Lockheed F-80C Shooting Star
The Shooting Star was the first USAF
aircraft to exceed 500 mph in level flight, the first American jet
airplane to be manufactured in large quantities and the first USAF jet to
be used in combat. Designed in 1943, the XP-80 made its maiden flight on
Jan. 8, 1944. Several early P-80s were sent to Europe for demonstration,
but WW II ended before the aircraft could be employed in combat. (The
aircraft was redesignated in 1948 when "P" for "Pursuit" was changed to
"F" for "Fighter.") Of 1,731 F-80s built, 798 were F-80Cs.
Although it was designed as a
high-altitude interceptor, the F-80C was used extensively as a
fighter-bomber in the Korean War, primarily for low-level rocket, bomb and
napalm attacks against ground targets. On Nov. 8, 1950, an F-80C flown by
Lt. Russell J. Brown, flying with the 16th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron,
shot down a Russian-built MiG-15 in the world's first all-jet fighter air
Span: 38 ft. 10 1/2 in.
Length: 34 ft. 6 in.
Height: 11 ft. 4 in.
Weight: 16,856 lbs. max.
Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns and eight 5 in. rockets or
2,000 lbs. bombs
Engine: Allison J33 of 5,400 lbs. thrust (with water-alcohol
Serial number: 49-696
Maximum speed: 580 mph.
Cruising speed: 437 mph.
Range: 1,090 miles
Service Ceiling: 46,800 ft.