Single-engine twin-seat trainer

 

 Forty-eight T-33A jet trainers and 2 RT-33A reconnaissance aircraft were initially earmarked for the Belgian Government in the framework of the MDAP (Mutual Defence Assistance Programme), however after a review the order was adjusted to 38 T-33As and a single RT-33A.
The first T-33As for Belgium were shipped to the Moroccan port of Casablanca, assembled at the base of Meknes and flown to Florennes. A second batch was delivered via the northern route and Denmark while the remainder was delivered in flight straight from the USA.
The first aircraft were fitted with standard F-80A Shooting Star drop tanks and initially wore only the USAF 'buzz number' and no roundels. Over the early years Belgian Air Force T-Birds had a varied life and were based at virtual all military airbases and units (2, 9, 10 Wing and the Fighter School), before being grouped at Brustem airbase.
Eight aircraft were temporarily transferred to the Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht) as part of a Belgian-Dutch agreement for a common pilot training scheme.
At the end of their service life with the Belgian Air Force and as the aircraft had remained property of the US government most of the T-Birds were returned to the legal owners and got a second career with other foreign air forces or in the worst case as a target on bombing ranges.

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C/N

5335

FT-01

Date In

Sep 1951

Date Out

Nov 1979

History

51-4041/TR-O41 (USAF), TR-041 (BAF), FT-1, FT-01, Special markings "Adios T-Bird", Spadeadam (U.K.) Electronic Warfare Tactics Range as "21/40", Florida (?).

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C/N

5337

FT-02

Date In

May 1951

Date Out

Nov 1979

History

51-4043/TR-043 (USAF), TR-043 (BAF), FT-2, FT-02; Spadeadam (U.K.) Electronic Warfare Tactics range as “10/77”

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C/N

5356

FT-03

Date In

Mar 1951

Date Out

May 1978

History

51-4062/TR-062 (USAF), TR-062 (BAF), FT-03, M-59 (KLu), FT-03, Transported by CH-47C Chinook to the Vilseck (D.) shooting range.

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C/N

5446

FT-04

Date In

Mar 1952

Date Out

Jul 1978

History

51-4152/TR-152 (USAF) TR-152 (BAF), FT-4, M-43 (KLu), FT-04 crashed after mid-air collission with FT-26 at Ciney on 27 Apr 1977.

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C/N

5445

FT-05

Date In

Aug 1952

Date Out

Oct 1979

History

51-4151/TR-151 (USAF), TR-151 (BAF), FT-5, M-42 (KLu), FT-05, fatal crash at Mückenbomberg/Kell (D.) on 18 Nov 1977.

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C/N

5525

FT-06

Date In

Aug 1952

Date Out

Nov 1979

History

51-4231/TR-231 (USAF), TR-231 (BAF), FT-6, M-44 (KLu), FT-06, Spadeadam (U.K.) Electronic Warfare Tactics range as "15/11"

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C/N

5527

FT-07

Date In

Jul 1952

Date Out

Nov 1979

History

51-4233/TR-233 (USAF), FT-7, "A"(10W), M-45 (KLu), FT-07, Spadeadam(U.K.) Electronic Warfare Tactics range as "70"

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C/N

5994

FT-08

Date In

Feb 1953

Date Out

Jun 1965

History

51-6662/TR-662 (USAF), TR-662 (BAF), FT-8, "B" (10W), M-46 (KLu), "Whiskey Four" team, crashed after mid-air collission at Woensdrecht during "Whiskey Four" display on 8 Jun 1965.

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C/N

5995

FT-09

Date In

Oct 1952

Date Out

Aug 1976

History

51-6663/TR-663 (USAF), FT-9, "C" (10W), M-60 KLu, FT-09, "Schwäbisches Bauern und Technik Museum" at Eschach/Siefertshofen (D.). Was written off in emergency landing at Brustem on 4 Aug 1976 after losing tip-tank in flight.

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C/N

5996

FT-10

Date In

Dec 1952

Date Out

Nov 1979

History

51-6664/TR-664 (USAF), TR-664 (BAF), FT-10, "D" (10 Wing), Spadeadam (U.K.) Electronic Warfare Tactics range as "14/77".

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C/N

5993

FT-11

Date In

Mar 1953

Date Out

Nov 1979

History

51-6661/TR-661 (USAF), TR-661 (BAF), FT-11, "E" (10W), M-47 (KLu), FT-11, Spadeadam (U.K.) ) Electronic Warfare Tactics range as "80/70".

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C/N

5383

FT-12

Date In

Feb 1953

Date Out

Jun 1957

History

51-4089/TR-089 (USAF), TR-089 (BAF), FT-12, "F" (10W), Written off at Brye on 15 May 1957 after emergency landing due to engine fire in flight.

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C/N

6816

FT-13

Date In

Jul 1953

Date Out

Nov 1979

History

51-9032/TR-032 (USAF), TR-032 (BAF), FT-13, to Yugoslavian A.F, Serbian A.F., Cape May (NJ, USA).

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C/N

7032

FT-14

Date In

Sep 1953

Date Out

Nov 1979

History

51-9248/TR-248 (USAF), FT-14, "G" (10W), to Yugoslavian AF, to Serbian Air Force as 100055, noted at Cape May (NJ/USA)

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C/N

7138

FT-15

Date In

Nov 1953

Date Out

Nov 1979

History

51-17445/TR-445 (USAF), FT-15, USAF, N1180C, N410GH, N133CK Lakeview (OR, USA)

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C/N

7254

FT-16

Date In

Nov 1953

Date Out

1979

History

51-17463/TR-463 (USAF), FT16, to Yugoslav A.F., N533CB Wilmington (DE, USA)

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C/N

7362

FT-17

Date In

Dec 1953

Date Out

Dec 1979

History

51-17468/TR-468 (UASAF), FT-17, To Yugoslav A.F., N125AT, Stockton (CA, USA)

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C/N

7363

FT-18

Date In

Dec 1953

Date Out

Sep 1959

History

51-17469/TR-469 (USAF) TR-469 (BAF), FT-18. Crashed at Bogaarden (Pepingen) on 13 May 1959 after mid-air collision with FT-35.

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C/N

7485

FT-19

Date In

Jan 1954

Date Out

Jun 1960

History

51-17505/TR-505 (USAF), TR-505 (BAF), FT-19, crashed at Wezeren after flame-out on 15 Jun 1960.

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C/N

7373

FT-20

Date In

Jan 1954

Date Out

Sep 1962

History

51-17479/TR-479 (USAF), TR-479 (BAF), FT-20, Flight Refuelling, Tarrant Rushton (U.K.), spare parts resource Mojave (CA, USA).

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C/N

7573

FT-21

Date In

Apr 1954

Date Out

Oct 1979

History

51-17513/TR-513 (USAF), FT-21, "H" (10 W), 1928 (Portugal), stored at Beja AB (P.)

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C/N

7584

FT-22

Date In

Apr 1954

Date Out

Dec 1959

History

51-17524/TR-524 (USAF), FT-22, "I" (10 W), N1180D Wilmington (DE, USA)

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C/N

7685

FT-23

Date In

Apr 1954

Date Out

Jul 1961

History

51-17539/TR-539 (USAF), FT-23 "J" (10W), crashed at Oldenmark(Steenwijk (Nl.)

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C/N

7788

FT-24

Date In

Apr 1954

Date Out

-

History

52-9892/TR-892 (USAF), TR-892 (BAF), FT-24, monument 11 Sq. Brustem, monument 11 Sq. Beauvechain, “1W Historical Center” Beauvechain.

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C/N

9063

FT-25

Date In

Jun 1955

Date Out

Mar 1976

History

53-5724/TR-724 (USAF), FT-25, scrapyard Kalken, Zele, Affligem along E-40 motorway with wings of FT-33, to Expo Gowalt, Kwatrechtsesteenweg, 114 Wetteren

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C/N

9064

FT-26

Date In

Jun 1955

Date Out

Mar 1978

History

53-5725/TR-725 (USAF), FT-26," Schwäbisches Bauern und Technik Museum" at Seifertshofen (D.), stored.

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C/N

9065

FT-27

Date In

Jun 1955

Date Out

Dec 1961

History

53-5726/TR-726 (USAF), FT-27, landing mishap at Brustem on 19 Sep 1961. Not repaired, spare parts resource at Flight Refuelling, Tarrant Rushton (U.K.)

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C/N

9091

FT-28

Date In

Jun 1955

Date Out

1979

History

53-5752/TR-752, FT-28, 1929 (Portugal), stored Beja AB, (P.)

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C/N

9092

FT-29

Date In

Jun 1955

Date Out

Nov 1979

History

53-5753/TR-753, FT-29, Spadeadam shooting range (U.K.) as "77/44".

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C/N

9093

FT-30

Date In

Aug 1955

Date Out

1979

History

53-5754/TR-754 (USAF), FT-30, 1930 (Portugal), stored Beja AB (P.) special colour scheme "38 anos FAP”

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C/N

9579

FT-31

Date In

Mar 1956

Date Out

Oct 1966

History

55-3038/TR-038, FT-31, crashed at Weert(Nl.) after engine problems on 03 Oct 1966

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C/N

9581

FT-32

Date In

Mar 1956

Date Out

May 1957

History

55-3040/TR-040 (USAF), FT-32, crashed at Brustem on 22 Mar 1957.

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C/N

9582

FT-33

Date In

Mar 1956

Date Out

Feb 1978

History

55-3041/TR-041, FT-33, 13 Jun 1979 fatal crash at Velm/Kerkom.

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C/N

9584

FT-34

Date In

Mar 1956

Date Out

1979

History

55-3043/TR-043 (USAF), FT34, stored Koksijde, Royal Army Museum Brussels.

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C/N

9587

FT-35

Date In

Mar 1956

Date Out

Sep 1959

History

55-3046/TR-046 (USAF), FT-35, crashed at Saintes after mid-air collision with FT-18 on 13 May 1959.

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C/N

9588

FT-36

Date In

Apr 1956

Date Out

1979

History

55-3047/TR-047 (USAF), FT-36, displayed at Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum at Tinwald Downs (U.K.) as “Little Miss Laura”

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C/N

9623

FT-37

Date In

Apr 1956

Date Out

Feb 1980

History

55-3082/TR-082, FT-37, Transported by CH-47C Chinook to Alconbury (U.K.) and used for BDRT, to Scuthorpe (U.K.), to Molesworth (U.K.)

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C/N

9585

FT-38

Date In

May 1956

Date Out

Feb 1980

History

55-3044/TR-044, FT-38, transported by US Army CH-47C Chinook helicopter to Ramstein airbase (D.) to be used for Battle Damage Repair Training (BDRT).

   As mentioned higher, a single RT-33A reconnaissance development of the T-33A Shooting Star was delivered to the Belgian Air Force in the framework of the Mutual Defence Assistance Programme (MDAP). The aircraft with c/n 8872 and USAF serial 53-5533  was registered FTR-1 with the Belgian Air Force. Arriving at the end of December 1955, it was delivered to N° 42Sq/9W at Wahn airbase (D.). However, the a/c was refused by Major Maricq (CO 42sq), as it needed a different maintenance chain (42 Sq being a fully self-supporting unit). On 28 March 1956 it was transferred to Melsbroek airbase were it was kept in storage until being returned tp MAAG (USAF) on 5 April 1956 and flown over to Châteauroux on 21 April 1956. After having been active with the Pakistan Air Force it is now on display at the Pakistan AF Academy at Risalpur (PK). Only a hanfull of images exist of the TR-33A in Belgian service, these being stills taken from a movie and thus explaining the rather poor quality.

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