Lockheed Little Dipper

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Model 33 Little Dipper
Lockheed Model 33 Little Dipper.jpg
Role Single-seat utility monoplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed
Designer John Thorp
First flight August 1944
Status Scrapped
Number built 1

The Lockheed Model 33 Little Dipper was an American single-seat monoplane, designed by John Thorp and built by Lockheed at Burbank, California, only one was completed.[1]


The Model 33 design was originally started as a private venture two-seat light aircraft by John Thorp, a Lockheed engineer.[1] In April 1944 the company agreed to build the aircraft as the Lockheed Model 33.[1] Due to wartime restrictions on materials the company gained the interest of the United States Army in the aircraft as an aerial flying motorcycle under the name Air Trooper.[1] The Army authorised Lockheed to build two prototypes of the Model 33 and the first flew in August 1944, the aircraft flew well but the Army had lost interest.[1] Lockheed intended to market the Little Dipper as an inexpensive light aircraft but without any interest the prototype and the partly completed second aircraft was scrapped in January 1947 for tax reasons.[1] Designer John Thorp went on to develop the Thorp T-211 with lessons learned from the Little Dipper Project.[2]


The Model 33 was a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a fixed nosewheel landing gear.[1] Originally with an open cockpit it was later fitted with a fully enclosed canopy.[1] Powered by a 50 hp (37 kW) Franklin 2A4-49 engine it had STOL performance.[1]


Lockheed Little Dipper and Lockheed Constellation
Lockheed Little Dipper on display in 2015

Data from [1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 17 ft 6 in (5.33 m)
  • Wingspan: 25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
  • Wing area: 104 sq ft (9.7 m2)
  • Empty weight: 425 lb (193 kg)
  • Gross weight: 725 lb (329 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Franklin 2A4-49 2-cyl. air-cooled horizontally opposed piston enginepiston engine, 50 hp (37 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed


  • Maximum speed: 100 mph; 87 kn (161 km/h)
  • Cruising speed: 91 mph; 79 kn (146 km/h)
  • Range: 210 mi (182 nmi; 338 km)
  • Service ceiling: 16,000 ft (4,877 m)
  • Rate of climb: 900 ft/min (4.6 m/s)
  • Take off in 100ft (31m) with clearance of 50ft (15m) obstacle in 400ft (122m)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Francillon 1982, pp. 256-257
  2. Max Karant (August 1947). "The Thorp Sky Scooter". Flying Magazine.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Francillon, René J. (1982). :Lockheed Aircraft since 1913. London: Putnam & Company. ISBN 0-370-30329-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Media related to Lockheed Model 33 Little Dipper at Wikimedia Commons