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Canadair CT-133 Silver Star


Canadair CT-133 Silver Star

CT-133 Silver Star
CT-133 Silver Star Mk.3
Role Military trainer aircraft
National origin Canada
Manufacturer Canadair / Lockheed
First flight December 1952
Retired 2005 (Canadian Forces)[1]
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 1
  • Operational history 2
  • Variants 3
  • Operators 4
  • Aircraft on display 5
  • Specifications (CT-133) 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Design and development

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.[2]

Operational history

Two CT-133s of the Royal Canadian Navy over Halifax in 1957.

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

A Canadair CT-133 Silver Star at RAF Elvington
A line of Canadair CT-133 Silver Stars of 417 Combat Support Squadron at CFB Cold Lake
Canadair CT-133 Silver Star without wingtip tanks, in RCAF markings at the Canadian Museum of Flight, July 1988.

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.[3] 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 11394.6 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.


  • 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.



Aircraft on display

The following locations have CT-133 Silver Stars on display or in flyable condition:

British Columbia
Nova Scotia
United Kingdom

Specifications (CT-133)

Data from

General characteristics


See also

Related development
Related lists


  1. ^  
  2. ^ Lockheed P-80/F-80
  3. ^ see also "Canada's Fab Four", Air Forces Monthly
  4. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 27
  5. ^ a b c Aeroware (n.d.). "Canadair CT-133 Silver Star". Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  6. ^  
  7. ^ Jackson, Paul A. (1975). French Military Aviation. Hinckley, England: Midland Counties Publications.  
  8. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 92
  9. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 185
  10. ^ Andrade 1982, p. 228
  11. ^ "Canadair CT-133 Silver Star (1952)". Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  12. ^ "Lockheed T-33 Silver Star | The Canadian Museum of Flight". Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  13. ^ "Comox Air Force Museum Silver Star". 13 September 1951. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "Lockheed / Canadair CT-133 Silver Star " Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum". 22 March 1948. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  15. ^  
  16. ^ "Shearwater Aviation Museum". Shearwater Aviation Museum. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  17. ^ "Canadian Air & Space Museum | Canadair CT-133 Silver Star". 18 September 2003. Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  18. ^ "Canadair T-33AN Silver Star 3 – Canada Aviation and Space Museum". Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "Canadian Historical Aircraft Association". Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  20. ^ "Jet Aircraft Museum > Hangar > Our Aircraft". Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  21. ^  
  22. ^ "Aircraft " National Air Force Museum of Canada". Retrieved 13 February 2013. 
  23. ^ [2]
  24. ^ Aircraft 21417 Photo
  • "Canada's Fab Four". Air Forces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK: Key Publishing Limited, August 2003. ISSN 0955-7091.
  • Flight Comment: The Canadian Forces Flight Safety Magazine. Ottawa: Publishing and Depository Services, Summer 2005. ISSN 0015-3702, .
  • Andrade, John: Militair 1982. London: 1982. ISBN 0-907898-01-7
  • Francillon, René. Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913. London: Putnam, 1982. ISBN 0-370-30329-6.
  • Pickler, Ron and Larry Milberry. Canadair: The First 50 Years. Toronto: Canav Books, 1995. ISBN 0-921022-07-7.
  • "Silver Star Stand Down". Air Classics April 2006, Canoga Park, California: Challenge Publications. ISSN 0002-2241.

External links

  • Canadian Forces CT-133 Silver Star page
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