Monday, June 19, 2017

J28 Vampire

J28 Vampire at Västerås Aviation Museum.
 Pilot: Curt Cronerud. Filmed by: Tommy Olsson.

The de Havilland Vampire was a British jet fighter developed and manufactured by the de Havilland Aircraft Company. Work on the aircraft began during the Second World War as a largely experimental aircraft suitable for combat that harnessed the groundbreaking innovation of jet propulsion it was quickly decided to opt for a single-engine, twin-boom aircraft equipped with the Halford H.1 turbojet engine (later the de Havilland Goblin). Originally ordered as an experimental aircraft only, the decision to mass-produce the aircraft as an interceptor for the Royal Air Force (RAF) was finalised in May 1944.

In 1946, the first production aircraft entered service with the RAF, only months after the conflict had come to a close. The Vampire was the second jet fighter, after the Gloster Meteor, operated by the RAF and the first to be powered by one jet engine. Aside from its propulsion system and twin-boom configuration, it was a relatively conventional aircraft. The Vampire quickly replaced many wartime piston-engine fighter aircraft and was in front-line service until 1953, after which the Vampire was primarily assigned to secondary roles such as pilot training and ground attack, for which specialist variants of the type were produced.
In 1966, the type was retired by the RAF, after being replaced by more capable jet-powered fighters such as the Hawker Hunter and Gloster Javelin.