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The de Havilland D.H.100/113/115 Vampire (also: “Spider Crab”) was a single engine fighter aircraft by the British manufacturer de Havilland Aircraft Company. It became combat ready at the end of World War II, but wasn’t used.

All in all over 4400 aircraft were built, about 1100 of them were built under license. The Vampire was operational in Great Britain until 1955, trainer aircraft were used until 1966.

History Edit

Development of the Vampire began with an experimental aircraft with the specification E.6/41 in summer 1942. The first flight of the prototype called LZ548/G was made by the son of the company founder, Geoffrey de Havilland Jr. on 30th September 1943.

Due to pressures on de Havilland´s production facilities, production begin of the Vanpire Mk I was delayed to April 1945, the time the first definitive aircraft had its first flight.

The aircraft showed outstanding performance and capabilities. It was the first British aircraft able to fly at speeds of over 500 miles per hour (about 806 km/h). On 3rd December 1945 it took off and landed as the first jet aircraft from a carrier (HMS Ocean). In the year 1948 it achieved with a ceiling of 18,119 m a new altitude record.

Because of positive results during testing a special D.H.100 Mk.5 Sea Vampire variant was built for the Fleet Air Arm. This variant was used as a fighter and as a ground-attack aircraft.

The D.H.113 was a variant developed in 1949, for the Egyptian Air Force as a double seat nightfighter with modified radar. Based on this aircraft the trainer aircraft D.H.115 was developed.

The last variant of the Vampire was the trainer aircraft D.H.100 Mk.11, which entered service in 1950, about 600 units were built.

GalleryEdit

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