de Havilland Vampire T55  N115DH

The de Havilland  Vampire was a British jet 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 1953 and continued in use as a trainer until 1966, although generally the RAF 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.

 

The Vampire also served with many air forces worldwide, setting aviation firsts and records.  The Swiss Airforce continued using Vampires (including ours) until 1990.

 

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.

Our Vampire, T55 N115DH

 

N115DH was imported from Switzerland in the 1990s.   By the late 90s she was owned by famed jet warbird pilot David VanLiere.   VanLiere sold 115DH to Pierre Wildman, who spared no expense making 115DH the most well restored Vampire in the world.

 

Wildman raced our Vampire at the Reno Air Races in 2009 and 2010, coming in 3rd behind two Viper L29s.   As the Viper L29s are currently banned from Reno, we believe that should #67 race again, she would likely win!

 

We acquired the Vampire in December of 2012, and promptly christened her "Elvira".  We are proud to count her among our collection.

Specifications (DH115 T55)

 

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two

  • Length: 30 ft 9 in

  • Wingspan: 38 ft 2 in

  • Height: 8 ft 10 in

  • Wing Area: 262 ft2

  • Empty Weight: 7,283 lb

  • Gross Weight: 12,248 lb

  • Powerplant: 1 × DeHavilland Goblin 35 Centrifugal Turbojet 3500 lbf thrust

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 500 kts, 575 mph

  • Cruising speed: 400 kts, 460 mph

  • Range: 1220 miles

  • Service Ceiling: 42,800 ft

  • Rate of Climb: 4800 ft/min

  • Thrust to Weight:  .29

Armament

  • Guns: 4 × 20 mm (0.79 in) Hispano Mk.V cannon

  • Rockets: 8 × 3-inch "60 lb" rockets

  • Bombs: or 2 × 500 lb (225 kg) bombs or two drop-tanks

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