previous thumbnails next
118sqnpic419.jpg, 8586 bytes
118 Sqn Venom FB.1 WE445 A-T from Fassberg - about Dec53.   WE445 A-T arrived on 118 Sqn on Tue 29Dec53 and left for 48MU on Wed 13Jul55.   (Thanks to Mike Wraight.)

de Havilland Venom FB.1

Development of an improved version of the D.H.100 Vampire with a thinner wing and uprated engine, began in 1948 under the designation Vampire 8 and proceeded to Specification F.15/49 as the D.H.112, subsequently named Venom.   With the same configuration as the Vampire, the Venom was powered by the 4,850 lb st (2,200 kgp) de Havilland Ghost 103, had slight quarter-chord sweepback on the wing and carried extra fuel in wing-tip tanks.   The armament, as in the Vampire, comprised four 20-mm cannon, with strong points for up to 2,000 lb (907 kg) of bombs or rockets.   The prototype D.H.112 first flew on 2 September 1949, and the first of 375 Venom FB Mk.1s for the RAF flew in June 1951.   Service use began in August 1952, and later production aircraft were fitted with Martin-Baker ejection seats.   The Venom FB Mk.4 was similar but had revised, flat-topped, fin and rudder design, powered ailerons, the 5,150 lb st (2,336 kgp) Ghost 105 engine and provision for underwing drop tanks.   The prototype (converted Mk.1) flew on 29December 1953, and delivery of 150 for the RAF began in May 1954.   Venezuela purchased 32 Venom FB Mk.4s in 1955-56, and a similar export version was designated FB Mk.50, two being supplied to Italy and 15 to Iraq.   In Switzerland, the EFW consortium built 100 Venom FB Mk.1s and 150 FB Mk.4s for the Swiss Air Force.   Data are for the Venom FB Mk.4: Max. speed, 597 mph (961 kph) at sea level and 557 mph (896 kph) at 30,000 ft. (9,150 m).   Initial climb: 7,230 ft/min (36.7 m/sec).   Service ceiling, 48,000 ft. (14, 630 m).   Range, 1,075 mls (1,730 km).   Loaded weight, 15,310 lb. (6,945 kg).   Span, 41ft 8in (12.70m).   Length, 33ft 0in (10.06m).   Height, 6ft 8in (2.03m).   Wing area, 279.75 sq ft (25.99 m2).   (Thanks to The Complete Book of Fighters from Colour Library Direct.)

David Watkins, author of the Vampire book adds: "The Venom was originally designated the 'Vampire F.Mk.8' - or 'Ghost Vampire' and was to be the replacement for the Vampire FB.Mk.5. Fitted with a 'thin wing' and a de Havilland Ghost 103 engine, it was originally intended to introduce the 'F.Mk.8' into service by way of modifications.   Following initial development tests, the company soon realised that they had a completely new aircraft and, following some reluctance by the Air Ministry to purchase the type (they wanted the Swift and Hunter), it was eventually accepted as the 'Valkyrie' - later renamed as the Venom."
previous thumbnails next