4x 20mm Hispano Mk.V cannons
Wing Span: 12.2 m
Length: 9.4 m
Height: 2.7 m
Weight, Empty: 3,235 kg
Weight, Gross: 5,430 kg
Max Speed: 855 km/h
Rate of Climb: 1,325 m/min
Service Ceiling: 13,260 m
Range: 1,175 km
Power Plant one de Havilland Goblin 2, centrifugal flow turbojet engine, 1.405 kg static thrust
The Vampire was the second jet fighter to enter service with the RAF. The first was the Gloster Meteor. The prototype flew for the first time on 20 September 1943. The fuselage was mainly built in plywood and balsa, in the same way as the Mosqito. The rear part of the hull with the engine compartment, tail and wings were in aluminium.
The model Norway got was an F.Mk.III. This was a further developed model that first flew on November 4, 1946. Compared to the first prototype, this model had a stronger engine, 3100 Lbs of thrust, a redesigned tail section, reinforced wings and a longer range.
When the war was over and the Air Force was established in Norway with two fighter squadrons equipped with Spitfire LF.Mk.IXE and a squadron with Mosquito FB Mk. VI, jet-powered aircraft were not current policy. The 3-year plan for further development of the air forces up to 1949 included both an extra Spitfire and a Mosqito, squadron. Although the economy was tight after the war, aircraft were purchased from British surplus warehouses. However, this changed when it was realized that development was moving in the direction of jet-powered machines. The choice was therefore eventually between two British aircraft, the twin-engine Gloster Meteor and the tiny De Havilland Vampire.
The choice finally fell on the Vampire, and on 21 February 1948 the contract between the first four aircraft was signed. The price was probably a contributing factor. Vampire cost almost half of Meteor, and perhaps it was important that Sweden also chose Vampire. Originally, it was intended to purchase four aircraft of the type F. Mk.III to familiarize themselves with the aircraft and the technology, then 16 newer FB Mk.5 for delivery in the summer of 1949. However, it soon became clear that the Mk.5 would not be available in good time. The tense international situation with the division of Germany, the Berlin blockade, the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the pressure on Finland made it urgent to modernize the Armed Forces. Therefore, Norway bought a total of 20 F. Mk.III which could be delivered quickly. The first two fighters arrived at Gardermoen on 2 May 1948 after a trip via Lubeck in Germany. The third came five days later. As early as 11 May, they received their first official assignment. Sir Winston Churchill’s plane was to be escorted into Fornebu airport.
The first four aircraft were assembled in a group under 331 Squadron. The squadron at this time functioned as an operational training unit, and the Vampire group became known as C-Flight. here, new Vampire pilots had their first encounter with the aircraft. C-Flight gradually received more aircraft and was established as 336 squadron on 15 July 1949. The last aircraft arrived towards the end of 1949. The pilots here took part in numerous exercises and displays in the years to come. At this time, Norway had joined NATO, and gradually the squadron structure became more and more Americanized. After some time it was decided that a squadron should consist of 28 aircraft. All F. Mk.III were collected in 336 squadron and supplemented with some Fb M.52. From 1 January 1951, squadron codes were again introduced on the aircraft, and had both RAF serial numbers and construction numbers from English Electric Co Preston. The latter pxxxxx was often used on the planes as the Norwegian serial number
As the Thunderjet made its inroads, in February 1953 some F. Mk.III were transferred to the Jet Training Wing at Sola. Of the twelve aircraft that were still in service, hardly more than 8 aircraft were sent to Sola, the rest remained at Kjeller until they were delivered directly to 337 squadron at Værnes in autumn 1953. 337 squadron was the last department to fly the Vampire in Norway, and the aircraft received a new squadron marking SI. The squadron was disbanded on 31 December 1954. From then on, the remaining 9 aircraft were stored at Værnes.
There was only a minimum of personnel left responsible for maintaining the planes. One hoped to be able to sell them, but the relevant candidates were not approved by NATO. From the spring of 1956, the planes were stored, and the intention was to cut them up by July 1956. However, Thor Solberg Aviation Co in the USA made a last attempt to sell them on behalf of Norway by 1 January 1957. This did not succeed, and 17 In February 1957, the vast majority were therefore sold as scrap at Værnes. However, two aircraft, one F.MkIII/p42408 and one FB Mk.52 were preserved for museum purposes. They stand today at Gardermoen, Bodø and other museums
In addition, a former Swedish two-seater training aircraft that Norway received as a gift from Sweden in 1970 is preserved at Gardermoen. It is relatively similar to the Norwegian training aircraft with the exception of the design of the tail fins and canopy
fb mk 3 — ImgBB (pictrues)