de Havilland DH112 Venom FB Mk.1
The DH112 Venom FB Mk.1 first flew from Hatfield in 1949. The Venom was a higher-performance development of the Vampire, retaining the same twin-boom layout. It differed primarily in having the larger, higher thrust DH Ghost turbojet, a new thinner wing (10% instead of 14%) with 17° leading edge sweep to achieve a higher Mach number, and 75 Imperial-gallon wing-tip jettisonable fuel tanks. Wind-tunnel tests had shown the latter to give a better lift-drag ratio than underwing tanks as used on the Vampire.
The wings were given fences to prevent wing-tip stall on approach to land, and local bulges to accommodate the wheels when the landing gear retracted. The Venom was also later given ejector seats, and power-assisted ailerons to cure a very low rate of roll.
Structurally, the Venom followed Vampire practice, being essentially all-metal except for the wood-construction fuselage pod. The Venom Fighter-Bomber (FB) retained the gun armament of four 20 mm Hispano cannon below the cockpit, and could carry bombs and rocket projectiles under the wings.
Power Unit: One 4,850 lbst de Havilland Ghost 103 turbojet
Wing Span: 41 ft 8 inches (12.7 m)
All-up Weight (A.U.W): 15,400 lb (6,985 kg)
Max Speed: 640 mph (1,030 kph)
Ceiling: 48,000 ft (14,630 m)
Range: 1,075 miles (1,730 km)
On display at the Museum:
The Museum’s exhibit, registration J-1632, is one of 150 Swiss Air Force FB Mk.50s built in the 1950s (together with 100 FB Mk.54s to the later FB Mk.4 standard) by the Federal Aircraft Works at Emmen in Switzerland. The longer, more pointed nose of sheet metal was applied to some Swiss-built Venoms and Vampires to house UHF radio equipment. J1632 served as a reconnaissance aircraft before being converted back to a Fighter-Bomber. It was acquired by the Museum in February 2002 and is currently on loan from Kennet Aviation Ltd, Cranfield.