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RAF 100

de Havilland Vampire

Whilst the de Havilland Vampire jet fighter first flew in 1943, it wasn't until HM The Queen took to the throne nine years later that the T11 trainer version entered service with the RAF.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the military trainer joining No202 Advanced Flying School, the Air Tattoo will feature a de Havilland Vampire T55 - the export version of the T11 two-seat trainer - in its static line-up.

The Vampire was the second jet fighter to enter service with the RAF, after the Meteor, and was the first RAF fighter with a top speed exceeding 500mph. Although it arrived too late to see combat in World War II it served with frontline and Royal Auxiliary Air Force squadrons until 1957 and continued in use as a trainer until 1966.

Notably, examples of the type were used by the RAF Central Air Traffic Control School at RAF Shawbury well into the 1960s.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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