Planes of Fame Air Museum
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Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  de Havilland F.3 'Vampire'


  • In 1941 The British Air Ministry issued specifications for a jet fighter built around the de Havilland Goblin turbo- jet engine. The first prototype of the DH 100, then called the Spider Crab, flew in September 1943. The unique twin boom design was virtually dictated by the relatively low thrust of the early engines which required that the exhaust section be kept as short as possible. The all-metal wings were mounted to the midsection of the fuselage which placed the pilot far up front in a bubble canopy which offered excellent visibility. The prototype reportedly had excellent handling characteristics, with speeds upwards of 500 mph, a significant improvement over its piston-engine contemporaries. On 3 December 1945 a Royal Navy "Sea Vampire" became the first jet-powered fighter to operate off the decks of an aircraft carrier.
  • By 1946, the renamed DH 100 Vampire had entered active service. Later improvements lead to the Mk. III version with larger fuel tanks and an improved tail design. Large scale production, however, did not occur until 1949 when the Mk 5 version came into being with shorter wings, longer landing gear, and hard points for rockets and bombs. The final incarnation was the NF Mk 10 version, a two-seat night fighter.
  • The Vampire was also shown to be an excellent trainer due its docile handling characteristics, and thus saw service in over 25 countries. This classic early jet saw service with the Swiss Air Force as late as 1991. The museum's aircraft was operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force.



Status: Static Display
Manufacturer: de Havilland Aircraft Company Limited
Year: 1947
Model: F.3 Vampire
Registration Number:
Serial Number: 
Crew: 1
Max T/O Weight: 11,970 lb.
Span: 40 ft. 0 in.
Length: 30 ft. 9 in.
Height: 8 ft. 10 in.
Maximum Speed: 531 mph
Cruise Speed: 350 mph
Rate of Climb: 4,590 ft/min
Power Plant: 1 × de Havilland Goblin II turbojet engine, 3,100 lb. thrust
Range: 1,170 miles
Service Ceiling: 43,500 ft.
Armament: Four 20-mm cannon and eight 60-lb. rockets or two 1,000 bombs


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