The main purpose of the P-80 is to teach a pilot how to fly jets in general, and it's a really great jet to start with! If a pilot is doing well in the P-80, he's ready to move to higher tiered jets. Never give up your speed: it is the plane's insurance
The aircraft was initially designed in 1943, taking 143 days to produce and deliver from Lockheed, making its first flight on January 8, 1944, and being introduced in 1945. Each aircraft cost $110000 to manufacture in contrast to the P-51-D-30 which cost $49000 per unit. This was testimony to the technological upgrade for prop to turbojet. It was arguably America's first successful turbo jet aircraft and designed by Kelly Johnson with the Lockheed Skunk-Works. About 1715 of these aircraft were made in its production run ending in late 40s and early 50s.
On the 15th of November 1950, the P-80 made history making the first jet vs. jet kill. It was a Russian MiG-15 sent by Russia to ensure and regain air superiority over Korea. The MiG was faster, the P-80 only having a top speed of 850km/h while the MiGs were going transonic and potentially supersonic in dives.
- 6 × 12.7mm M2 Browning machine guns in the nose
- 8 × 127mm HVAR rockets
- 2 × 1000 lb (454 kg) bombs