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Back in the Hot Seat

A powerful moment on Wednesday when Meteor veteran Hal Taylor was reunited...

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Vampire and Meteor

Two gold members - Rob Rennie and Doug Johns enjoyed the flight of a lifetime, at the weekend....

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Meteor vs Tempest

A friend just sent me this link and I felt it should be shared with my fellow anoraksics...

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Lt Cdr Pete Sheppard

Every now and then, we get to meet some pretty special people here at Classic Air Force. Today was one of those days....

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Amazing and awsome

The former Omani Air Force jet did a sortie around Cornwall flying at altitudes of 500 - 5000 feet at high speeds....

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Become a member of the Classic Air Force
Vampire: The Ghost in the Machine
Vampire air-to-air Vampire edging in Martin Shaw and Vampire
Status: N/A
Owned by: The Classic Aircraft Trust
Current location: Coventry
Available for pleasure flights: No

Classic Air Force's deHavilland Vampire is a T55 variant – the export version of the T11 trainer used by the Royal Air Force.

The fuselage ‘pod’ was built in the UK by William Lawrence & Co Ltd., in Nottingham and delivered to deHavilland on 29 January 1958, with construction number 975 and build number WLS-DH-103. On 20 December of the same year, the pod was shipped to Switzerland where F&W at Altenrhein completed the airframe (under licence from deHavilland) and delivered it to the Swiss Air Force with serial number U-1215.

During its service with the Swiss Air Force, U-1215 served at a number of bases, including Emmen, Altenrhein, Sion and Dubendorf. It remained in service until May 1990, completing 1,955 flying hours.

After retirement from the Swiss Air Force, the last 27 Vampires were placed up for auction and in March 1991, U-1215 was purchased by Bournemouth based Hunter Wing. The aircraft was ferried to the UK on 28 August the same year and registered G-HELV with the CAA on 17 September 1991. Soon after, its Swiss markings were shed and it was re-painted in RAF camouflage.

G-HELV was acquired by Mike Collett and Air Atlantique in March 2004 and was kindly donated to the trust in February 2012. Today, this iconic aircraft retains its fictitious RAF camouflage as well as the incorrect RAF serial XJ771.

Its dual controls make the Vampire an important crew currency and training aircraft within Classic Air Force.