de Havilland DH.100
The Friends of the SAAF
Swartkop branch, worked on restoring Vampire 229
tostatic display for many years.
de Havilland Vampires were the first jet aircraft operated by the SAAF in South Africa, at squadron level. Vampire 229 is a single seat FB-52 variant of this classic series of early jet fighters, and was one of 30 delivered to the SAAF in 1951, to replace WWII vintage Spitfires.
229 is a substantially complete airframe, minus engine, which was well preserved apart from minor damage over many years in storage. 229 was offered to the Pretoria Friends of the SAAF Museum in 2003 as a restoration project for static display as part of the proposed SAAF Museum combat aircraft and weapons exhibit, alongside the Sabre, Cheetah and Buccaneer, in Hangar 3 at Swartkop AFB.
Work progressed well,
with a team of enthusiasts having stripped many components for cleaning,
panel beating and priming for re-assembly. All work was carried out at
Swartkop, on a voluntary basis, on Saturday mornings.