A single seat fighter-bomber, the Lockheed F-80C was a later production version of the P-80, the original designation denoting pursuit. However, with changes to the American system of designation in 1947, the Shooting Star would be re-designated as a ‘F’, a fighter. The Shooting Star was designed in fewer than 6 months around the British Halford H.1 (Goblin) engine and first flew in 1944, with P-80s flying under combat conditions in Italy the next year.
By the time of the Korean war, the aircraft was considered somewhat obsolete, but was at the forefront of the initial sorties across ‘MiG Alley’, of which 1500 flights were made in the first four months alone. It was on November 8th 1950 that a Shooting Star claimed the first MiG-15 shot down, in one of first ever instances of jet-to-jet combat.
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