de Havilland Vampire: A Fangtastic Beast

In the post-Shoreham classic jet age, keeping the last RAF Vampire in the skies is no easy task. James Peene spoke to the Vampire Preservation Group to find out what’s involved


LEFT: A rare sight in UK skies, Mark Hooton's T.II is the only original RAF Vampire still in the air today ALL IMAGES DARREN HARBAR
Side-by-side seating provided good all-round visibility for both pilots. This, and the Vampire's inherent stability and docility made it a useful trainer aircraft
For armament, the Vampire had four 20mm Hispano Mk V cannons mounted in the nose
A small and simple aircraft, the Vampire's unusual design is the result of using just one, central gas turbine with a relatively short jet pipe

“The silver post-war paint scheme is a bit of a ruse, as while the wings, tail booms and nose are riveted aluminium, the Vampire is surprisingly old-school tech in a lot of ways”

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