Welcome to
The de Havilland Aircraft
Association of South Africa

de Havilland DH.100 Vampire
c/n V0659

Registrations carried:

245 South African Air Force
R1835 Rhodesian Air Force


de Havilland DH.100 Vampire c/n V0659 R1835 Rhodesian Air Force (ex SAAF 245)
Restored in Rhodesian Air Force colours to taxi condition, Old Aeroplane Co. Tyabb, Victoria, Australia.
Photograph: Barry Broom



de Havilland DH.100 Vampire c/n V0659 R1835 Rhodesian Air Force (ex SAAF 245)
Restored in Rhodesian Air Force colours to taxi condition, Old Aeroplane Co. Tyabb, Victoria, Australia.
Photograph: Barry Broom



de Havilland DH.100 Vampire c/n V0659 R1835 Rhodesian Air Force (ex SAAF 245)
Restored in Rhodesian Air Force colours to taxi condition, Old Aeroplane Co. Tyabb, Victoria, Australia.
Photograph: Shaun Snyman

There is an information board in front of the nose wheel, the text reads:

DE HAVILLAND VAMPIRE FB9

SINGLE SEAT FIGHTER/BOMBER

This aircraft was originally operated by the South African Air Force, its number being SAAF245. It was one of a batch of 30 FB52ís (the export version of an FB9) delivered to the SAAF from mid 1953 with tail numbers 227-256.

In 1974 it was then loaned/given to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) along with a number of other Vampires, including T55 trainers,  to assist Rhodesia in both pilot training  and operational roles. This particular aircraft was given the RhodAF serial R1835.

Allocated to 2 Squadron RhodAF it participated in the bush war and was involved in a number of cross border incursions into Mozambique and Zambia in support of Rhodesian ground forces in pursuit of ZANLA and ZIPRA guerrillas. The colour scheme represents the aircraft as it was during the late 1970ís to 1982.

Roundels and other external identifying insignia, including a/c serial numbers, were removed for security reasons, hence the 'bare' colour scheme. However, the a/c serial number was usually applied as small, black stencilling on the inside of one or both main undercarriage doors, minus the "R" i.e. 1835 and not R1835, the "R" denoting Rhodesia.

When hostilities ceased, the serials of the FB9s/52s were then applied externally to the forward facing section of the nose door assembly.

Its last flight was in approximately 1982 for the Air Force of Zimbabwe before coming to Australia in 1988. It was one of the last operational Vampires in the world.

This aircraft is in taxying/static museum condition after approximately a nine year restoration by volunteers. There are no current plans to return it to flying condition.

Built in England in 1953, it is powered by a single de Havilland Goblin Mk III engine producing approximately 3,200 pounds of thrust.

The fuselage is made of wood and covered in fabric.

Specifications:

Max Speed - 548 mph (882 kph)

Range - 1,220 miles (1,960 km)

Service Ceiling - 42,800 ft (13,045 m)

Rate of Climb - 4,880 ft/min (24.4 m/sec)

Armament - Four Hispano 20 mm guns

(150 rounds each) carried in the fuselage, with four 60 lb rockets or one 500 lb bomb under each wing.

Max Take off Weight - 12,390 lb (5,620 kg)

Number Built - 3,268 (15 versions)

Firsts:

First Royal Air Force fighter with top speed in excess of 500 mph (800 kmh).

First pure jet aircraft to land & take off from an aircraft carrier.

On 23rd March 1948 set a new world altitude record of 59,446 ft (18,119 m).

On 14th July 1948 it became the first jet aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.


In January 2012 Brian Snyman sent in the above photographs and the text below.

Hi Jaws,

I've attached two pics of R1835 - one of when it had just been painted but without any stencilling (August 2009); the other post stencilling, fitting of droppies and dummy 60lb rockets (May 2011). They are supposed to be the squash-head type but unfortunately the heads are inaccurate - the only inaccuracy on the finished product.

I went to see the a/c in March 2011 and what memories it brought back sitting in the cockpit again after 30years - fantastic! It is in taxying condition and they have had it up to 70kts down the runway! They are just scared that if a tyre blew they would be likely to damage the a/c - the tyres are still original from Rhodesia with the TNL (Thornhill) yellow paint and slip marks still visible.

Please, any queries you may have, just ask and I'd appreciate to hear of any updated info from your side.
By the way, I spent almost 20 years with Atlas / Denel - 5 years at 3 Sqd MIRF1CZ, 11 years at 1Sqd MIRF1AZ and 2 years at BASS, Louis Trichardt. My 1Sqd days at Hspt were the best and I was so disappointed when they closed us down on 25 November 1997.

Cheers, Brian.