Paul Keppeler’s T-33 Jet Trainer

US Specialty Insurance Company

History: The T-33 was the most widely used jet trainer in the world. A two-seat version of the USAF’s first jet fighter, the F-80 Shooting Star, the T-33 continues to serve in various armed forces today.

The T-33 is a F-80 with a lengthened fuselage to make room for the second tandem seat. It entered service during the 1950s, and the US Navy also acquired the type and had it modified for blue-water operation as the TV-2. It was the USAFs first jet trainer. It soon was dubbed the ‘T-Bird’ and was being produced under license in both Japan and Canada. In Japan, Kawasaki built 210 of these trainers. In Canada, the T-33 was designated the CL-30 Silver Star and the Allison turbojets of the original were replaced with Canadian built Rolls-Royce Nene 10 engines. The type still serves as a trainer for both countries. Limited numbers were also produced for export, some being modified to carry light armament. While only 1,718 P-80 Shooting Stars were built, nearly 7,000 T-33s saw active service around the world.

Until recently, the T-33 continued to serve in Canada as a target tug and general utility aircraft, having been re-designated the CT-133. Additional examples are still in active military service in Japan and several other nations. About 50 are in the hands of warbird operators, mostly in the United States.



Registration Number Date of Manufacture
N433RD 1957
Aircraft Role Nickname
Trainer T-Bird
Aircraft Type: Wingspan:
Canadair T-33 Mk III 38’10”
Overall length: Empty weight:
37’9″ 9295
Gross weight: Fuel capacity:
16,800 813 gallons
Oil capacity Engine type:
Rolls Royce Nene 10
Propeller type: Max Speed
505 knots indicated/.80 mach
Rate of Climb Cruise Speed
4000 fpm .70 mach
Service Ceiling Number of Crew
44,000′ 2
Armament Bomb Load
Two .50 caliber machine guns, rockets, bombs
Number Built Number Surviving
656 by Canadair Limited




In 1997, while in service with the Royal Canadian Air Force, this aircraft went through an extensive ground-up Depot-Level repair and resoration of all structures, systems along with updated instruments and avionics. The total cost at the time approached $1 million USD.

Restoration Images




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