de Havilland Vampire

Sea Vampire
Vampire T.11 of the UK Vampire Preservation Group displays at the Cotswold Air Show
Role Fighter aircraft
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer de Havilland
English Electric
First flight 20 September 1943
Introduction 1946
Retired 1979 Rhodesian Air Force
Primary users Royal Air Force
Royal Navy
Number built 3,268[1]
Developed into de Havilland Venom

The de Havilland Vampire is a British jet fighter developed and manufactured by the de Havilland Aircraft Company. Development of the aircraft began during the Second World War as an aircraft suitable for combat that harnessed the new innovation of jet propulsion; it was quickly decided to opt for a single-engine, twin-boom aircraft equipped with the Halford H.1 turbojet engine, which was later known as the de Havilland Goblin. Originally ordered as an experimental aircraft only, the decision to mass-produce the aircraft as an interceptor for the Royal Air Force (RAF) was finalised in May 1944.

In 1946, the first production aircraft entered service with the RAF, months after the conflict had come to a close. The Vampire was the second jet fighter, after the Gloster Meteor, operated by the RAF, and it was the service's first to be powered by a single jet engine. Aside from its propulsion system and twin-boom configuration, it was a relatively conventional and unsophisticated aircraft. The Vampire was quickly used to replace many wartime piston-engine fighter aircraft. The RAF operated it as a front-line fighter until 1953, after which the Vampire was primarily assigned to secondary roles such as pilot training as well as ground attack operations, for which dedicated variants of the type were produced.

In 1966, the type was retired entirely by the RAF, having been replaced by more capable jet-powered fighters such as the Hawker Hunter and Gloster Javelin. During its service, the Vampire had achieved several aviation firsts and records, including becoming the first jet aircraft to traverse the Atlantic Ocean. It had been largely successfully upon the export market, having been sold to many other nations and operated by a wide range of diverse air forces around the world. It participated in conflicts including 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.



In January 1941, Sir Henry Tizard made an informal approach to the de Havilland Aircraft Company, suggesting that the company proceed to design a fighter aircraft that would harness the revolutionary in-development jet propulsion technology, along with an appropriate engine to go with it. While no official specification had then been issued, de Havilland decided to proceed with an exploration of the concept; the company quickly conceived of a single-engined aircraft that had air-intakes set into the wing roots to feed a centrally-mounted engine, which made use of centrifugal design. The aero-engine designer Major Frank Halford had been given access to Frank Whittle's pioneering work on gas turbines; for the projected jet-powered fighter, Halford decided to proceed with the design of a "straight through" centrifugal engine capable of generating 3,000 lb of thrust, which was considered to be high at the time. Halford's engine was developed, and emerged as the Halford H.1. By April 1941, design work on the engine had been completed; a prototype H.1 engine performed its first test run one year later.[2]

The low power output of the early jet engines had meant that only twin-engined aircraft designs were considered to be practical during the early stages of development; however, as more powerful jet engines were quickly developed, particularly Halford's H.1 (later known as the de Havilland Goblin), the practicalities of single-engined jet fighter were soon realized.[3] de Havilland were approached to produce an airframe for the H.1 as insurance against Germany using jet bombers against Britain; this was considered more important that de Havilland's own suggestion of a high-speed jet bomber.[4] Their first design, designated as the DH.99, was an all-metal, twin-boom, tricycle undercarriage aircraft armed with four cannon. The use of a twin boom enabled the jet pipe to be kept relatively short, which avoided the power loss that would have occurred if a long pipe was used, as would have been necessary by a conventional fuselage. It also put the rudder empennage clear of interference from the exhaust. Performance was estimated at 455 miles per hour (732 km/h) at sea level and initial climb of 4,590 ft/min (1,400 m/min) on 2,700 lb thrust. The Ministry of Aircraft Production (MAP) expressed doubts regarding the estimations for the aircraft's performance and weight; however, the project received permission to proceed in July 1941.[4]

The DH.99 design was soon modified to incorporate a combined wood-and-metal construction in light of recommendations from the MAP; the design was thus renumbered to DH.100 by November 1941. The aircraft was considered to be a largely experimental design due to its use of a single engine and some unorthodox features, unlike the Gloster Meteor which had been specified for production early on.[3] In February 1942, the MAP suggested dropping the project for a bomber but de Havilland stated that the twin-boom was, despite Ministry doubts, only an engineering problem to be overcome. On 22 April 1942, the construction of two prototypes (serials LZ548 and LZ551) was authorized by the Ministry while Specification E.6/41 was produced and issued to cover the work.[5] Accordingly, the company proceeded with the detailed design work phase of the DH.100 in early 1942.

The first Vampire F.1, in 1945. Note the early squared fin and rudders and high tailplane position

Internally designated as the DH.100 and originally named the "Spider Crab", the aircraft was entirely a de Havilland project, being principally worked upon at the company's facility at Hatfield, Hertfordshire.[6] The construction of the aircraft exploited de Havilland's extensive experience in the use of moulded plywood for aircraft construction; many design features that were used upon the DH.100, such as the fuselage nacelle and tall triangular vertical surfaces, had been present on the company's preceding Mosquito, a widely produced fast bomber of the war.[7]

The layout of the DH.100 adopted a single jet engine which was placed within an egg-shaped fuselage, the latter being primarily composed of plywood for the forward section and aluminium throughout the aft section, completed with conventional straight mid-mounted wings. Air brakes were present upon the wings to slow the aircraft to better enable it to manoeuvre into a firing position behind slower aircraft - a feature that had also been incorporated in the Meteor. Armament comprised four 20mm Hispano Mk V cannon located underneath the nose; from the onset of the design phase of development, even when the aircraft was officially intended to serve only as an experimental aircraft, the provision for the cannon armament had been included.[7]

On 20 September 1943, the first DH.100 prototype, serial number LZ548/G, conducted its maiden flight from Hatfield Aerodrome; it was piloted by Geoffrey de Havilland Jr, the company's chief test pilot and son of the company's founder.[8] This flight took place only six months after the Meteor had performed its own maiden flight; the first flight had been delayed due to the need to dispatch the only available engine suitable for flight to America to replace one destroyed in ground engine runs in Lockheed's prototype XP-80 jet fighter. A total of three prototypes, LZ548/G, LZ551/G, and MP838/G were produced in order to support the type's development.[7]

Production and further development

On 13 May 1944, an initial production order for 120 Vampire Mk I aircraft was received; it was quickly increased to 300 aircraft soon thereafter.[7] The production Vampire Mk I did not fly until April 1945. Due to the extensive wartime pressures upon de Havilland's production facilities for existing aircraft type, English Electric Aircraft undertook production of the Vampire at their Preston, Lancashire factories instead; the company would go onto produce the majority of the aircraft. Only about half a dozen production aircraft had been built by the end of the Second World War, although it did not result in the type becoming a victim of the extensive post-war cutbacks that were soon implemented, terminating the production of many existing types along with the development of several more.[7]

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

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 measure between the retirement of the de Havilland Mosquito night fighter and the full introduction of the Meteor night fighter.[9] 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.[10]

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.

Records and achievements

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.[11] The Vampire was a versatile aircraft, setting many aviation firsts and records, being the first RAF fighter with a top speed in excess of 500 mph (800 km/h). 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.[12][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.[14] 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.[15] 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).[16]

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.[17] At the same time USAF Colonel David C. Schilling led a group of F-80 Shooting Stars flying to Fürstenfeldbruck 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".[18] Another said that the Vampire pilots celebrated “winning the race against the rival F-80s.”[19]


Cockpit layout of the Vampire FB Mk2

The de Havilland Vampire was a jet-powered twin-boom aircraft, typically employed in the fighter and fighter bomber roles.[7] Aviation author Francis K Mason referred to it as being "the last unsophisticated single-engine front line aircraft to serve with Britain's Fighter Command"; the Vampire was a relatively straightforward aircraft, employing only manually-operated flight controls, no radar, a simple airframe, and, aside from the propulsion system, was otherwise relatively conventional.[7] The use of a twin-boom tail configuration was one of the only non-traditional elements of the airframe in comparison to its contemporaries.[7]

The Vampire was first powered by a single Halford H1 (later and more widely known as the de Havilland Goblin) turbojet engine, initially capable of producing 2,100 lbf (9.3 kN) of thrust, designed by Frank B Halford and manufactured by de Havilland. This engine was a centrifugal-flow type, a design later superseded after 1949 by the slimmer axial-flow units. In 1947, Wing Commander Maurice Smith, assistant 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".[20]

Initially, the relatively high fuel consumption of the Goblin engine had provided early service models of the Vampire with a disappointingly limited range, a common problem to all of the early jet aircraft; later marks of the type featured greatly increased internal fuel capacities as a result. As improvements to the aircraft were implemented, the engine was subject to considerable alterations and upgrades, often to incorporate the rapid advances made in jet propulsion early on. Later-built Vampire Mk Is were powered by the Goblin II; the F.3 onwards used the improved Goblin III instead. Certain marks were also operated as aerial test-beds for the Rolls-Royce Nene engine, leading to the FB30 and 31 variants built in Australia. Due to the low positioning of the engine, a Vampire could not remain on idle for long as the heat from the jet exhaust would melt the tarmac behind the aircraft.

Operational history

United Kingdom

Vampire NF.10 of 25 Squadron RAF in 1954
Royal Air Force

In 1946, the first Vampire Mk I fighters entered RAF service in the interceptor role.[7][N 2] Soon thereafter, considerable numbers of Mk I aircraft began equipping RAF squadrons of the Second Tactical Air Force stationed in Germany, often to replace wartime fighters such as the Hawker Typhoon, Hawker Tempest, and North American Mustang. On 3 July 1948, the Vampire became the first jet aircraft to equip peacetime units of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, gradually replacing the de Havilland Mosquito in this capacity.[7]

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 British Commonwealth's 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 single-seat Vampire to advanced training roles in the mid-1950s, and the type was generally out of RAF service by the end of the decade.

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.

With the replacement in the training role by the BAC Jet Provost by 1965 only a small number of Vampire T.11s were in service for training foreign students until they were retired in 1967.[22] A small number of aircraft in secondary roles carried on until the last operational aircraft were withdrawn from service with No. 3 Civilian Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit at Exeter at the end of 1971.[22]

One aircraft continued in service with the Royal Air Force as part of the "Vintage Pair" display team (along with a Gloster Meteor) until it crashed in 1986.[22]

Royal Navy
A Royal Navy Sea Vampire making a touch-and-go landing on the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Antietam (CVA-36)

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.[23]


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 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.[24]


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."[25] 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.[26]


In 1954, Egypt was operating 49 Vampires, which had been acquired from both Italy and Britain, as fighter-bombers.[27] In 1955, twelve Vampire trainers were ordered, deliveries of which started in July that year.[28] During the Suez Crisis, the Egyptian Air Force is recorded as having lost a total of four Vampires in combat with Israeli jet aircraft.[29]


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.


As part of a larger effort to build up the post-war French Air Force, a number of Goblin-powered Vampire FB.5s were delivered to France from 1949 onwards; the Vampire was subsequently manufactured under licence by Sud-Est at Marignane, the first 67 aircraft were assembled from British-produced components followed by another 183 aircraft incorporating a greater proportion of French-produced elements.[30][31] The French developed the FB.53, a Nene-powered variant which was named in French service as the Mistral. 250 were built with Hispano-Suiza built engines, French ejector seats and an enlarged wing root ducts. The first Mistral flew on 2 April 1951.[31]


One of the first three Vampires to be delivered to the Indian Air Force. Note the Chakra roundel. This aircraft was later incorporated into No. 7 Sqn

No. 7 Squadron, Indian Air Force (IAF) received Vampires in January 1949. No. 17 Squadron IAF also operated the type. No. 37 Squadron IAF flew a number of Vampire NF54 night reconnaissance missions over Goa during the 1961 Indian annexation of Portuguese India, sometimes coming under anti-aircraft fire.[32]

On 1 September 1965, during the Indo-Pakistani War, No. 45 Squadron IAF responded to a request for strikes against a counter-attack by the Pakistani Army (Operation Grand Slam), and twelve 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.[33][34] The Vampires were withdrawn from front line service after these losses.


The Vampire was licensed-built in Italy for the Italian Air Force, Macchi at Varese and Fiat at Turin built 80 Vampire FB.52s. Italy later ordered 14 Vampire NF.10s designated the NF.52.


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.


Two Swedish Air Force de Havilland Vampires

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 to be the backbone of the fighter force. A total of 310 of the more modern FB.50s, 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 named J 28C were used for training.

The Swedish Vampires were retired as fighters in 1956 and replaced with the J 29 (SAAB Tunnan) and J 34 (Hawker Hunter). The last Vampire trainer was retired in 1968.


Swiss Air Force de Havilland Vampire T55

In 1946 the Swiss Air Force purchased four Vampire F.1s, one aircraft crashed on 2 August 1946, the other three remained in service until 1961. In 1949 the Swiss government signed a contract to build the Vampire in Switzerland using British-built Goblin engines, and a batch of 85 Vampire FB.6s were built.[35][31] In 1952 the first production Vampire NF.10 was delivered to Switzerland for evaluation.[36]

The first batch of 75 DH-100 Mk.6 (J-1005 to J-1079) was purchased in 1949. Most of them passed out of service in 1968/1969, the last ones in 1973. The second batch was 100 DH-100 Mk.6 (J-1101 to J-1200) built under licence by the Swiss aviation industry. In use from 1951 to 1974 and in storage until 1988. Three DH-100 Mk.6 (J-1080 to J-1082) were built from spare parts. 39 DH-115 Mk 55 Vampire two-seat trainers (U-1201 to U-1239) from 1953 to 1990.[37][38]


ex-Rhodesian Air Force De Havilland Vampire T.11 (DH.115)

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.[39] These were regularly deployed to Aden between 1957 and 1961, supporting British counter-insurgency operations.[40] 21 more two-seaters and 13 single-seaters were supplied by South Africa in the late 1960s and early 1970s.[41] 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.[42]



de Havilland Vampire T.35 (A79-612) in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
Vampire bearing Lebanese colours at Hatzerim, Israel
Swiss Air Force Vampire at Letecké muzeum Kbely
 Dominican Republic
 New Zealand
 Saudi Arabia
 South Africa
 United Kingdom

Surviving aircraft

Although today over eighty Vampires are still airworthy, only a small number are flying.



New Zealand


South Africa



United Kingdom

United States

Aircraft on display

No. 14 Squadron RNZAF Vampire FB.9 on gate duty at Ohakea, New Zealand
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:


RAAF Museum Point Cook Victoria. F.30. Fighter World, Williamtown, NSW. A79-1 the first jet aircraft to be built in Australia.

Czech Republic
New Zealand
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
A Sea Vampire on display at the British Fleet Air Arm Museum
United Kingdom
WZ590 on display at the Imperial War Museum Duxford in 2016
United States

Specifications (Vampire FB.6)

de Havilland Vampire FB.5
Cockpit layout of the Vampire FB.6

Data from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft[83]

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.[13]
  2. Quote: "The Vampire had been conceived during the war as a high-altitude fighter..."[21]


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  2. Gunston, Bill. "World Encyclopedia of Aero Engines - 5th edition." Sutton Publishing, 2006. p. 62.
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  4. 1 2 Buttler 2004, p. 201.
  5. Buttler 2004 p. 203.
  6. Gunston 1981, p. 49.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Mason 1965, p. 3.
  8. Gunston 1981, p. 50.
  9. Jackson 1987, p. 484.
  10. Jackson 1987, pp. 496—501.
  11. Gunston 1992, p. 454.
  12. Brown 1985, pp. 32–34.
  13. "First Jet Landing", Naval Aviation News, United States Navy: 6, March 1946
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  15. Brown 1976, pp. 132–6.
  16. Jackson 1987, p. 424.
  17. "How The Vampires Crossed", Flight, LIV (2065): 105, 22 July 1948
  18. Dorr 1998, p. 119.
  19. Wood, William ‘Bill’ (1997), Only Birds and Fools Fly, UK, retrieved 6 October 2009
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to De Havilland Vampire.
External video
Vampire engine start at AFB Swartkop
In cockpit flight view of South African Air Force Museum Vampire T 55 flown by Col. Rama Iyer
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