In June 1943 Lockheed was instructed to proceed with the design and development of a new single-seat fighter, utilising as its power plant a British de Havilland H-1 turbojet.

The design proved acceptable to the USAAF. It was a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a knife-edge laminar-flow wing section; engine within the rear fuselage; air intakes on each side of the fuselage forward of the wing leading edge; and retractable tricycle-type landing gear.

The Shooting Star has an established place in USAAF/USAF history: It was the first operational jet-powered aircraft.

The P-80 appeared too late in WWII. Only two examples each were sent to Britian and Italy, for testing purposes, when the war ended.

Info: Aviastar

Profile: Fighters of the United States Air Force
Published by Temple Press/Aerospace.