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Lockheed L-133 Starjet

Lockheed L-133 Starjet.

The Lockheed L-133 was an attempt to manufacture the first jet fighter of the US Forces during the first half of WW2.


The Lockheed aviation company was the first in the United States to start work on a jet powered aircraft, the L-133 design started in 1939 as a number of "Paper Projects" by engineers Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, Willis Hawkins and Hall J Hibbard. By 1940 preliminary work on a company financed jet fighter had been started, which progressed to several different versions on the drawing board. Throughout World War II, the development of a jet-powered aircraft would be key for the air battles of the war. In the meantime Lockheed were working on an axial-flow L-1000 turbojet engine of their own design, which was intended to power the culmination of the fighter project, the Model L-133-02-01. This was a single seat, canard design powered by two L-1000 engines.

United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) took note of the design, but at the time they showed no great interest in the idea of a jet powered fighter and missed the opportunity of giving the United States a lead in this new technology. Without the support and funds of the USAAF work on the L-133 fighter and its engine the L-1000 came to a halt.

When the USAAF began to show interest in the idea of jet fighters in 1942, due to intelligence reports of the advances in jet propulsion by the Germans and British, the USAAF turned to Lockheed for its first operational jet powered fighter, the P-80 Shooting