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de Havilland Vampire

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Sea Vampire

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First flight

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Primary users

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Number built

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Developed into

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The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was a British jet fighter developed and manufactured by de Havilland. Having been developed during the Second World War to harness the newly developed jet engine, the Vampire entered service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1945. It was the second jet fighter, after the Gloster Meteor, operated by the RAF and its first to be powered by a single jet engine.

The RAF used the Vampire as a front line fighter until 1953 before it assumed secondary roles such as pilot training. It was retired by the RAF in 1966, replaced by the Hawker Hunter and Gloster Javelin. It achieved several aviation firsts and records, including being the first jet aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The Vampire had many export sales and was operated by various air forces. It participated in subsequent conflicts such as the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the Malayan emergency and the Rhodesian Bush War.

Almost 3,300 Vampires were manufactured, a quarter of them built under licence in other countries. The Royal Navy's first jet fighter was the Sea Vampire, a navalised variant which was operated from its aircraft carriers. The Vampire was developed into the DH.115 dual-seat trainer and the more advanced DH.112 Venom ground-attack and night fighter.

Design and development

File:First RAF Vampire F1 at Boscombe Down 1945.jpg
The first Vampire F.1, in 1945. Note the early squared fin and rudders and high tailplane position

The Vampire was considered to be a largely experimental design due to its unorthodox arrangement and the use of a single engine, unlike the Gloster Meteor which was already specified for production. The low power output of early British jet engines meant that only twin-engine aircraft designs were considered practical; but as more powerful engines were developed, particularly Frank Halford's H.1 (later known as the Goblin), a single-engined jet fighter became more viable. De Havilland were approached to produce an airframe for the H.1, and their first design, the DH.99, was an all-metal, twin-boom, tricycle undercarriage aircraft armed with four cannon. The use of a twin boom kept the jet pipe short which avoided the power loss of a long pipe that would have been needed in a conventional fuselage. The DH.99 was modified to a mixed wood and metal construction in light of Ministry of Aircraft Production recommendations, and the design was renumbered to DH.100 by November 1941.[2]

File:Cockpit of de Havilland Vampire FB Mk 2 PNG.PNG
Cockpit layout of the Vampire FB Mk2

Under Air Ministry specification E.6/41 for two prototypes, design work on the DH.100 began at the de Havilland works at Hatfield in mid-1942, two years after the Meteor.[3]

Originally named the "Spider Crab," the aircraft was entirely a de Havilland project, exploiting the company's extensive experience in building with moulded plywood for aircraft construction. Many of the basic design features were first used in their Mosquito fast bomber. It had conventional straight mid-wings and a single jet engine placed in an egg-shaped, aluminium-skinned fuselage, exhausting in a straight line.

Geoffrey de Havilland Jr, the de Havilland chief test pilot and son of the company's founder, test flew prototype Serial number LZ548/G on its maiden flight on 20 September 1943 from Hatfield.[4] The flight took place only six months after the Meteor's maiden flight. The first Vampire flight had been delayed due to the need to send the only available engine fit for flight to America to replace one destroyed in ground engine runs in Lockheed's prototype XP-80. The production Vampire Mk I did not fly until April 1945, with most being built by English Electric Aircraft at their Preston, Lancashire factories due to the pressures on de Havilland's production facilities, which were busy with other types. Although eagerly taken into service by the RAF, it was still being developed at war's end, and never saw combat in the Second World War.

File:Vampire ag1.jpg
Comparison of the FB.5 single seat (left) and T.11 dual seat Vampire

The Vampire was first powered by a Halford H1 (later called the "Goblin") producing 2,100 lbf (9.3 kN) of thrust, designed by Frank B Halford and built by de Havilland. The engine was a centrifugal-flow type, a design soon superseded post-war by the slimmer axial-flow units. Initially, the Goblin gave the aircraft a disappointingly limited range. This was a common problem with all the early jets, and later marks were distinguished by greatly increased fuel capacities. As designs improved the engine was often upgraded. Later Mk Is used the Goblin II; the F.3 onwards used the Goblin III. Certain marks were test-beds for the Rolls-Royce Nene, leading to the FB30 and 31 variants built in Australia. An unusual characteristic of the low positioning of the engine meant that a Vampire could not remain on idle for longer than a certain time because the heat from the jet exhaust would melt the tarmac on which it stood.

De Havilland initiated a private venture night fighter, the DH.113 intended for export, fitting a two-seat cockpit closely based on that of the Mosquito night fighter, and a lengthened nose accommodating AI Mk X radar. An order to supply the Egyptian Air Force was received, but this was blocked by the British government as part of a general ban on supplying arms to Egypt. Instead the RAF took over the order and put them into service as an interim between the retirement of the de Havilland Mosquito night fighter and the full introduction of the Meteor night fighter.[5] Removal of the radar from the night fighter and fitting of dual controls gave a jet trainer, the DH.115 Vampire which entered British service as the Vampire T.11. This was built in large numbers, both for the RAF and for export.[6]

A total of 3,268 Vampires were built in 15 versions, including a twin-seat night fighter, a trainer and a carrier-based aircraft designated Sea Vampire.

The Vampire was used by some 31 air forces. Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the U.S. were the only major Western powers not to use the aircraft type.

In 1947 Wing Commander Maurice Smith, then-Editor of Flight magazine, stated upon piloting his first jet-powered aircraft, a Vampire Mk III: "Piloting a jet aircraft has confirmed one opinion I had formed after flying as a passenger in the Lancastrian jet test beds, that few, if any, having flown in a jet-propelled transport, will wish to revert to the noise, vibration and attendant fatigue of an airscrew-propelled piston-engined aircraft".[7]

Records and achievements

File:DeHavilland Vampire HMS Ocean Dec1945 NAN1 47.jpg
The first carrier landing and takeoff of a jet aircraft in 1945 – Eric "Winkle" Brown taking off from HMS Ocean

On 8 June 1946, the Vampire was introduced to the British public when Fighter Command's 247 Squadron was given the honour of leading the flypast over London at the Victory Day Celebrations.[8]

The Vampire was a versatile aircraft, setting many aviation firsts and records, being the first RAF fighter with a top speed exceeding Script error: No such module "convert".. On 3 December 1945, a Sea Vampire piloted by Captain Eric "Winkle" Brown became the first pure-jet aircraft to land on and take off from an aircraft carrier.[9][N 1]

Vampires were used in trials from 1947 to 1955 to develop undercarriage-less fighters that could operate from flexible rubber decks on aircraft carriers, which would allow the weight and complication of an undercarriage to be eliminated.[11] Despite demonstrating that the technique was practicable, with many landings being made with undercarriage retracted on flexible decks both at RAE Farnborough and on board the carrier HMS Warrior, the proposal was not taken further.[12] On 23 March 1948, John Cunningham, flying a modified Mk I with extended wing tips and powered by a de Havilland Ghost engine, set a new world altitude record of 59,446 ft (18,119 m).[13]

On 14 July 1948, six Vampire F.3s of No. 54 Squadron RAF became the first jet aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean when they arrived in Goose Bay, Labrador. They went via Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, Keflavik in Iceland and Bluie West 1, Greenland. From Goose Bay airfield they went on to Montreal (c. 3,000 mi/4,830 km) to start the RAF’s annual goodwill tour of Canada and the US where they gave formation aerobatic displays.[14]

At the same time, USAF Colonel David C. Schilling led a group of F-80 Shooting Stars flying to FĂŒrstenfeldbruck Air Base in Germany to relieve a unit based there. There were conflicting reports later regarding competition between the RAF and USAF to be the first to fly the Atlantic. One report said the USAF squadron delayed completion of its movement to allow the Vampires to be "the first jets across the Atlantic".[15] Another said that the Vampire pilots celebrated “winning the race against the rival F-80s.”[16]

Operational history

RAF and Royal Navy service

In postwar service, the RAF employed the Gloster Meteor as an interceptor and the Vampire as a ground-attack fighter-bomber (although their roles probably should have been reversed).[N 2]

File:CV-36 SeaVampire NAN9-53.jpg
A Royal Navy De Havilland Sea Vampire making a touch-and-go landing on the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Antietam (CVA-36).

The first prototype of the "Vampire Fighter-Bomber Mk 5" (FB.5), modified from a Vampire F.3, carried out its initial flight on 23 June 1948. The FB.5 retained the Goblin III engine of the F.3, but featured armour protection around engine systems, wings clipped back by 1 ft (30 cm), and longer-stroke main landing gear to handle greater takeoff weights and provide clearance for stores/weapons load. An external tank or 500 lb (227 kg) bomb could be carried under each wing, and eight "3-inch" rocket projectiles ("RPs") could be stacked in pairs on four attachments inboard of the booms. Although an ejection seat was considered, it was not fitted.

At its peak, 19 RAF squadrons flew the FB.5 in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. The FB.5 undertook attack missions during the successful British Commonwealth campaign to suppress the insurgency in Malaya in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The FB.5 fighter-bomber became the most numerous single-seat variant with 473 aircraft produced.

The NF.10 served from 1951 to 1954 with three squadrons (23, 25 and 151) but was often flown in daytime as well as night time. After replacement by the Venom conversions were made to NF(T).10 standard for operation by the Central Navigation and Control School at RAF Shawbury. Others were sold to the Indian Air Force.

The RAF eventually relegated the Vampire to advanced training roles in the mid-1950s and the type was generally out of RAF service by the end of the decade.

Following carrier-landing trials on the carrier HMS Ocean with a modified prototype Vampire the Royal Navy ordered a navalised variant of the Vampire FB.5 as the Sea Vampire, the first Royal Navy jet aircraft. Two prototypes were followed by 18 production aircraft which were used to gain experience in carrier jet operations before the arrival of the two-seat Sea Vampire T.22 trainers.[18]

The final Vampire was the T (trainer) model. First flown from the old Airspeed Ltd factory at Christchurch, Hampshire on 15 November 1950, production deliveries of the trainer began in January 1952. Over 600 examples of the T.11 were produced at Hatfield and Chester and by Fairey Aviation at Manchester Airport, in both air force and naval models. The T models remained in service with the RAF until 1966. There was a Vampire trainer in service at CFS RAF Little Rissington until at least January 1972.


The Vampire F1 A78-1 after crash landing at RAAF Pt Cook in 1947

In 1946 approval was given for the purchase of an initial 50 Vampire aircraft for the RAAF. The first three machines were British-built aircraft, an F1, F2 and FB.5, and were given serial numbers A78-1 to A78-3.

The second aircraft, the F2 (A78-2), was significant in that it was powered by the more powerful Rolls-Royce Nene jet engine, rather than the usual Goblin. All 80 F.30 fighters and FB.31 fighter-bomber aircraft built in Australia by de Havilland Australia were to be powered by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation versions of the Nene engine manufactured under licence in Melbourne. The Nene required a greater intake cross-section than the Goblin, and the initial solution was to mount auxiliary intakes on top of the fuselage behind the canopy. Unfortunately these intakes led to elevator blanking on formation of shock waves, and three aircraft and pilots were lost in unrecoverable dives. All Nene-engined aircraft were later modified to have the auxiliary intakes beneath the fuselage, thus avoiding the problem.

The first Vampire F.30 fighter (A79-1) flew in June 1949, and it was followed by 56 more F.30 variants before the final 23 aircraft were completed as FB.31s with strengthened and clipped wings with underwing hardpoints. The last FB.31 was delivered in August 1953, and 24 late-production F.30s were subsequently upgraded to FB.31 standard. Single seat Vampires were retired in the RAAF in 1954.

The T.33, T.34 and T.35 were used by the RAAF and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) (known as Mk33 through to Mk35W in RAAF service) and many were manufactured or assembled at de Havilland Australia's facilities in Sydney. The Mk35W was a Mk35 fitted with spare Mk33 wings following overstress or achievement of fatigue life. Vampire trainer production in Australia amounted to 110 aircraft, and the initial order was filled by 35 T.33s for the RAAF, deliveries being made in 1952 with five T.34s for the RAN delivered in 1954. The trainers remained in service in the RAAF until 1970 while RAN Vampires were retired in 1971.[19]


File:De Havilland DH-100 Vampire 2 ExCC.jpg
Royal Canadian Air Force Vampire

An F.1 version began operating on an evaluation basis in Canada at the Winter Experimental Establishment in Edmonton in 1946. The F.3 was chosen as one of two types of operational fighters for the Royal Canadian Air Force and was first flown in Canada on 17 January 1948 where it went into service as a Central Flying School training aircraft at RCAF Station Trenton. With 86 in total, the F.3 was the first jet fighter to enter RCAF service in any significant numbers. It served to introduce fighter pilots not only to jet flying, but also to cockpit pressurization and the tricycle landing gear. The "Vamp" was a popular aircraft, easy to fly and considered a "hot rod."[20] It served in both operational and air reserve units (400, 401, 402, 411, 438 and 442 squadrons) until retirement in the late 1950s when it was replaced by the Canadair Sabre.[21]


In 1954 Egypt was operating 49 Vampires, acquired from Italy and Britain, as fighter-bombers.[22] In 1955 twelve Vampire trainers were ordered, with delivery starting in July that year.[23] The Egyptian Air Force lost three Vampires in combat with Israeli jets during the Suez Crisis.


File:De Havilland Vampire VA-2 Ilmailumuseo 2.JPG
Finnish Air Force De Havilland Vampire Mk.52

The Finnish Air Force received six FB.52 Vampires in 1953. The model was nicknamed "Vamppi" in Finnish service. An additional nine twin-seat T.55s were purchased in 1955. The aircraft were assigned to 2nd Wing at Pori, but were transferred to 1st Wing at Tikkakoski at the end of the 1950s. The last Finnish Vampire was decommissioned in 1965.


File:No.7 Vampire.jpg
One of the first three Vampires to be delivered to the Indian Air Force. The plane sports the Chakra roundel. This aircraft was later incorporated into No. 7 Sqn

No. 7 Squadron, Indian Air Force (IAF) received Vampires in January 1949. Although the unit was put on high alert during the Sino-Indian War of 1962, it did not see any action, as the air force's role was limited to supply and evacuation.

On September 1, 1965, during the Indo-Pakistani War, IAF Vampires saw action for the first time. No. 45 Squadron responded to a request for strikes against a counter-attack by the Pakistani Army (Operation Grand Slam) and four Vampire Mk 52 fighter-bombers were successful in slowing the Pakistani advance. However, the Vampires encountered two Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-86 Sabres, armed with air-to-air missiles; in the ensuing dogfight, the outdated Vampires were outclassed. One was shot down by ground fire and another three were shot down by Sabres.[24] The Vampires were withdrawn from front line service after these losses.


The Royal Norwegian Air Force purchased 20 Vampires F.3s, 36 FB.52s and six T.55 trainers. The Vampire was in use in Norway from 1948 to 1957 equipping a three-squadron Vampire wing at Gardermoen. The Vampires were withdrawn in 1957 when the air force re-equipped with the Republic F-84G Thunderjet. The Vampire trainers were replaced by the Lockheed T-33 in 1955 and returned to the United Kingdom and used by the Royal Air Force.


File:De Havilland Vampire 1.jpg
Swedish Air Force De Havilland Vampire

The Swedish Air Force purchased its first batch of 70 FB 1 Vampires in 1946, looking for a jet to replace the already outdated SAAB 21 and J 22s of its fighter force. The aircraft was designated J 28A and was assigned to the F 13 Norrköping Wing. It provided such good service that it was selected as the backbone of the fighter force. A total of 310 of the more modern FB.50, designated J 28B, were purchased in 1949. The last one was delivered in 1952, after which all piston-engined fighters were decommissioned. In addition, a total of 57 two-seater DH 115 Vampires called J 28C were used for training.

The Swedish Vampires were retired as fighters in 1956 and replaced with J 29 (SAAB Tunnan) and J 34 (Hawker Hunter). The last Vampire trainer was retired in 1968. All Vampire warbirds being flown in Sweden today originate from the Swiss Air Force.


File:De Havilland (F+W Emmen) Vampire T55 (DH-115) AN2244396.jpg
Swiss Air Force De Havilland Vampire T55 (DH-115)

The Swiss Air Force purchased 1946 4 DH-100 Mk.1. (J-1001 to J-1004). One aircraft crashed 02.08.1946, the other three stood in service until 1961. The first batch of 75 DH-100 Mk.6 (J-1005 to J-1079) was purchased in 1949 most of them passed out in 1968/1969, the last ones in 1973. The second batch was 100 DH-100 Mk.6 (J-1101 to J-1200) build in licence by the swiss aviatic industry. In use from 1951 to 1974, in storage until 1988. 3 DH-100 Mk.6 (J-1080 to J-1082) made from spareparts. One D.H.113NF Mk10 (J-1301) 1958 to 1961. 39 DH-115 Mk 55 Vampire-Trainer (U-1201 to U-1239). From 1953 to 1990.[25][26]


The Rhodesian Air Force acquired 16 Vampire FB.9 fighters and a further 16 Vampire T.11 trainers in the early 1950s, its first jet aircraft, equipping two squadrons.[27] These were regularly deployed to Aden between 1957 and 1961, supporting British counter-insurgency operations.[28] 21 more two-seaters and 13 single-seaters were supplied by South Africa in the late 1960s and early 1970s.[29] Rhodesia operated Vampires until the end of the bush war in 1979. In 1977, six were pressed into service for Operation Dingo. They were eventually replaced by the BAe Hawk 60 in the early 1980s. After 30 years service, they were the last Vampires used on operations anywhere in the world.[30]


  • DH.100: three prototypes to specification E.6/41.
    • LZ548 first flown 20 September1943
    • LZ551 first flown 17 March 1944 and modified for deck landing trials, the first jet aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier, on display in 2013 at the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
    • MP838 first flown on 21 January 1944, the first armed aircraft.
  • Vampire Mk I: single-seat fighter version for the RAF; 244 production aircraft being built.
  • Mk II: three prototypes, with Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet engine. One built and two conversions.
  • F.3: single-seat fighter for the RAF. Two prototypes were converted from the Mk 1; 202 production aircraft were built, 20 were exported to Norway
  • Mk IV: Nene-engined project, not built.
  • FB.5: single-seat fighter-bomber version. Powered by the Goblin 2 turbojet; 930 built for the RAF and 88 for export.
  • FB.6: single-seat fighter-bomber. Powered by a Goblin 3 turbojet; 178 built, 100 built in Switzerland for the Swiss Air Force.
  • Mk 8: Ghost-engined, one conversion from Mk 1.
  • FB.9: tropicalised fighter-bomber through addition of air conditioning to Mark 5. Powered by Goblin 3 turbojet; 326 built, mostly by de Havilland, but also by Fairey Aviation.
  • Mk 10 or DH.113 Vampire: Goblin-powered two-seater prototype; two built.
  • NF.10: two-seat night fighter version for the RAF; 95 built including 29 as the NF.54.
  • Sea Vampire Mk 10: prototype for deck trials. One conversion.
  • Mk 11 or DH.115 Vampire Trainer: private venture, two-seat jet trainer prototype.
  • T.11: two-seat training version. Powered by a Goblin 35 turbojet; 731 were built by DH and Fairey Aviation. Some fitted with ejection seats.
  • Sea Vampire F.20: naval version of the FB.5; 18 built by English Electric.
  • Sea Vampire F.21: six aircraft converted from F.3s with strengthened belly and arrester hook for trials of undercarriage-less landings on flexible decks.[31]
  • Sea Vampire T.22: two-seat training version for the Royal Navy; 73 built by De Havilland.
  • FB.25: FB.5 variants; 25 exported to New Zealand
  • F.30: single-seat fighter-bomber version for the RAAF. Powered by Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet; 80 built in Australia.
  • FB.31: Nene-engined, 29 built in Australia.
  • F.32: one Australian conversion with air conditioning.
  • T.33: two-seat training version. Powered by the Goblin turbojet; 36 were built in Australia.
  • T.34: two-seat training version for the Royal Australian Navy; five were built in Australia.
  • T.34A: Vampire T.34s fitted with ejection seats.
  • T.35: modified two-seat training version; 68 built in Australia.
  • T.35A: T.33 conversions to T.35 configuration.
  • FB.50: exported to Sweden as the J 28B; 310 built, 12 of which were eventually rebuilt to T.55 standard.
  • FB.51: export prototype (one conversion) to France.
  • FB.52: export version of Mk 6, 101 built; 36 exported to Norway and in use from 1949 to 1957
  • FB.52A: single-seat fighter-bomber for the Italian Air Force; 80 built in Italy.
  • NF.54: export version of Vampire NF.10 for the Italian Air Force; 29 being built.
  • T.55: export version of the DH.115 trainer; 216 built and six converted from the T.11.
  • S.N.C.A.S.E. 'Vampire' FB.53: Four pre-series single-seat fighter-bombers for the Armee de l'Air; 250 built in France, as the Sud-Est SE 535 Mistral.
  • S.N.C.A.S.E. SE-532 Mistral: Initial production version of the Mk.53 for the ArmĂ©e de l'Air; 97 built.
  • S.N.C.A.S.E. SE-535 Mistral: Development of the SE-532, 150 built for the ArmĂ©e de l'Air.


File:Hatzerim 290110 Vampire.jpg
Vampire bearing Lebanese colours at Hatzerim, Israel
File:Letecké muzeum Kbely (143).jpg
Swiss Air Force Vampire at Letecké muzeum Kbely
23x15px Austria
23x15px Australia
23x15px Burma
23x15px Canada
23x15px Ceylon
23x15px Chile
23x15px Dominican Republic
23x15px Egypt
23x15px Finland
23x15px France
Template:Country data India
Template:Country data Indonesia
Template:Country data Iraq
23x15px Ireland
23x15px Italy
Template:Country data Japan
Template:Country data Jordan
23x15px Katanga
23x15px Lebanon
23x15px Mexico
23x15px New Zealand
23x15px Norway
23x15px Portugal
23x15px Rhodesia
23x15px Saudi Arabia
23x15px South Africa
23x15px Sweden
23x16px  Switzerland
23x15px Syria
23x15px United Kingdom
23x15px Venezuela
23x15px Zimbabwe


Although 80+ Vampires are still airworthy, only a small number are flying:

  • 23x16px  SwitzerlandTwo DH-100 Mk.6(HB-RVH & HB-RVN) and two DH-115 Trainer (HB-RVF & HB-RVJ)
  • 23x15px Norway - Two other ex-Swiss vampires, a T.55 and an FB.52 are operated by the Norweigian Airforce Historical Squadron, and fly at many displays in Europe[34]
  • 23x15px United Kingdom - An ex-Swiss Vampire T.55 was brought to the UK and repainted in RAF camouflage, and is now operated by the Classic Air Force out of Coventry airport registered as G-HELV.[35] An airworthy Vampire T.11 is operated by the Vampire Preservation Group from North Weald in Essex, UK.[36]
  • 23x15px USA - Several ex-Swiss and ex-Australian Vampires operate as collectors' aircraft in the United States. Several other US-based Vampires are abandoned and in disrepair.
  • 23x15px Australia - One ex-Australian two-seat Mk 35W Vampire, S/N A79-617 was restored by Red Star Aviation of Hackettstown, New Jersey and then repatriated to Australia, where it is displayed in air shows. Two ex-RAAF Mk 35s (A79-637 and A79-665) are owned by the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) at Illawarra Regional Airport, NSW, one of which is being restored to flying condition.

An ex-RNZAF T.11 is being restored at the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum.[37]

Survivor accidents

On 6 June 2009, the world's oldest flying jet, a Vampire built in 1947, formerly of the RCAF and owned by the Wings of Flight Air Museum in Batavia, New York, crashed during an emergency landing at Rochester International Airport. The aircraft had just taken off to fly to Batavia but returned due to engine trouble. Experiencing a total flameout the pilot belly landed on the grass parallel to the runway. The aircraft struck a berm near the taxiway which caused substantial damage.[38] The pilot escaped with minor injuries. The aircraft had previously been restored with funding from actor John Travolta.

South African Air Force Museum, Zwartkop, Pretoria has an airworthy Vampire T-11 which is flown occasionally, usually at their airshows. In August 2014, a privately owned ex-Swiss Air Force Vampire T-55 suffered a nose gear failure upon landing, resulting in minor damage to the aircraft. It is expected to be repaired and returned to flyable service.

Aircraft on display

File:Whoa 026.jpg
Vampire built under licence for the Swiss Air Force in 1969 as an FB.6 painted as an F.3 in RCAF service (Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum).

Examples of the de Havilland Vampire on display include:

Czech Republic
New Zealand
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
United Kingdom
United States

Specifications (Vampire FB.6)

File:Vampire FB5 Silh.jpg
de Havilland Vampire FB.5
File:DH-115 MK 55 Vampire cocpit.jpg
Cockpit layout of the Vampire FB.6

Data from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft[63]

General characteristics



Notable appearances in media

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists



  1. ^ On 6 November 1945, a Ryan FR Fireball, designed to utilize its piston engine during takeoff and landing, had a piston engine failure on final approach. The pilot started the jet engine, performing the first jet-powered carrier landing, albeit unintentionally, although the Fireball was not a high performance jet fighter like the Vampire.[10]
  2. ^ Quote: "The Vampire had been conceived during the war as a high-altitude fighter..."[17]


  1. ^ Gunston 1981, p. 52.
  2. ^ Buttler 2000, p. 201.
  3. ^ Gunston 1981, p. 49.
  4. ^ Gunston 1981, p. 50.
  5. ^ Jackson 1987, p. 484.
  6. ^ Jackson 1987, pp. 496—501.
  7. ^ "Flight Pilots a Jet", Flight, 1947: 610 
  8. ^ Gunston 1992, p. 454.
  9. ^ Brown 1985, pp. 32–34.
  10. ^ "First Jet Landing", Naval Aviation News (United States Navy), March 1946: 6 .
  11. ^ Brown 1976, pp. 126–7.
  12. ^ Brown 1976, pp. 132–6.
  13. ^ Jackson 1987, p. 424.
  14. ^ "How The Vampires Crossed", Flight, 22 July 1948: 105 
  15. ^ Dorr 1998, p. 119.
  16. ^ Wood, William ‘Bill’ (1997), Only Birds and Fools Fly, UK, retrieved 6 October 2009 .
  17. ^ Watkins 1996, p. 58.
  18. ^ Jackson 1987, pp.429-430
  19. ^ "RAAF Museum: RAAF Aircraft Series 2 A79 DHA Vampire". 
  20. ^ Milberry 1984, p. 212.
  21. ^ Milberry 1984, pp. 212, 215.
  22. ^ Birtles 1986, p. 37.
  23. ^ Birtles 1986, p. 59.
  24. ^ Pakistani Air-to-Air Victories, Air Combat Information Group, 2003, retrieved 10 June 2009 .
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Thomas 2005, pp. 30, 32.
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  • Bain, Gordon (1992). De Havilland: A Pictorial Tribute. London: AirLife Publishing. ISBN 1-85648-243-X. .
  • Birtles, Philip (1986). De Havilland Vampire, Venom and Sea Vixen. London: Ian Allen. ISBN 0-7110-1566-X. .
  • Brown, Eric (1976). "Vampire on a Trampoline". Air Enthusiast Quarterly (Bromley, UK: Fine Scroll) (2): 126–136. .
  • ——— (January 1985). "Dawn of the Carrier Jet". Air International 28 (1): 31–37. ISSN 0306-5634. .
  • Buttler, Anthony "Tony" (2000). British Secret Projects: Jet Fighters Since 1950. Leicester, UK: Midland. ISBN 1-85780-095-8. .
  • Dorr, Robert F (1998). "Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, Variant Briefing". Wings of Fame: The Journal of Class Combat Aircraft (London: AIRTime Publishing) 11. ISBN 1-86184-017-9. .
  • Gunston, William "Bill" (1981). Fighters of the Fifties. Cambridge, UK: Patrick Stephens. ISBN 0-85059-463-4. .
  • ——— (1992). et al. "Vampire Fighters Lead Victory Day fly-by". The Chronicle of Aviation (Liberty, MO: JL). ISBN 1-872031-30-7. .
  • Harrison, W. A. (2000). De Havilland Vampire. Warpaint series No.27. Buckinghamshire, UK: Hall Park Books. ASIN B001PDL8RK. ISSN 1363-0369. 
  • Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982–1985). London: Orbis Publishing. 1985. .
  • Jackson, A.J (1987). De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 (3rd ed.). London: Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-802-X. .
  • Milberry, Lawrence "Larry" (1984). Sixty Years: The RCAF and Air Command 1924–1984. Toronto: Canav Books. ISBN 0-07-549484-1. .
  • Thomas, Andrew (September–October 2005). "'Booms' Over the 'Bush': De Havilland Vampires in Rhodesian Service". Air Enthusiast (Stamford, UK: Key Publishing) (119): 30–39. ISSN 0143-5450. .
  • Watkins, David (1996). de Havilland Vampire: The Complete History. Thrupp, Stroud, UK: Budding Books. ISBN 1-84015-023-8. .

External links

External video
16px Vampire engine start at AFB Swartkop
16px In cockpit flight view of South African Air Force Museum Vampire T 55 flown by Col. Rama Iyer