The Vampire prototype made its maiden flight in September 1943 with Geoffrey de Havilland at the controls – only six months after the first flight of the Meteor. The production version entered service with the RAF in early 1946 and was operated as a ground-attack fighter-bomber until the mid-1950s. Some 3200 Vampires were built with the T11, a two seat trainer variant, remaining in service until 1966.
The Museum’s Vampire T11 – XH313 – was delivered to the RAF in February 1956 and initially used as a continuation trainer by No 111 Squadron at RAF North Weald. It was transferred to the Central Air Traffic Control School at RAF Shawbury in 1964 and passed into civilian hands in 1970 before being acquired by the Museum in October 2008.