On Oct. 16, 1943, the Army Air Force awards the contract for the XP-80. The Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star was the first jet fighter used operationally by the Army Air Force. A Lockheed team, led by Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson, designed and built the craft in 1943, delivering it in just 143 days from the start of the design process. It was first flown Jan. 8, 1944. The XP-80 was the first American airplane to sustain speeds in excess of 500 mph in level flight. Although World War II ended before any P-80s reached combat, the Shooting Star became the first American jet to enter large-scale production. The aircraft saw extensive combat in Korea with the Air Force as the F-80, but was replaced in the air superiority role by the North American F-86 Sabre to combat the Soviet MiG-15. The closely related T-33 Shooting Star trainer remained in service with the USAF and USN until the 1970s.