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Lockheed Project L-133

In 1939 the Lockheed design genius of Hal Hibbard, Kelly Johnson, and others designed a jet powered pursuit fighter for the U. S. Army Air Force.  Yes, A jet fighter in 1939!  This was a project that never made it past the engineers desks, yet exhibited some very advanced design and engineering concepts for the period.

 

The plane was to be powered by Lockheed's own turbojet engine, which it was developing at that time.  Drawings showed the L-133 (Lockheed's internal project designation, there was no known "name" for the plane) would have been armed with at least four 20mm cannons mounted around the intake, located at the front of the plane.  Lockheed engineer Hal Hibbard stated there were many things regarding the plane's internal arrangement which needed to be sorted, however, and nothing ever was finalized.  They were confident the L-133 would have reached over 500 mph though. 

 

The USAAF decided to order more conventional aircraft that used tried and true technology.  The first jet fighter would have to wait.  Oddly, the wing shape of the P-80/F-80 is strikingly similar to the one found on the L-133.  So, it would appear at least some of the design survived.

 

In this illustration I've rendered a pair of L-133 pursuit fighters.  Both are painted in a scheme that would have been used during late WWII and depict the plane as if it had been used by the USAAF in Europe.  Admittedly a very generous "what if", but also a very interesting one.

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    This is presented as a 24 x 18 inch print on heavyweight glossy paper.  The illustration you buy will not have a watermark on it.  It is ready to frame in any standard 24 x 18 inch frame.

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