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Canadair CT-133 Silver Star

Canadair CT-133 Silver Star Story
About our CT-133 Silver Star
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Canadair CT-133 Silver Star Story
 

Known as the "T-Bird", the Lockheed T-33 started life in 1944 as America's first operational jet fighter, the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star.   In 1948 a second cockpit was added to create the world's first jet trainer: the T-33.

Canada entered the jet age at this time (the Avro CF-100 Canuck prototype was being built) and was therefore looking for its own jet trainer.   Canadair of Cartierville, Quebec won the contract to build the RCAF version of the T-33, and the first "CT-133 Silver Star" rolled out in 1953.   Over 650 were built and distributed to bases all over Canada.


Two squadrons (400 & 411) operated CT-133s as trainers here at Downsview when it was a Canadian Forces Base.

Surprisingly, the T-33 was a better performer than the original F-80 Shootng Star.   In addition, the CT-133 Silver Star with its Canadian-built Rolls-Royce Nene engine was 50 mph faster than the American version.

Though replaced as Canada's advanced jet trainer by the Canadair CL-41 Tutor in 1963, the CT-133 continued service in radio, electronic warfare, reconnaissance and navigation training roles until officially retired in 1995.   In fact, two Silver Stars remained in service with the Engineering Test Establishment at Cold Lake, Alberta, until July 2005, making the CT-133 the longest serving aircraft in the Canadian Forces.   It has over 50 years of service and 2.4 million flight hours.

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About Our CT-133 Silver Star
 

Shortly after 9 a.m. on September 18, 2003, two tractor trailer rigs (see photo album) arrived at the Museum’s hangar doors with a new addition to our aircraft collection, a Canadair-built CT-133 jet trainer from Canadian Forces Base Mountainview, near Trenton, Ontario.

Earlier that year, the Museum had made a successful bid for the CT-133, s/n 133581, which was first taken on strength by the RCAF in May 1957. 

 
The aircraft arrived at the Museum with a team of technicians from the CAF’s Recover & Salvage Support (RASS) unit based at CFB Trenton.  Once the CT-133 was offloaded and placed in our hangar, attention shifted to loading a de Havilland-built Grumman CS-2F Tracker on a trailer for the trip to the Air Force Museum at Trenton.   This Tracker was stored for many years at Downsview, and later came into the Museum’s possession in early 2003.   Now blessed with two Trackers, the Museum decided to donate our second aircraft to CFB Trenton to fill a gap in their base Museum collection.

To read about the Tracker remaining at CASM, please click here.

Specifications:
Wing Span: 12.93 m
Length: 11.48 m
Height: 3.55 m
Weight, Empty: 3,670 kg
Weight, Gross: 6,557 kg
Maximum Speed: 965 km/h
Service Ceiling: 14,478 m
Range: 2,164 km
Power Plant: Rolls-Royce Nene X

 

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