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he Vampire ushered in the jet propulsion era for many air forces. This jet-engine fighter, produced by British aircraft manufacturer de Havilland, was constructed during WWII but it wasn't until after Germany's surrender that it actually entered into service. Thanks to its unusual design – such as the twin boom – and outstanding performance, the aircraft caused a real sensation. The Vampire was the first British aircraft to achieve a maximum speed of over 800 km/h, the first jet to land on and take off from an aircraft carrier and in 1948 set a new world altitude record of 18,119 m – which was remarkable for a plane partially constructed of wood. Some 4,400 Vampires were built, 1,100 of which under licence. 

At AIRPOWER16, the Swiss Hunter Team will showcase a de Havilland D.H.115 Vampire of the Fliegermuseum Altenrhein as part of the “Historic Jet Formation” in the flying display. This training aircraft was based on the D.H. 113 variant, a two-seater night fighter. The Swiss air force employed 39 of these Vampire trainers for blind flying from 1949 till 1990. And also the Austrian Armed Forces trained their pilots using nine D.H. 115 aircraft between 1957 and 1972. At AIRPOWER16, one of these nine Vampires can be viewed from up close at the Militärluftfahrtmuseum (military aircraft museum) on Hinterstoisser air base in Zeltweg. 

  • © Markus Dussy

© Swiss Hunter Team

Facts & Figures

Manufacturer de Havilland Aircraft Company
Version D.H. 115 Vampire Trainer
Registration HB-RVJ
Length 10,49 m
Height 2,01 m
Wingspan 11,58 m
Empty weight 3500 kg
Max. take-off weight 6170 kg
Max. speed 843 km/h
Service ceiling 10.000 m
g-limits +6,5/-2,75 g
Powerplant Goblin 35B
Thrust 1.520 kp /15,2 kN
Crew 1-2
Display Flying