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Arcadia’s T-33

8 October 2010

Arcadia’s T-33

27º 13′ 11″ N / 81º 52′ 24″ W

Arcadia is a small town in Florida with an old style downtown and a nice park near its western town limit by the Peace River. The park has had a display of a Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star for as long as I remember but it suffered a bit from Hurricane Charley in August 2004. Charley impacted much of Florida’s peninsula and it collapsed Arcadia’s historic water tower and tore the canopy from the T-33.

I passed by there in May 2010 and noticed the canopy had not been replaced but the old bird still shows her style by not rusting or crazily tilting. Here are a few photos:

Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star in Arcadia FL — photo by Joe May

Damage to the right wing root from Hurricane Charley in August 2004 — photo by Joe May

Detail where the rear portion of the canopy was torn away during Hurricane Charley — photo by Joe May

Arcadia’s Shooting Star still looking good after a hurricane — photo by Joe May

This aircraft can easily be seen while driving on State Highway 70 (Oak St in Arcadia) where it intersects S Baldwin Ave.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Carol Cassels permalink
    30 August 2015 23:54

    It should be Hwy 70, not 60.

    • travelforaircraft permalink
      31 August 2015 02:04

      Of course it is and I knew better than that :p I made the correction and thank you for pointing that out to me 🙂

  2. Carol Cassels permalink
    4 September 2015 04:54

    You’re Welcome. Thank you for highlighting Arcadia’s T-33. 🙂

  3. Christopher Andersch permalink
    18 January 2020 09:02

    As fas as I remember it was given to Arcadia in 1955, and the Air-Force lists it as a 1951 model, so it must have suffered a incident which caused it to be un airworthy, ( which happened a lot with 1st gen jets) the airframe has been patched with old street signs and stop signs, and is basically a stripped hulk, with no insides, landing gear or even flight control wires, the canopy was torn off in 2004, and was placed under the fuselage for a few years, before disappearing for a decade, it has recently been replaced, but by someone using aluminum flashing and pop rivets, and the plane continues to be anchored to the ground with old mobile home anchors, and rusty 1/8 wire rope cable. It was in better condition, but the “ caretaker” passed away years ago, and the parks dept does not have two nickels to rub together to take truly good care of it, and I fear one day it will split in half, and be sold for junk. Whoever designed the cradle it sits in was not a smart person, it litterally just sits on the concrete, and the 1/8 cable ( loose) lets the plane rock in the slightest breeze, when hurricane charley hit, the cable broke loose, and it rotated to the right and the wingtip buried itself in the ground, it was resting at a 45 degree angle for months, and I was surprised that the wing spar did not break.
    It’s a sad display for an aircraft type that was used as a trainer by the Air Force from 1947 to the 1980’s .
    As an interesting side note, the nose section of the T-33 “ T-bird” is nearly identical to the P-38 lightning, and many nose sections have been used to restore other P-38’s to their original wartime configuration, ( as many p-38 had their noses converted into photo mapping configurations, or various weather experiment configurations)

    Wachula, a sister community has a F-84 swept wing fighter on outdoor display, and still has most of its “ bits and pieces”

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