De Havilland DH-115 Vampire T.11

XK625 Vampire 115 T11

XK625/12

With the H.A.M from May 1973 to May 1983*

Beginning life as a trainer with the RAF, XK625 spent her air force career with a considerable number of training units including 1, 4, 7 and 8 Flying Training Schools. She was initially delivered to 8 FTS where she remained until late 1954, then relocating to 4 FTS at Valley in Wales. In January 1958 she was transferred again, this time to Linton-on-Ouse to serve with 1 FTS until 1966, moving for the last time to 7 FTS at Church Fenton where she would end her RAF career in 1968. Being listed as surplus to requirements she was sent to 19 MU at St Athan after which, she was sold to Hawker Siddeley in December of the same year.

It was on May 20th 1973 that she finally ended up on loan to the H.A.M initially being displayed outside, although by 1980 she had been moved inside the museum hangar, no doubt to prevent her plywood pod and booms from deteriorating further. After the museum’s demise, she went to Aces High who transported her to North Weald in November 1983 where she would remain until June 1989 when she was then passed on to the South Yorkshire Aircraft Preservation Society. However, she would only stay here for a few months before ultimately finding her final resting place at Brenzett Aeronautical Museum where she has undergone a thorough restoration and as of 2016, is on external display there protected from the worst of the weather by a permanent awning which covers a good deal of the aircraft.

A second Vampire was acquired by the museum although it was never put on show. Vampire T.11 XD527 was initially purchased by Aviation Traders in 1969 to be used as part of a ‘Business Jet’ project and while ownership was passed to the H.A.M in 1972, it would appear that it never left the ATEL hangar until eventually finding its way onto the fire dump at Manston sometime during 1979-80.

 

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