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Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star

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Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star - version overview

XP-80 - prototype jet fighter, British Goblin engine
XP-80A - the second and third prototype, General Electric I-40 engine
YP-80A - test series of 13 machines
P-80A - first serial version, 563 machines; in June 1948 renamed the F-80A
FP-80A - photo-reconnaissance variant, 152 pieces; in June 1948 renamed the RF-80A
DF-80A - an unknown number of machines adapted to control machines for unmanned flying targets
QF-80A - an unknown number of machines adapted for unmanned flying targets
XP-80B - prototype with a more powerful engine, P-80A conversion
P-80B - F-80B
P-80C - second serial variant with more powerful engine, 240 machines ; in June 1948 renamed the F-80C
TF-80C - two-seat training variant, 1949 renamed to T-33A; 3929 machines
RF-80C - conversion to C-70 photo-reconnaissance machines, 70 F-80A and 117 F-80B
QF-80F - conversion for sampling in nuclear tests
P-80N - planned licensed production of P-80A at the company North American
XP-80R - XP-80B conversion designed to break the speed record
XF-14 - one of the YP-80A modified for photo reconnaissance
TO-1 - 50 F-80C handed over to the US Navy, in 1950 renamed to TV-1
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Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star[/heading:aaaaaa]


17. may 1943 on the base of Wright Field gathered the designers of the company Lockheed Aircraft Co. with the representatives of the USAAF. The company Lockheed at this meeting was represented by chief designer, Hall L. Hibbard and motorář Nathan Price, the USAAF was represented by brigadier-general F. About. Carroll and captain E. Kotcher, the result of this meeting was an official request to the company, Lockheed began work on a preliminary project jet fighter aircraft powered by a british engine of the de Havilland Halford H-1B, which was to US delivered on the basis of the Agreement on lend-lease. The engine was delivered to the company General Eletric, which has already had with jet engines and their production of my own experience. The company Lockheed at that time already had complete drawings of the british engine, its technical data and was also closely acquainted with the conditions of development of this engine to the airframe. Lockheed was selected, because the previously (1939) worked on a personal project on the current machine, which was the representatives of the air force rejected. Not long before this meeting was also definitively rejected by fighter aircraft Bell P-59 Airacomet.

Chief designer Hibbard was built in a remote building of the wind tunnel secret workplace, which was from the other spaces of the building separated prkennými walls and curtains out of burlap. Here worked about 110-130 of the fittest engineers, designers and technicians. This highly specialized group presented already at the beginning of June 1943, then in less than a month, vyzbrojovacímu headquarters of the air force (Materiel Command USAAF) the preliminary project of the aeroplane in factory nomenclature, designated Lockheed Model L-140. A few days later it submitted to the Lockheed military air force range, build around the end of the year the prototype for the price of 524 920 $, the USAAF with this price agreed, the company submitted the order and at the same time, the project was assigned the designation XP-80. One of the main conditions in the contract was the delivery time, the prototype was to be delivered within 180 days.

Constructor-drakař Kelly Johnson introduced for compliance with the short-term, these measures – enjoy a ten-hour working time for each shift, free were only Sunday. The work of the whole team couldn't be held back by any bureaucratic restrictions. The result was the wooden mockup in the real size, which was completed at the end of July. In the meantime, work has intensified on the prototype the engine of the H-1B is to the factory got delayed on 2. November and the prototype was completed exactly one week later, thus 9. November 1943!

the Prototype XP-80

In the factory he was standing truly elegant all-metal low-wing with wings with a laminar profile, the ends of the wings were finished with a straight (chopped off). The hull was made up of aluminum alloy receive, the chassis was nose type, drop-cover cockpit allow for very good views and also thanks to the fact that the cabin was in front of the wing. Air intakes of the engine of the H-1B were in the roots of the wings, the armament wasn't installed, but it was envisaged the development of five, later six půlpalcových machine guns. The color of the aircraft was unusual, it was not a hnědozelenou color (Olive Drab) used for aircraft of the USAAF, the upper and side surfaces were sprayed tmavozelenou (Dark Green), which were kamuflovány aircraft Hudson for the RAF. Formally, the plane was a u.s. air force handed over 143 days after signing the contract!

The prototype XP-80 was subsequently dismantled and 14. November has been sent to the base Muroc Dry Lake (from the 1949 Edwards AFB) in California on the Mojave desert, this base meet the conditions for classification tests. First, of course, were made to ground the motor test, you were marked by the accident in which he was a damaged jet engine. The accident was caused by design error, the inlet channels have been constructed of too thin sheet, and as soon as the engine speed exceeded the threshold of 8 000 rpm./min., there has been an implosion, in which the collapsed walls of the intake manifolds and thus formed part of the sheet were soaked with and subsequently damage the compressor wheel. The engine and the suction channels have been corrected 31. December, after it was already achieved maximum engine speed (10 500 rpm./min).
The first take-off was performed 8. in January 1944, the first was unofficial, because it didn't go so well, didn't retract the landing gear, the wing flaps were not aligned and so were the power steering. Pilot Bircham after a few minutes the flight landed, the engineers embarked on adjustment and repair and so after an hour of painstaking work occurred at 10:00 on the first, now already the official take-off. This is nothing like the previous attempt. Immediately after the peel off from the earth pulled Milo Bircham chassis and did a quick roll, then followed a steep ascent to a height of several kilometers, followed by nearly half an hour of aerobatic flying that the pilot ended with a low fly-through of the airport. To all onlookers it was already clear that they succeeded to design and build excellent aircraft. Within a few more flights airplane the XP-80 has surpassed the threshold of 500 m. p. h. The aircraft was extensively tested and represented to the representatives of the USAAF, who have named it the "Green hornet". The USAAF officially taken up in November 1944 and has included it as a training aircraft, at that time, the wings complemented by a rounded end arches, the GTC was repainted Sn. 483020. Following its inclusion in the status of the USAAF carried out only a limited number of flights, soon reached the end of the life of the engine. From November 1946 to get into a complex of museums smithsonian.

Prototypes of the XP-80A

Company General Electric brought into a usable state of your current engine, I-40, under the military designation J-33-GE-1 with a maximum stroke of 17.8 kN it offered the company Lockheed, in order to vestavěla to his Shooting the Old-fashioned way. 16. February 1944 the Lockheed order for the construction of two prototypes designated XP-80A, the first of them was completed and zalétnut 10. June 1944 and the second it followed 1. August of the same year. Both prototypes differed from its predecessor a longer hull (10 580 mm), the rounded end of the wings with a wingspan of 11 890 mm, also the tail should be the end of the round, another visible change was amended and ahead elongated the air inlet channels. Both aircraft have had to deal with many childhood illnesses (their maiden flight was not so successful as with the XP-80). The first of the two prototypes had carefully vytmelený and polished surface and was sprayed pastel grey, this brought him the nickname "the grey Ghost" (Grey ghost), the second prototype flew without a primer with vyleštěným alcladovým the surface, and so got the name "Silver Ghost" (Silver ghost). Tests in the Mojave desert have been carried out very intensively and attended them also army pilots, continued their sharp shooting and were subsequently carried out comparative fights with the fighters P-51B, P-51D Mustang, P-47D Thunderbolt, P-38J Lightning and P-39Q Airacobra, furthermore, were nacvičovány catch flights at B-24 Liberator and . The results of the tests were obvious – piston fighters Shooting Starům could be equal only in a tight manévrovém duel at low speeds and at lower operating heights, otherwise was the XP-80A unbeatable help and the fact that the pilots Shooting Like they used the first version of the anti-g suits, and so can withstand much greater overload. The army air force was aware that he had a gun, which must urgently introduce into the equipment, and then Shooting Starům gets high prority in production.

Pre-series YP-80A

With considerable advance was on 10. march 1944 ordered the construction of the třináctikusové předsérie test fighters designated YP-80A, these engines were allocated the serial numbers 44-83023 – 44-83035. The first YP-80A took off 13. September 1944, and after the test flight was handed over to the [url=]NACA
, here has been tested, how it behaves in the great speed achieved in a dive. Further, the closing speed, the aircraft was unarmed and in a relaxed and adjusted the bow have been built camera, created a prototype fotoprůzkumného aeroplane XF-14. The third aircraft was destroyed in a crash in which killed a test pilot Milo Bircham, the aeroplane just after take-off stopped in devadesátimetrové the height of the engine and the aircraft went into an uncontrollable fall. The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh prototype, these machines were sent to Europe to gain combat experience, the first two machines were deployed in Italy, where it operated in the vicinity of Naples. This area is, however, already was outside the area of the fighting and so there's Shooting Stary implemented only a few patrol flights, therefore, have been 7. may 1945, loaded on a ship and transported back to the US. The other two aircraft were disembarked in Great Britain. 28. January 1945 was one of the machines destroyed in the crash, the reason was a burn mark on the output channel and the subsequent separation of the entire tail section. The second aircraft was handed over to the Rolls-Royce factory to testing of the engine Nene, also this machine was later destroyed in a crash. Three pre-series aircraft were delivered 412. fighter group (Fighter Group) the last aircraft was completed in February 1945. Exams and various tests were conducted with considerable vigour and even at the cost of losses in aircraft and pilots, destroyed so as the XF-14, XP-80A "Gray Ghost" and other aircraft flying at the NACA.

Serial P-80A

Serial production began in February 1945, it did so on the basis of the order of April 1944, this order was the USAAF in December 1944 clarified and on its basis should be produced a total of a thousand fighters, the P-80A in two production blocks. If we are talking about orders, so I have to mention a large order of June 1945, the USAAF ordered another 3 500 of these fighters and at the company's North American orders production 1 000 Shooting Like under the designation of P-80N (it was the license of the P-80A). We can see that the USAAF was very well aware of the outstanding qualities of a jet fighter. The situation changed radically immediately after the surrender of Japan, a large contract for the production of Shooting Like they were cut and so were delivered to 917 aircraft and it was at that time the unique success. In this amount is included also a version P-80B, which was supplied in an amount of 240 aircraft from march 1947. Now, however, at least fleetingly, we describe the version of the P-80A, was produced in two production blocks – 345 aircraft P-80A-1-LO (Sn. 44-84992 – 44-85336), this variant was powered by engines J-33-GE-11 or J-33-A-9 (licensing construction in fy Allison. Followed by a variant of the P-80A-5-LO (Sn. 44-85337 – 44-85491), which are produced in 218 of the specimens, was powered by Allison J-33-a-7 about the same strength as the older J-33-GE-11, but with greater durability. On this engine, however, you cannot speak about the distinguishing character, when retired engine J-33-GE-11 or J-33-A-9 were replaced by engine J-33-a-7. Shooting Star P-80A through the whole series of amendments, which they considered the task to increase the utility value of this tank, from the Sn. 44-85091 could be under the wings hung two bombs, each weighing 454 kg, or 8 unguided rockets HVAR caliber 127 mm. Many aircraft of this version was altered for performing different tasks, modified was the one machine into the form of the speed of the aeroplane XP-80Rwhich 19. August 1947 reached a speed record, the other aircraft were given extra fuel tanks and participated in the speed crossing of the California New York. Of the other adjustments I will remind the P-80A, which was driven next to the jet engine also engines náporovými, another P-80A was stripped of guns and the hull had a drum on unguided anti-aircraft rockets, to the next was tested a battery of machine guns in and turn implementation, two-seater version with twin cabins, a naval modification for operation from the decks of aircraft carriers (the tests were carried out only at the airport with a catapult), an attempt to parasitic drone, and that had to be towed behind a bomber, the B-29 and finally, in practice, used 38 fotoprůzkumných FP-80A-5, you have been adapted from the fighter P-80A-5-LO, had mounted previously tested the bow with cameras. The vast majority of the produced P-80A was delivered in a bright cream coloration, sometimes referred to as the pearl white. It was a nitrocelulózovou color, which subsequently polishing to a high gloss.

P-80B (F-80B)

As the first to form the prototype of the XP-80B modified ninth serial aircraft of the first production block (P-80A-1-LO) Sn. 45-82000.
The new version was characterized by a total of 65 design changes, the most significant was the installation of a modified wing with a lower profile, but with reinforced structures. Another significant change was the installation of a more powerful engine J-33-A-21, which is injection of water and methanol reached a maximum tensile strength of 23.1 kN. Slightly reduce the volume of the fuel tanks (from 1 781 l 1 610 l), the reduction of fuel supplies to force the installation of the water tank and methanol. For takeoff, it was possible to use the starter rockets JATO solid fuel, the aircraft was equipped with a switchblade seat Lockheed, machine guns Colt-Browning M2 have been replaced by more modern machine guns version AN/M3 with a higher cadence. The most visible difference was in the appearance of the aircraft, the P-80B were supplied completely free of coating, the surface was formed polished duralovým sheet. At least five fighter planes, the P-80B (Sn. 45-8484, 45-8485, 45-8528, 45-8538 and 45-8561) was adapted for guidance of guided missiles "air-to-ground" type of Bell GAM-63 "Reskel."
In the second half of 1947 there has been a reorganization of the american army, formed a separate component of the USAF and were subsequently relabeled aircraft category, from the category of P (Pursuit) to become the category F (Fighter) and so also of the P-80 became the F-80 and reconnaissance FP-80A is changed to RF-80A. The changes have, also call characters (the buzz-number), the original designation of the Shooting Like it was the PN, it changed to FN and subsequently to FT.


The last mass-produced version was the fighter-bomber F-80C, the production run on the basis of the order of February 1948. This version had tubular construction, more powerful engine Allison J-33-A-23 with the injection of water and methanol into the compressor, under wing pylons were modified to carry a bulkier auxiliary tank, the changes has undergone the gear, installed as the navigation designator AN/ARN-6. The first production series (block) marked with F-80C-1-LO has produced a total of 113 aircraft of this series, an additional 49 aircraft, which roughly correspond to the first series, were delivered to the air force, USMC, here have been marked as TV-1, and the USMC is marked with Sn. 33821 – 33869. On the production line were followed by the second generation unit F-80C-5-LO, this production block contained a total of 76 aircraft and from the first block are distinguished only by details, last made the machine of this series was delivered to the air force, USMC. The largest production block of a total of 561 aircraft was F-80C-10-LO, the most important difference was the installation of a more powerful engine Allison J-33-A-35 with a thrust of 24 kN, additional changes were made to on-board devices. Aircraft of this version took part in the war in Korea, first perform pursuit tasks, later moved rather for attacks on ground targets, here mind, primarily a little range, Shooting Stary launched from Japan, over Korea, however, their pilots had to calculate every liter of fuel. First, the use of additional fuel tanks with a volume of 625 liters or larger of a volume of 757 liters, but even the use of these tanks the situation too improved, directly on the japanese airports were temporarily made even bigger tanks with a capacity of 1 003 litres. These tanks already allow more effective deployment of the F-80C over Korea, the tanks were subsequently produced by smaller japanese mills like the type of Misawa. I would like to mention the meeting and the subsequent duel with a fighter jet MiG-15in the historically first combat jet aircraft won Lt. Russell J. Brown in his Shooting the Old-fashioned way over the Mig-15, however, the Shooting Star could no longer compete with more modern Mig. Shooting Stary were then replaced by more modern fighters the North American F-86A Sabre. The longest over Korea to keep the reconnaissance version of the RF-80A and RF-80C most of the older RF-80A was modified to the standard RF-80C, cannon in to help the reconstruction of the sets, but even these aircraft operated over Korea, mostly with fighter escort.

Other prototypes and editing

In march 1948, flew the aircraft TF-80C, it was a prototype follow-on trainer aircraft, the fuselage of the fighter the F-80C was extended for a period of less than a meter (980 mm) forward of the front wing and into this new space was installed in the second seat instructor, trupová the reservoir was reduced, but the wings were installed two soft tank made of nylon, one year later, this aircraft zalétnut test pilot Tony LeVierem and soon is running a serial production under the designation Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star. These training aircraft were built 6 557 and besides the USAF is used still 37 other forces of different states.

The next, but missed the project was F-80D, it was a project of 1948, and should be a fighter-bomber with an engine Allison J-33-A-29 and a redesigned interior.

Another failed attempt was the prototype of the F-80E with an extended fuselage, slightly swept wing and arrow like a GBC. The drive should get a engine Allison J-33-And-27 with the afterburner and a thrust of 26.7 kN.

On the basis of the F-80C, however, arises a new type of tank for every weather F-94A Starfire, but this type is beyond the scope of this article.

A separate chapter were modified aircraft that flew without a crew, controlled remotely by radio. These machines were marked with the letter Q, thus QP-80A, later redesignated QF-80A. To these aircraft were added later a few tens of QF-80C. They were mostly target drones for gunnery practice, a few aircraft of this version was also used for air sampling in locations of experimental nuclear explosions. If was the practice of the target aircraft guided from another Shooting Star, this was a recon plane marked as DF-80.

Perhaps even one aircraft is worth mentioning, was identified as EDF-80A-1-LO, it was a test aircraft, which were tested different types of cameras and photographic equipment.

Shooting Star was at the time of its formation aircraft of outstanding performances, unfortunately, in the fighting of the second world war had not managed to hit. In Korea was superior to the piston fighters of the adversary (yak-9U La-9), but the arrival of the jet Mig-15 got into the defensive and had to be urgently replaced by more modern fighters. The MiG-15 was the aircraft of the second generation jet fighters with different weight ratio and engine thrust, different was the wing loading of the wing, it was given agility, climb rate and other important parameters for air combat, the Shooting Star was in the Korean war already obsolete.

William Green, War Planes of the Second World War, Volume Four, Fighters, London, MacDonald & Co. Ltd., 1961, reprinted 1969, ISBN 0-356-01448-7.
Robert F. Dorr, P-80 Shooting Star Variants, Wings of Fame Vol. 11, London, Aerospace Publishing Ltd., 1998. ISBN 1-86184-017-9.
Joe Baugher, Lockheed P-80/F-80 Shooting Star, the USAAC/USAAF/USAF Fighter and Pursuit Aircraft, 16 July 1999.
René J. Francillon PhD, Lockheed aircraft since 1913, Annapolis, Maryland, Naval Institute Press, 1987, ISBN 0-87021-897-2
Larry Davis, P-80 Shooting Star, T-33/F-94 in action, Squadron/Signal publications, Aircraft No. 40,
Zbyněk War, Fighter aircraft 1939-45/U.S.-Japan, Olomouc, Votobia, 1996, ISBN 80-7198-091-9.
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