Lockheed Project L-133: Three Views

Lockheed Project L-133: Three Views

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 three views of the L-133 which definitely show off its unique, late 30s design. The plane is presented in a paint sceme it may have worn during the last part of WWII had it been further developed and accepted by the USAAF. 


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