Planes of Fame Air Museum
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Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  de Havillland FB.6 'Vampire'


  • In 1941 the British Air Ministry issued specifications for a jet fighter built around the de Havilland Goblin turbojet engine.  The first prototype of the DH 100 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 mid section of the fuselage, which placed the pilot far up front in a bubble canopy that offered excellent visibility.  The prototype reportedly had excellent handling characteristics with speeds upwards of 500mph, a significant improvement over its piston-engine contemporaries.  On December 3rd 1945, a Royal Navy "Sea Vampire" became the first, all-jet powered fighter to operate off the decks of a 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.


Status: Flyable
Manufacturer: de Havilland Aircraft Company Limited
Year: 1951
Model: FB.6 'Vampire'
Registration Number: N4024S
Serial Number: 638
Crew: 1
Max T/O Weight: 12,385 lb.
Span: 38 ft. 0 in.
Length: 30 ft. 9 in.
Height: 8 ft. 10 in.
Maximum Speed: 636 mph
Cruise Speed: N/A
Rate of Climb: 4,800 ft/min
Power Plant: Power Plant: 1-de Havilland Goblin turbojet with 3,350 lbs. of thrust
Range: 1,140 miles
Service Ceiling: 40,000 ft.
Armament: Four 20mm cannon & provisions for up to 2,000 lbs. of bombs


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