quest for Performance[55], Lockheed Aircraft since 1913[56]

General characteristics

5,400 lbf (24 kN) with water injection[58]


  • Maximum speed: 594 mph (956 km/h, 516 kn) at sea level
  • Maximum speed: Mach 0.76
  • Cruise speed: 439 mph (707 km/h, 381 kn)
  • Range: 825 mi (1,328 km, 717 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 1,380 mi (2,220 km, 1,200 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 46,800 ft (14,300 m)
  • Rate of climb: 6,870 ft/min (34.9 m/s)
  • Time to altitude: 20,000 ft (6,100 m) in 5 minutes 30 seconds
  • Lift-to-drag: 17.7
  • Wing loading: 51.3 lb/sq ft (250 kg/m2)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.364
0.435 with water injection.


  • Guns: 6 × 0.50 in (13 mm) M3 Browning machine guns (300 rpg)
  • Rockets: 8 × 127 mm (5.00 in) unguided rockets
  • Bombs: 2 × 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists



  1. ^ Royal Air Force jets had made the first crossing of the Atlantic in the reverse direction two weeks earlier.
  2. ^ Aviation historian Norman Polmar states three, but Joseph Baugher lists serial and bureau numbers for four: 44-85000 and −85005 became 29667 and 29668 with 44-85235 and 45-8557 becoming 29689 and 29690.
  3. ^ See also Gloster Meteor F8 "Prone Pilot" for background on prone pilot experiments.


  1. ^ a b c Knaack 1978
  2. ^ Green and Swanborough 2001, p. 345.
  3. ^ a b c d Felton, James. "Shooting Star." Life, 13 August 1945, pp. 43–46. Retrieved: 25 November 2011.
  4. ^ Gunston 1989, p. 59.
  5. ^ Heppenheimer, T.A. "The Jet Plane is Born." American Heritage magazine, Fall 1993. Volume 9, Issue 2. Retrieved: 1 August 2011.
  6. ^ Ethell and Price 1994, p. 180.
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  13. ^ Francillon 1982, pp. 241–242
  14. ^ Francillon 1982, p. 249
  15. ^ a b Polmar 2001, pp. 12–14.
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  58. ^ Roux 2007, p. 213.


  • Andrade, John. Latin-American Military Aviation. Leicester, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1982. ISBN 0-904597-31-8.
  • Arnold, Rhodes. Shooting Star, T-Bird & Starfire: A Famous Lockheed Family. Tucson, Arizona: Aztex Corp., 1981. ISBN 978-0-8940-4035-1.
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  • Bilstein, Roger E. Flight in America: From the Wrights to the Astronauts. Baltimore, Maryland: Hopkins Fulfillment Service, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001. ISBN 978-0-8018-6685-2.
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External links

29th Training Systems Squadron

The 29th Training Systems Squadron is an active United States Air Force unit. Its assignment is with the 53d Test Management Group, based at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

The squadron is one of the oldest in the United States Air Force, its origins dating to March 1918, being organized at Brooks Field, Texas, as a training Squadron during World War I. The squadron saw combat during World War II, and became part of the Air Defense Command during the Cold War.

31st Tactical Training Squadron

The 31st Tactical Training Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with 31st Tactical Training Wing at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, where it was inactivated on 9 May 1988.

The squadron was first activated as the 31st Pursuit Squadron for the air defense of the Panama Canal shortly before the United States entered World War II. It served in this role until 1944 when the reduced threat to the canal and the Caribbean permitted its transfer to the United States, where it was inactivated. The squadron was reactivated a few months later as an element of the 412th Fighter Group, the first Army Air Forces unit equipped with jet fighters. It was inactivated in 1946 when the 412th group and its squadrons were replaced by elements of the 1st Fighter Group.

In 1953, the squadron was activated as the 31st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, an air defense unit in the Pacific northwest. It was inactivated two years later in a major realignment of Air Defense Command fighter unit designations. It was again active in the air defense role from 1956 to 1958 in Michigan and Alaska.

It became a training unit in 1969, first training tactical reconnaissance aircrews on the McDonnell RF-4C Phantom II from 1969 to 1971 as the '31st Tactical Reconnaissance Training Squadron, then acting as the "schoolhouse" for F-4 aircrews from 1982 to 1988.

343rd Reconnaissance Squadron

The 343d Reconnaissance Squadron is part of the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.

Akaflieg Darmstadt/Akaflieg München DM1

The Akaflieg Darmstadt/Akaflieg München DM1, also called the Lippisch DM-1, was a single-seat research glider that was designed and built in Germany from 1944.

Albert Boyd

Albert G Boyd (November 22, 1906 – September 18, 1976) was a pioneering test pilot for the United States Air Force (USAF). During his 30-year career, he logged more than 23,000 hours of flight time in 723 military aircraft (though this number of the total number flown includes variants and sub variants of some types, and is not 723 distinct types). When he retired in 1957, he had flown every aircraft type operated by the USAF, including attack, cargo, trainer, fighter, experimental, bomber, mission trainer, liaison, observation, and general aviation planes and helicopters.

From 1947 to 1957, Boyd flew and approved every aircraft type acquired by the USAF. When he retired, he was praised as the "Father of Modern Flight Testing," "World's Number One Test Pilot," "Dean of American Test Pilots" and "Father of USAF Test Pilots."

His assignments included:

Chief of Flight Section at Wright Patterson AFB

Commander, Experimental Test Pilot School

First Commander, USAF Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base

Commander, Wright Air Development Center (Maj. Chuck Yeager, a test pilot in his command, was the first American pilot to test the MiG-15, associated with Operation Moolah.)

Deputy Commander, Weapons System Headquarters, Air Research and Development CommandCommanding General of Edwards AFB

The prototype Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, modified as a racer and designated P-80R, was piloted by Colonel Boyd to 623.73 mph (1,004.2 km/h) on 19 June 1947. This was recognised as an official air speed record, although this speed had already been exceeded by the Me 163 and Me 262 in 1944.Boyd led the newly-formed Air Force's X-1 supersonic flight program and made the selection of Chuck Yeager to pilot the plane. Yeager described Boyd as a strict disciplinarian who would enforce (often with a very loud voice) USAF uniform regulations. He remarked that "You might be his star pilot, but Lord help you if you came before him in his office with an un-shined belt buckle". Boyd was highly respected by his subordinates.

Boyd died on September 18, 1976.

Allison J33

The General Electric/Allison J33 was a development of the General Electric J31, enlarged to produce significantly greater thrust, starting at 4,000 lbf (18 kN) and ending at 4,600 lbf (20 kN) with an additional low-altitude boost to 5,400 lbf (24 kN) with water-alcohol injection.

Anderson W. Atkinson

Anderson W. Atkinson (1923 – March 30, 1992) was a Major General in the United States Air Force.

Bell XP-83

The Bell XP-83 (later redesignated ZXF-83) was a United States prototype escort fighter designed by Bell Aircraft during World War II. It first flew in 1945. As an early jet fighter, its limitations included a lack of power and it was soon eclipsed by more advanced designs.


Cycle-Scoot is an American line of scooters created by aircraft engineer & entrepreneur Woodrow Wilson Skirvin in 1953. The scooter was largely popular during the 1950s due to its Indianapolis "500" campaign & wide distribution across the country.

Johnny Comes Flying Home

Johnny Comes Flying Home is a 1946 film directed by Benjamin Stoloff and starring Richard Crane and Faye Marlowe; the supporting cast features Harry Morgan. The plot involves postwar pilots starting a small aviation company.

List of flying aces from Greece

This is a list of fighter aces from Greece.

List of military equipment used in the Korean War

This is a list of military equipment used in the Korean War.

Lockheed Corporation

The Lockheed Corporation was an American aerospace company. Lockheed was founded in 1926 and later merged with Martin Marietta to form Lockheed Martin in 1995. The founder, Allan Lockheed, had earlier founded the similarly named but otherwise unrelated Loughead Aircraft Manufacturing Company, which was operational from 1912 through 1920.

Lockheed T-33

The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star (or T-Bird) is a subsonic American jet trainer. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the U.S. Navy initially as TO-2, then TV-2, and after 1962, T-33B. The last operator of the T-33, the Bolivian Air Force, retired the type in July 2017, after 44 years of service.

Lockheed T2V SeaStar

The Lockheed T2V SeaStar, later called the T-1 SeaStar, is a carrier-capable jet trainer for the United States Navy that entered service in May 1957. Developed from the Lockheed T-33, it was powered by one Allison J33 engine.

Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum

The Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum is a non-profit aviation museum located in Southern Colorado. It was founded in the mid-1970s by former Pueblo City Manager Fred Weisbrod. The museum is made up of two hangars that were built in 2005 and 2011 respectively. The hangars house several of the museum's aircraft along with thousands of artifacts dating from World War One, all the way up to modern day. PWAM is also home to the International B-24 Memorial Museum and the Southern Colorado Space Museum and Learning Center. There are several historic military vehicles in the museum's collection, many of which are still in operational condition. The museum is located six miles east of Pueblo, Colorado on US Highway 50 at the Pueblo Memorial Airport, occupying space on what was the Pueblo Army Air Base during World War II. It is managed and maintained by the Pueblo Historical Aircraft Society.

The museum's collection includes around forty military and civilian aircraft, as well as several military vehicles. The museum also hosts periodic open cockpit days and fly ins at the neighboring Pueblo Memorial Airport. PWAM also houses an extensive collection of books and research material in the museum's library. The museum is run by a volunteer staff of men and women who provide tours, run the gift shop and do aircraft restoration and maintenance.

Ray Crawford

Ray Crawford (October 26, 1915 – February 1, 1996) was an American fighter ace, test pilot, race-car driver and businessman.

U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School

The U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School (USAF TPS) is the Air Force's advanced flight training school that trains experimental test pilots, flight test engineers, and flight test navigators to carry out tests and evaluations of new aerospace weapon systems and also other aircraft of the U.S. Air Force. This school was established on 9 September 1944 as the Flight Test Training Unit at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (AFB) in Dayton, Ohio. To take advantage of the uncongested skies, usually superb flying weather, and the lack of developed zones in the event of crashing, the test pilot school was officially moved to its present location at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert of Southern California on 4 February 1951.The TPS was created to formalize and standardize test pilot training reduce the high accident rate during the 1940s and increase the number of productive test flights. In response to the increasing complexity of aircraft and their electronic systems, the school added training programs for flight test engineers and flight test navigators. Between 1962 and 1972, the test pilot school included astronaut training for armed forces test pilots, but these classes were dropped when the U.S. Air Force manned spaceflight program was suspended. Class sizes have been uniformly quite small, with recent classes having about twenty students. The school is a component of the 412th Test Wing of the Air Force Materiel Command.

United States military aircraft designation systems

The United States Military Aircraft Designation System was first designed in 1919 when the US Army's Aeronautical Division became the United States Army Air Service. Before this aircraft were put into service under their manufacturers' designations.

Lockheed and Lockheed Martin aircraft and spacecraft
Light aircraft
USAAS/USAAC/USAAF/USAF fighter designations 1924–1962
Pursuit (pre-1948)
Fighter (post-1948)
Pursuit, Biplace
Fighter, Multiplace
USAF drone aircraft designations 1948–1962
United States military reconnaissance aircraft designations, Army/Air Force and Tri-Service systems
Army/Air Force main sequence
Reconnaissance-strike sequence
Tri-service main sequence
Reconnaissance subtypes
USN/USMC trainer aircraft designations 1948–1962
North American


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