After taking an 11-year hiatus, the world famous Red Knight
returns to the sky for the 2004 North America air show season.
Although present at air shows in past years such as the Reno Air
Races and Nellis Air Force Base, the Red Knight will be making its
first official performance on April 17th and 18th at the annual EAA
Sun and Fun convention in Lakeland, Florida. When he is not flying
the former CT-133, Chris Rounds will have the aircraft on display
in the Warbirds lot.
A solo aerobatic performer, the Red Knight was originally a part
of the Royal Canadian Air Force's Training Command. Seventeen
different pilots shared the aircraft from 1958 through 1969. The
Red Knight performed at over six hundred air shows across North
America despite being originally authorized to perform at only
three. The Red Knight was commonly sent to venues considered too
small for the aerobatics teams of the day. Despite having a
comparably small budget in today's standards, the positive
publicity achieved was tremendous. The Red Knight would often be an
opening act for the Golden Hawks but also took part in many larger
Canadian and US displays.
The Red Knight is a Canadian Silver Star more often referred to
as the T-33 or T-Bird. The CT-133 Silver Star has a long and
distinguished history with the Canadian Forces. Having evolved from
America's first successful jet fighter, the Lockheed P-80, the T-33
was the world's first purpose-built jet trainer.
The RCAF's first introduction to the aircraft was in 1951, when
the first of twenty Lockheed built T-33As were delivered on loan.
The aircraft were known to the RCAF was the Silver Star Mk 1.
Canadair signed a license agreement with Lockheed to build T-33
aircraft for the RCAF on 13 September 1951. The Canadair T-33 built
was to be powered by an uprated Nene 10 engine licensed by Rolls
Royce and supplied by Orenda Ltd. Once in production, the aircraft
were designated T-33 Silver Star Mk 3 by the RCAF. Eventually, a
total of 656 aircraft were delivered to the RCAF between 1952 and
1959. The "T-Bird" has been used by a wide variety of Air Force and
Navy units and continued its valuable service until the year
Crew / Passengers: 2 crew in ejection seats
Powerplant: one 5,100-lb Rolls Royce Nene 10 turbojet
Performance: Max Speed: 580 mph (930 km/h)
Cruising Speed at 35,000 ft asl: 450 mph (725 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 47,000 ft (14,325 m) Range: 1400 m (2,253 km)
with tip tanks
Weights: Empty: 8,440 lbs (3,832 kg)
Gross: 16,800 lbs with tip tanks ( 7,627 kg)
Dimensions: Span: 42 ft 5 in (12.93 m)
Length: 37 ft 81/2 in (11.49 m)
Height 11ft 8 in (3.6 m)
Wing Area: 238 sq ft (22.11 sq m)
Armament: none - but provisions for two .50 cal Browning
machine guns and under-wing pylons