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G-AMSV Returns to Coventry

An old friend returned to Coventry yesterday when G-AMSV, in her striking Indian Air force livery, landed here for extensive maintenance by our engineers. Sierra Victor was part of the Air Altantique fleet here for many years. She'll...

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Baginton Air Pageant

The initial details for the Baginton Air Pageant are up on the website! As we don't have the space for a full-on air show attracting 20,000 or so people, we're aiming for low-key, themed days like this. A couple of thousand people,...

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Newquay Pleasure flights

We promised we'd be back to fly in Cornwall, and here we are. We'll be heading south with a Rapide and Chipmunk to spend a week at Newquay from 25th July, with a further visit planned in August. The flights are bookable in the normal...

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New Dakota Book

Geoff Jones just told me that his new book on the DC-3, released to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Dak's appearance, is now available. The cover sports a lovely shot of G-ANAF, shot by Simon Westwood before her radome goiter was...

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Nimrod Engine Run

We've just confirmed plans by NPT to run all four of the Nimrod's Rolls-Royce Speys on Saturday 9th May. We expect the thunder to start just after lunchtime. Come along and enjoy some audio power - and please dip into your pockets...

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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.