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De Havilland DH 113 Vampire

 

 DH113-01
DH 113 Vampire NF10 prototype G-5-2 showing the extended tailplane adopted for production aircraft.
 
Although developed earlier than the Venom, the DH113 Vampire Night-Fighter (NF) had a later type number in the company sequence by the time it was produced. It was developed from the single-seat Vampire FB.5 as a private venture low-cost Night-Fighter for the export market. It featured lengthened and wider two-seat, side-by-side arrangement and a wooden fuselage nacelle with AI Mk.10 radar within a nose radome. A more powerful 3,350 lb Goblin 3 engine was fitted and first flight was from Hatfield on 28th August 1949 by Geoffrey Pike.
 
The first prototype DH Vampire NF10 (G-5-2) was flown for the first time at Hatfield on 28th August 1949 with test pilot Geoffrey Pike at the controls.  Nine days later it made its public debut at the SBAC Show at Farnborough and just a month later Egypt became its first customer when it ordered 12 aircraft.  This order was never fulfilled due to a UK Government enforce embargo due to the increasing hostilities between Egypt and Israel.
 
 DH113-02
The prototype DH 113 Vampire NF10 G-5-2 takes off for the first time on 28 August 1949.
 
The enlarged nose section resulted in concerns over both directional and longitudinal stability as well as overall control and because of this the prototype was test flown with enlarged triangular tail fins.
 
 DH113-03
DH 113 Vampire NF10 prototype G-5-2 being tested with modified fins in November 1949.
 
These were later found not to be necessary and were not fitted to production aircraft. An increase in tailplane span was required however and this is a characteristic feature of production two-seat Vampires. The extended tailplane was also used by the DH112 Venom and Sea Venom.
 
The RAF took over the Egyptian Air Force order and put them into service as an interim measure between the retirement of the de Havilland Mosquito night fighter and the full introduction of the Meteor night fighter.
 
Three prototypes were built, the third of which was completed as the prototype night fighter, the DH112 Venom.  The DH113 was originally designed utilising the wings and tail of the single-seat vampire day-fighter which could accommodate a side-by-side configuration, albeit slight offset behind the pilot.
 

DH113 Vampire NF10 aircraft that were originally ordered by Egypt were taken into RAF service in the UK as the NF.Mk.10 and this then led to the further procurement of additional RAF aircraft.  

 

 DH113-04
DH 113 Vampire NF10 WP237 in RAF service in April 1951.
 
The aircraft became the first RAF jet Night-Fighter when the initial Vampires replaced Mosquitos of 25 Squadron at West Malling in July 1951, two other home-defence units (RAF Coltishall and RAF Leuchars) were also equipped with this aircraft. By November 1953 the short operational life began coming to an end with the arrival of the Venom NF.2s for 23 Squadron.
 
Equipped with an AI Mk X radar, the type was also operated by the Indian and Italian Air Forces.
 
 DH113-05
DH113 Vampire NF54 ID606 of the Indian AF on display at Palam, New Delhi.
 
Export sales were to Switzerland, who had one example for evaluation, and Italy, followed by India who acquired surplus RAF aircraft. Many of the stored aircraft had their radar removed and were modified for navigation training with a clear-view canopy, but still without ejector seats. These aircraft were used by 1 ANS at Topcliffe, 2 ANS at Thorney Island and the Central Navigation & Control School (CNCS) at Shawbury, the last retiring in September 1959.
 
Total production was of 93 aircraft, comprising three prototypes, 76 aircraft for the RAF and 14 Vampire NF54 aircraft for the Italian Air Force. The Indian Air Force received 30 ex-RAF NF10 aircraft delivered between 1957 and 1958.
 
Removal of the radar from the night fighter and fitting of dual controls resulted in a jet trainer model of the aircraft, the DH.115 Vampire which entered British service as the Vampire T.11.
 
Surviving DH 113 are Vampire NF10 ID606 at the Indian Air Force Museum, Palam, New Delhi, India, and Vampire NF54 MM6152 at the Italian Air Force Museum, Vigna di Valle, Italy.
 
Engine: De Havilland Goblin 35 B, 14911 N / 3,350 lbst
Length: 34.613 ft / 10.55 m
Height: 6.562 ft / 2.0 m
Wingspan: 38.025 ft / 11.59 m
Wing area: 262.642 sq.ft / 24.4 sq.m
Max take off weight: 13119.8 lb / 5950.0 kg
Weight empty: 7673.4 lb / 3480.0 kg
Max. weight carried: 5446.4 lb / 2470.0 kg
Max. speed: 454 kts / 840 km/h / 538 mph at sea level
Initial climb rate: 3346.46 ft/min / 17.0 m/s
Service ceiling: 32808 ft / 10000 m
Wing load: 50.02 lb/sq.ft / 244.0 kg/sq.m
Range: 324 nm / 600 km
Range with drop tanks: 1,220 miles
Endurance: 1 h
Crew: 2
Armament: four 20mm Hispano cannon

 

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