De Havilland Vampire

The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was a British jet-engine fighter commissioned by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Following the Gloster Meteor, it was the second jet fighter to enter service with the RAF. Although it arrived too late to see combat during the war, the Vampire served with front line RAF squadrons until 1955 and continued in use as a trainer until 1966. The Vampire also served with many air forces worldwide, setting aviation firsts and records.

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 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 LZ548/G on its maiden flight 20 September 1943 from Hatfield. The flight took place only six months after the Meteor's maiden flight. 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.

Almost 3,300 Vampires were built, a quarter of them under licence in other countries. The Vampire design was also developed into the de Havilland Venom fighter-bomber as well as naval Sea Vampire variants.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 30 ft 9 in (9.37 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft (11.58 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
  • Wing area: 262 ft² (24.34 m²)
  • Empty weight: 7,283 lb (3,304 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 12,390 lb (5,620 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × de Havilland Goblin 3 centrifugal turbojet, 3,350 lbf (14.90 kN)

  • Maximum speed: 548 mph (882 km/h)
  • Range: 1,220 mi (1,960 km)
  • Service ceiling: 42,800 ft (13,045 m)
  • Rate of climb: 4,800 ft/min (24.4 m/s)

  • 4 × 20 mm (0.79 in) Hispano Mk.V cannons
  • 8 × 3-inch "60 lb" rockets
  • 2 × 500 lb (225 kg) bombs

** De Havilland Vampire - Warbird Fare

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