I drew a new and substantially improved template for the P-80 Shooting Star. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find the original version for comparison.
1. This was the first XP-80A prototype, nicknamed “Grey Ghost” because of its pearl-grey livery.
2. This aircraft was initially built as a P-80B-1-LO, and later converted to F-80C standard. It served with the New Mexico Air National Guard’s 188th Fighter Squadron, 150th Fighter Wing. The ‘Enchilada Air Force” operated the P-80 Shooting Star from 1954 to 1962.
3. This F-80B-5-LO served with the 94th Fighter Squadron of the 1st Fighter Wing, based in Ladd Field, Fairbanks, in Alaska in 1947. The aircraft bears the famous “Hat in the Ring” badge and wears Arctic Red high-visibility markings, which were to make downed aircraft more conspicuous against a snow-covered background.
4. This aircraft was the lead aircraft of the AcroJets demonstration team, the first team to be recognized by the USAF. Its members were instructor pilots of the Fighter School, based at Yuma AFB.
The P-80 Shooting Star was the first operational jet fighter in the USAAF. Although it was quickly replaced by better designs, some of its derivatives remained in service much longer: the T-33 trainer is still being operated by some South American countries, and the F-94 Starfire interceptor was the backbone of US air defense for a time.
Unfortunately, I only have one drawing of the P-80 here. This is due to a failure to “save your work constantly”. I spent several hours creating the model and painting it and then, when I was done, I erased it. I never was able to recover the file and all I have is this drawing. So remember: always save your work, or you’ll end up being as frustrated as I was at that moment.
Of course, I’ve repeated that mistake at least once since then…
1. F-80C-10-LO serial number 49-748 “Beer City Special – Miss BB II” of the 36th FBS at Suwon (Korea), Autumn 1952.