Military Factory logo

Lockheed L-133 Starjet

United States (1942)
Picture of Lockheed L-133 Starjet Single-Seat, Jet-Powered Fighter Proposal
Picture of Lockheed L-133 Starjet Single-Seat, Jet-Powered Fighter Proposal

The Lockheed L-133 Starjet was submitted for USAF consideration as a single-seat, jet-powered fighter - it was not furthered.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Lockheed L-133 Starjet Single-Seat, Jet-Powered Fighter Proposal.  Entry last updated on 5/21/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Jet-powered flight was a concept already taking hold even before the events of World War 2 1939-1945) ushered it along. However, the global conflict helped to push it along at a rather brisk pace, forcing the evolution of many components forward. European engineers led the way in the field and were ultimately joined in their participation by the Americans before the end. The United States eventually poured much financing, manpower, and materials into producing a serviceable operational-level fighter and this became the late-war Lockheed P-80 "Shooting Star".

American work in the field was underway in 1940 as jet engine research progressed at a modest pace. That same year, Lockheed engineers invested in a new in-house turbojet engine design known as the "L-1000" - promising a thrust output of 5,000 pounds. On March 30th, 1942, with America fully involved in World War 2, the company submitted a single-seat fighter design proposal to the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) for which to match their new engine to. The L-133 "Starjet" would feature two of these engines in a side-by-side arrangement to help maximize thrust output, overall reliability, and straight line performance. Control surfaces would be hydraulically-assisted due to the forces at play. Among the names attached the L-133 project were Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, Willis Hawkins, and Hall Hibbard.

Based on their research, Lockheed engineers accordingly held optimistic estimated performance specifications for their new fighter - maximum speed could reach in the neighborhood of 612 miles per hour (625 mph published in other sources). Construction would incorporate a fair amount of steel and the undercarriage would be a rather modern, fully-retractable wheeled tricycle system. A "blended wing-body" configuration was selected which featured the wing mainplanes well-aft while canard foreplanes added stabilization/controlling at front. A nose-mounted intake would serve the twin turbojet configuration internally. As it stood, the L-133 was a very futuristic fighter design submission for its time - on par with even the far-reaching designs the Germans were putting forth.

The tail of the aircraft was also unique in that it lacked any horizontal planes - just a single vertical fin being fitted. The cockpit was to feature a simple two-piece canopy which presented strong forward and side views for the pilot. The raised dorsal spine, however, obstructed some of the rearward vision. The use of a long nose section could also prove challenging to the pilot during ground running. Dimensions included a length of 48.3 feet and a wingspan of 46.7 feet.

The L-1000 engines to be featured in the L-133 were of the multi-stage, axial-flow design. Originally these were to showcase integrated intercoolers, devices specifically committed to the engine's cooling, but were not fitted in the finalized form. The engines would be fed by way of long sections of duct work emanating from the single nose-mounted intake, running along the sides of the fuselage (straddling the cockpit), before meeting the twin turbojet layout located in the rear section. The Army funded development of this powerplant during 1943 when it was known as the "XJ37-1".

Proposed armament for the fighter was a hard-hitting battery of 4 x 20mm cannon, these guns fitted to the nose section and seated around the upper regions of the intake opening.

Despite the impressive proposal that the L-133 was, it was simply too far-reaching a project for the comfort level of the USAAF which was committed on many other fronts of the war by this time. As such, the aircraft was not developed further and ultimately abandoned though it served Lockheed engineers well on delivering a high-level, jet-powered fighter to the USAAF eventually - this becoming the classic P-80 Shooting Star.

Any available statistics for the Lockheed L-133 Starjet Single-Seat, Jet-Powered Fighter Proposal are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (612mph).

    Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Lockheed L-133 Starjet's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
0
0


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1942
Type: Single-Seat, Jet-Powered Fighter Proposal
Manufacturer(s): Lockheed - USA
Production: 0
Status: Cancelled
Global Operators:
United States (not adopted)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Lockheed L-133 Starjet model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
48.39 ft


Meters
14.75 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
46.75 ft


Meters
14.25 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
11.15 ft


Meters
3.4 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
10,174 lb


Kilograms
4,615 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
18,001 lb


Kilograms
8,165 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Lockheed L-1000 turbojet engines developing 5,100 lb of thrust each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
612 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
985 kph


Knots
532 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
746 mi


Kilometers
1,200 km


Nautical Miles
648 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
44,619 ft


Meters
13,600 m


Miles
8.45 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
4,600 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
1,402 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

PROPOSED:
4 x 20mm cannons in the nose
Variants: Series Model Variants
• L-133 "Starjet" - Base Series Designation
• L-133-02-01 - Official Company Model Designation