Single engine military jet fighter

History of A79-202

The aircraft was delivered to the RAAF in November 1951 and allocated to RAAF Base Williamtown. It was damaged in a wheels-up landing in 1953 and after repairs served with Citizens Air Force No. 23 SQN from August 1955. From July 1956 it served with No. 21 SQN. The aircraft was withdrawn from service in March 1960 and became a gate guardian at the Air Training Corps on Barton Terrace, North Adelaide, in March 1962. The Vampire was later sold and came to the Museum in July 1989.



History of Type

The prototype Vampire first flew from Hatfield, UK, on 29 September 1943, piloted by Geoffrey de Havilland Jr. It was a metal aircraft except for the plywood and balsa cockpit section. Vampires entered service with the RAF in June 1946 for use as a fighter and later as a trainer.

In 1948, 80 MkI and MkII Vampires were delivered to the RAAF. All were built by De Havilland (Australia) at Bankstown, NSW, and fitted with the Rolls-Royce Nene engine. 100 two-seat trainers were also produced. The Vampire was the first jet-propelled fighter to enter service with the RAAF.


Technical Specifications

Engine: Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet of 5,000 lb thrust (22.3 kN)

Maximum take-off weight: 5,942 kg

Length: 9.4 m

Wing span: 11.6 m

Height: 2.7 m

Maximum speed: 475 kt (880 kph)

Range: 1,175 km (655 nm)

Crew: 1 pilot