The Venom was a development of the aircraft it was to replace, the de Havilland Vampire. In 1948 a proposed development of the Vampire was to produce a high-altitude fighter by thining the wings and fitting a more powerful engine.
The prototype Venom, designated DH 112, was produced with a twin-boom tail, a wood/metal structure and powered by the de Havilland Ghost 48 Mk.1 engine. It first flew on the 2nd of September 1949.
The single-seat fighter-bomber, Venom FB 1, entered service in 1952 and was armed with four 20mm Hispano Mk.V cannon mounted in the nose and could carry two 1,000lb bombs or eight RP-3 60lb air-to-ground rockets.
The next version of the Venom to be developed was the two-seater night fighter the NF 2. The aircraft was structurally different to the FB 1 as it had to accomodate two crew side-by-side. The Venom NF 2 first flew on the 22nd of August 1950 and entered service in 1953.
A further variant of the night-fighter, the NF 3, was fitted with ejector seats and a new radar system in the nose. The NF 3 first flew in 1953 and entered service with the Royal Air Force in 1955 as an interim aircraft being replaced by the Gloster Javelin in 1957.
The final Venom to serve with the RAF, version FB 4, was a single-seat fighter powered by a single de Havilland Ghost 105 turbojet engine producing 5,150 lbf of thrust. It first flew on the 29th of December 1953 and entered service in 1955.
|Specifications (FB 4): -|
|Crew:||1 or 2 (side-by-side)|
|Length:||33ft 0in (10.06m)|
|Wingspan:||41ft 8in (12.70m)|
|Height:||6ft 8in (2.03m)|
|Empty Weight:||9,202lb (4174kg)|
|Max. Weight:||15,310lb (6945kg)|
|Engine:||D.H. Ghost 105|
producing 5150 lb st.
|Max. Speed:||587 mph (961 km/h)|
|Range:||1075 miles (1730 km)|
|Cannon:||4 x 20mm Hispano Mk.V|
|Rockets:||8 x RP-3 60lb|
|Bombs:||2 x 1000lb MC|
Prototype, single seater.
Single-seat fighter-bomber, 375 built.
Two-seat night fighter, 91 built.
Strengthended NF 2 to remedy known problems.
Modified NF 2 also fitted with ejector seats, Ghost 104 engine and larger nose to house a new radar, 123 built.
Single-seat fighter-bomber for RAF fitted with Ghost 105 engine and ejector seats, 250 built.
Export fighter-bomber used by Iraq and Switzerland, 15 built.
Export night fighter used by sweden, 60 built.
Export fighter-bomber used by Venezuela and Switzerland, 22 built.
The de Havilland Venom is a single engined jet aircraft developed from the Vampire. It served with the RAF as a fighter-bomber and as a nighter fighter.
The Venom was an interim aircraft for the RAF between the straight wing aircraft such as the Gloster Meteor and the swept wing such as the Hawker Hunter.
Venom Photographed at the Cotswold airshow, Kemble in 2010.