DE HAVILLAND VAMPIRE Mk T55 SERIAL NO.277

Vampire 277 arrived in South Africa during November 1955 and was delivered to AFB Ysterplaat from 15 Air Depot on 12 November 1955.

On 15 June 1956, the aircraft was sent to 15 Air Depot for servicing and on 20 September 1956, the aircraft was allocated to AFB Waterkloof.

On 5 July 1963, the aircraft was sent to 1 Air Depot for servicing and on 12 August 1963, the aircraft was allocated to 1 Squadron. On 17 January 1968, the aircraft was returned to 15 Air Depot for storage. On 7 February 1969, the aircraft was allocated to the Rhodesian Air Force on loan and allocated the Serial Number RV3470.

This aircraft served in Rhodesia until returned to AFB Zwartkop on 27 March 1979. The aircraft was allocated to the SAAF Museum and was retained as a static exhibit at Lanseria until 1980 before being sent to AFB Hoedspruit where she was returned to flying condition 1993 and maintained by the technical staff on behalf of the SAF Museum. In 2000 this aircraft returned to AFB Zwartkop as an airworthy exhibit to join the SAAF Museum Flight.


 Specifications:

  • Country of origin and manufacture: United Kingdom
  • First Flights: Prototype: 20/09/1943. Vampire T.11: 15/11/1950
  • Power plant: (Vampire T.11): One de Havilland Goblin 35 turbojet of 3 500 lb st (1 587 kg)
  • Length: 34 ft 5 in (10,5 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft (11,58 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 2 in (1,87 m)
  • Maximum gross mass: (Vampire T.11): 12 920 lb (5 860 kg)
  • Maximum speed (at sea level): 538 mph (866 km/h)
  • Range: 853 miles (1 372 m)
  • Service Ceiling: 40 000 ft (12 192 m)
  • Crew: Pilot and Student (side-by-side)
  • Armament: (Vampire FB.5/6/9/T.55): Four x 20 mm Hispano 404 cannon in nose. Underwing strong points inboard and outboard of each tail boom permitted various combinations of external stores to be carried, i.e. eight 60 lb (27 kg) rockets and two 500 lb (227 kg) bombs, or two 1 000 lb (454 kg) bombs. In place of external ordnance, two 200 Imp. Gallon (909 litre) drop tanks could be fitted.