Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star

The images were taken at US Air Force Museum, Wright Patterson
and contributed by Dennis Sparks.
Dennis has written some notes here which I reckon will be interesting to read.


Dennis Sparks:
The aircraft is painted in a high gloss light gray overall.  I presume that
this is the "pearl gray" used on early P-80s, which to my eye is about
FS #16440 - pretty much a "pure" gray, not shaded towards blue, or
brown or green.  The wheels, landing gear struts, wheel wells and the
inner surfaces of all of the gear cover doors were painted silver (not
natural metal).  I photographed the only stenciling on the aircraft, the
serial and data block on the nose.  There's two sizes of stenciling there;
1/2" and 1" tall.  The tail numbers are 9" tall.  (All in black.)

There's a red and yellow Lockheed logo on both sides of the nose and
vertical tail.  I made a closeup photo of one of them.  The US national
is carried in three locations; both sides of the fuselage and on top of the
left wing.  The large block "USAF" letters are on top of the right wing.
There are no markings on the undersurface of either wing.

The XP-80R wing is indeed wider than that of the F-80C.  It appears to be
simply a new leading edge cap, which oddly enough seems to have been
made of brass.  There were a number of scratches on the leading edge and
the underlying skin was definitely brass colored.  We both think it was truly
the skin and not some primer color.  The wing is also somewhat shorter.
It appears to be a simple almost squared off wingtip replacing the normal
rounded tip.

We measured the chord of the wing in three places, using a flexible steel
tape measure laid across the top of the wing.  We measured the chord at
both the outer and inner edges of the aileron, and at the inner edge of the
flap.  For the XP-80R, these dimensions were 50", 84" and 115".  On the
F-80C, these same locations yielded measurements of 43", 72", and 105".

On the XP-80R, I also measured the distance from the leading edge to
the first panel line (which I presume is the location of the front wing spar).
I measured this dimension at the same three locations as above.  Even
with the inner edge of the flap, the leading edge cap was 37" long.  At
the inner edge of the aileron (which is also the outer edge of the flap), the
cap is 27", and at the outer edge of the aileron it's 16".

Note also that the leading edge of the XP-80R wing is perfectly straight,
but that there's a small "crank" at the wing root of the F-80C.

Both of the fuel caps on the tops of both wings have been puttied over.
There was no obvious access to the wing fuel tanks.  I don't know if they
were removed, left dry, or filled by pumping the fuel in via some other
port, but again, there were no obvious fuel ports anywhere on the aircraft.
The gun ports on the nose were also plated over and puttied.  Both the
wing fuel ports and the nose gun port locations were clearly visible under
the paint.

The P-80B had a landing light under a clear plastic fairing on top of the
nose, while the F-80C had a small radar there, with the landing light moved
to the nose wheel strut.  The XP-80R has no apparent landing light.

The XP-80R apparently did not have an ejection seat.  All that's visible
from the ground is a simple headrest, which looks like it's made of 1/2"
plywood, painted black.

The XP-80R engine air intakes are both taller and narrower than those of
the F-80C.  The splitter plate on the XP-80R is 22.5" tall; on the F-80C
(and T-33A, I measured both) the splitter plate is only 19" tall.  The plate
is only about 1.25" from the fuselage on the XP-80R, and about 2.5" from
the fuselage on the F-80C/T-33A.  The maximum width of the intake on
the XP-80R is 9", compared to 10.5" on the F-80C (measuring from the
splitter plate, not from the fuselage).  Viewed from the fronts, the overall
shape of the intake on the F-80C is round, while on the XP-80R it's more
oval/rectangular.  This should show up in my photos.

There are extraction vents/louvers above the intakes on both sides on
both aircraft, but the ones on the XP-80R are different from those on the
F-80C.  The louver panel is 4" x 10" on the XP-80R, and have "NO STEP"
stenciled below them in 2" tall letters.