De Havilland DH-113 NF Mk.54 "Vampire"

 

The De Havilland DH.113 single-engine jet is the two-seater, night fighter version of the better known De Havilland DH.100 Vampire. Between 1951 and the Spring of 1953 fourteen DH.113 arrived in Italy to equip the S.C.O.T. (All Weather Fighter School) at Amendola near Foggia. The establishment of the School should have been the first step towards the acquisition, never made, of a large number of all weather De Havilland DH.112 “Venom” fighter aircraft. Instead, in 1955 the North American F-86K, already produced under license in Italy by Fiat and used by the pilots trained at Amendola, was chosen over the British fighter. Special features of the DH.113 were the radar located in the front section of the fuselage and the cockpit arrangement. This was the first time since the Second World War that the Italian Air Force had a fighter with a crew of two - the pilot and the navigator/radar operator who sat a little further to the rear. The aircraft on display (MM 6152) is a DH.113 from the All Weather Fighter School at Amendola in its conventional two band camouflage.