T-33 Shooting Star jet trainer
The Lockheed T-33 model was one of the U.S. Air Force's first fighter jets.
And was used in the Korean War.
This jet was built in 1956 and used as a trainer for pilots. It was found in 2005 by Holland businessman Eric Fogg, who negotiated with the federal government to buy it and bring it to the airport as a permanent historical display. He donated the aircraft, not disclosing its cost. "I thought the plane would make a wonderful visual welcome for people driving by the airport and visitors to Park Township. It's not every airport that has a piece of aviation history like this," he said. To date, about $14,000 has been spent refurbishing the plane. Most of the money has come from individual and corporate donors.
The Jet a vintage Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star jet trainer is rare and hard to find. More than 600 hours of work by 20 volunteers went into the rebuilding and painting the plane. When it arrived by semi-truck, the tail and wings were off and the fuselage was in pieces. They were put back together with some creative improvising to fashion parts and pieces that weren't with the plane. It is set on a pedestal in a takeoff angle so people can see it when they pass the airport. A walkway and landscaping go up around the plane.
Since its arrival at the airport, the plane has drawn the interest of former pilots who flew jets in the 1950s. "Pilots have heard it's here and have stopped by to talk about it. At some point, they always just stop talking and just stare at the plane and you can tell they are reliving a lot of memories.
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