The de Havilland Vampire is a British jet fighter which was developed and manufactured by the de Havilland Aircraft Company.
It was the second jet fighter to be operated by the RAF, after the Gloster Meteor, and the first to be powered by a single jet engine.
Development of the Vampire as an experimental aircraft began in 1941. In 1946 the Vampire entered operational service with the RAF, only months after the war had ended.
The Vampire quickly proved to be effective and was adopted as a replacement of wartime piston-engined fighter aircraft. During its early service it accomplished several aviation firsts and achieved various records, such as being the first jet aircraft to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The Vampire remained in front-line RAF service until 1953 when its transfer began to secondary roles such as ground attack and pilot training, for which specialist variants were produced. The RAF retired the Vampire in 1966 when its final role of advanced trainer was filled by the Folland Gnat. The Royal Navy had also adapted the type as the Sea Vampire, a navalised variant suitable for operations from aircraft carriers. It was the service’s first jet fighter.
The Vampire was exported to many nations and was operated worldwide in numerous theatres and climates. Several countries used the type in combat including the Suez Crisis, the Malayan Emergency and the Rhodesian Bush War.