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de Havilland DH115 Vampire T.11

Aircraft Overview:

The Vampire T.11 was the first advanced jet fighter trainer to use side-by-side seating. It was argued that having the instructor beside him gave the trainee a higher level of confidence, enabled each to see better what the other was doing, and gave both the same gun-sight view. So the existing broad fuselage ‘pod’ of the Vampire NF.10 two-seat radar night fighter was adapted for the dual control trainer. The wings, intakes, tail booms, undercarriage, engine installation, control, fuel tanks, identification light etc., are essentially similar to those of the Vampire FB.6. The gun installation is also similar, although the T.11 often carried only the two inboard guns. The T.11 could also carry and release bombs and RPs. Among the main system changes, the cockpit pressurisation now uses engine compressor bleed air instead of a separate blower. Compared with the FB.6, the curved leading edge fin extensions, and the extensions of the tailplane outboard of the booms, were added to improve T.11 spin recovery. Effectively they provide additional rear stabilising area to compensate for the larger nose. Other feature include a windscreen wiper, rear-hinged canopy, retractable gyro-gunsights, and ejector seats introduced on later T.11s. The T.11 was first built and flown in private venture form at Hatfield in 1950. Some 804 Vampire trainers were built altogether, serving with more than twenty air forces.

Aircraft Specifications:

Power Unit: One 3,500 lb.s.t. de Havilland Goblin 35

Wing Span: 38 ft (11.58 m)

All-up Weight (A.U.W): 11,150 lb (5,057 kg)

Max Speed: 538 mph (866 kph)

Ceiling: 40,000 ft (12,192 m)

Range: 840 miles (1,351 km)

On Display at the Museum:

The Museum’s t.11 was built in 1952 and acquired in 1994. The ventral and wing-tip blade aerials on this particular aircraft are for a Rebecca 8 ‘get you home’ system, homing onto a Eureka ground radio beacon.