As at the end of the year 1945 the H.2-Ghost-engine produced a thrust of 22.3 kN, it was decided to modify the D.H.100 Vampire and to replace its H.1-Goblin-engine. So that the 5th operational Vampire was the first D.H.100 being equipped with the new Ghost-engine, the first flight was on 8th May 1947 and on 23rd March 1948 it reached a new altitude record with a ceiling of 59,446 ft. The flight was made by test pilot John Cunningham. To get this record the wingspan of the Vampire F.1 was made about 2.44 m larger.
The Vampire FB.8 or thin-wing Vampire called Ghost-variant was used as an alternative until the Vampire successors Hawker Hunter and Supermarine Swift were operational. After the specification requirements were made by the Air Ministry and the first prototypes were built it was noticed that the new aircraft has many differences to the Vampire, so that it was called D.H.112.
In February 1949 two Vampire fuselages, which were license built by English Electric, were delivered to a de Havilland factory in Hatfield, where they were modified into D.H.112 prototypes and nicknamed “Venom”. After six months, ground testing was begun and on 2nd September 1949 the first flight took place. After testing at the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment the two prototypes were sent back to de Havilland, to modify them and to fix some problems. Between 8th July 1949 and 28th February 1951, de Havilland received three contracts to built 375 Venom FB.1.
The Venom FB.Mk 1 entered operational service with the RAF in August 1952.
- FB.Mk 1: Initial RAF production version with 4,850 lb st (21.57 kN) Ghost 103.
- NF.Mk 2: Wide fuselage version of FB.Mk 1 with radar and side by side seating for pilot and radar operator.
- NF.Mk 2A: redesignation of NF.Mk 2 aircraft after fitting of clear view canopy and modified tail unit.
- NF.Mk 3: Improved NF>Mk 2 with powered ailerons, power jettison system for canopy and 4,950 lb st (22.02 kN) Ghost 104.