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Canadair CT-133 Silver Star
Single-engine Two-seat Jet Trainer, Canada


Archive Photos [1]


[1956 Canadair T-33A "Silver Star" (N307FS) c.1987 at the Mojave Airport, Mojave, CA (35mm Photo by John Shupek)]

[Canadair T-33A "Silver Star" (NX84TB, s/n T-33-129) at the Aviation Nation 2007 Airshow, Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by John Shupek)]

Series Overview [2]


  • Canadair CT-133 Silver Star
  • Role: Military trainer aircraft
  • National origin: Canada
  • Manufacturer: Canadair/Lockheed
  • First flight: December 1952
  • Retired: 2005 (Canadian Forces); Still in service with Bolivian Air Force
  • Primary users: Royal Canadian Air Force; Canadian Forces
  • Number built: 656
  • Developed from: Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star

The Canadair CT-133 Silver Star (company model number CL-30) was the Canadian license-built version of the Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star jet trainer aircraft, in service from the 1950s to 2005. The Canadian version was powered by the Rolls-Royce Nene 10 turbojet, whereas the Lockheed production used the Allison J33.

Design and Development [2]


The Canadair CT-133 was the result of a 1951 contract to build T-33 Shooting Star Trainers for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). The powerplant is a Rolls-Royce Nene 10 turbojet instead of the Allison J33 used by Lockheed in the production of the original T-33. A project designation of CL-30 was given by Canadair and the name was changed to Silver Star. The appearance of the CT-133 is very distinctive due to the large fuel tanks usually carried on each wingtip.

A total of 656 CT-133 aircraft were built by Canadair.

Operational History [2]


The CT-133 entered service in the RCAF as its primary training aircraft for fighter/interceptors. The RCAF named it the "Silver Star" in honor 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.

The CT-133 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 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 2.5. During this period, the Canadair T-33 was employed in communication, target towing and enemy simulation.

The final Canadair Silver Star Mk.3 was retired from the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada where it was used as an ejection seat testbed after 46 years of service. CT-133 number 133648 was delivered to CFD Mountain View on 26 April 2005. Having been built in March 1959 as a CT-133 with original RCAF serial number 21648, it had reached a total of 11,394.6 flight hours at the time of its retirement from military use. It has been sold on the civil market, along with fifteen other CT-133s. These aircraft will join the fifty others on the United States Civil Register and continue to fly as a part of the living legacy of the early jet age.

Variants [2]


  • T-33A Silver Star Mk.1: Two-seat jet training aircraft for the RCAF. Built by Lockheed in the United States, 30 on loan to the RCAF.

  • CT-133ANX Silver Star Mk.2: The first Canadian prototype. One built.

  • Silver Star Mk.3: Two-seat jet training aircraft for the RCAF. Silver Star Mk 3PT: Unarmed version.

  • Silver Star Mk.3AT: Armed version.

  • Silver Star Mk.3PR: Photo-reconnaissance version.

  • CE-133: Upgraded electronic warfare training aircraft.

  • CX-133: Ejection seat testbed.

  • ET-133: Aerial threat simulator aircraft.

  • TE-133: Anti-ship threat simulator aircraft.

Operators [2]


  • Bolivia: Bolivian Air Force - 20 AT-33A-Ns (former Canadian Forces
  • Canada: Royal Canadian Air Force; Royal Canadian Navy; Canadian Forces; National Research Council
  • France: French Air Force delivered between 1959 and 1962
  • Greece: Hellenic Air Force (former RCAF aircraft)
  • Portugal: Portuguese Air Force
  • Turkey: Turkish Air Force

Specifications (CT-133) [2]


General Characteristics

  • Crew: one-two
  • Length: 11.48 m (37 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 12.93 m (42 ft 5 in)
  • Height: 3.55 m (11 ft 8 in)
  • Empty weight: 3,830 kg (8,440 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 7630 kg (16,800 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rolls-Royce Nene 10 turbojet, 22 kN (5,000 lb)

Performance

  • Max speed: 920 km/h (500 kn, 570 mi/h)
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 m (47,000 ft)

References


  1. Shupek, John. Photos via The Skytamer Archive, copyright © 1987 and 2007 Skytamer Images (Skytamer.com). All Rights Reserved)
  2. Wikipedia. Canadair Sabre

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