Personnel from the South African Air Force removed de Havilland Vampire FB.52 235 from its pole at AFB Langebaanweg recently
The jet – one of 56 examples operated by the nation between 1950 and 1978 – is to undergo refurbishment with the resident 2 Air Servicing Unit.
In a statement issued at the end of last year, the unit noted: “The Vampire ‘gate guard’ has been steadily deteriorating over the past few years. It was decided to remove it in order to restore it. This in itself poses its own very unique and difficult challenges given the airframe’s fragility.”
During 235’s previous restoration, the jet’s wooden nose structure was replaced using aluminium to withstand the elements. With much of the effort expected to focus on the airframe’s weather-beaten fuselage it will be rebuilt using more robust materials to ensure its longevity.