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Aircraft instrument panel restoration

De Havilland DH100 Vampire F.3 (F Mk 3) cockpit and aircraft

A printable version of this web page (Acrobat PDF file) is available upon request...


The De Havilland D.H. 100 Vampire fighter jet was developed during the Second World War and it became the second jet fighter aircraft in service with the British Royal Air Force (RAF). The prototype was built to be powerd by a Halford-designed de Havilland H-1 Goblin I straight-flow-combustion turbine engine and flew first in 1943. The front fuselage was made of plywood and balsawood, with the remainder being made of metal.  It is a single seat aircraft with a pressure cabin. The armament consisted of four  20-mm connons located in the front fuselage and its maximum speed was 813 km/h. The Mk 1, built by English Electric (EEC) had a modified engine with more power (Goblin II) and 174 were built for the RAF. It was also used by Sweden (70, delivery in 1946), Switzerland (4 on trial), France (30 ex-RAF), Dominica (25 bought from Sweden in 1952) and by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF, 1 unit). The aircrafdt can be used in both tropical and temperate climates Several versions were produced and this web page provides information on the Vampire F Mark 3 and its cockpit lay-out as given in the Pilot's notes for this version.

The Mk 3 was similar to the Mk 1, but had a larger fuel capacity as it was fitted to carry 100 imp. gallon drop tanks and had a modified tail unit with lower tail plane, rounded rudders and and tailplan and fin acorn fairings. The RAF bought 117, the RCAF bought 85, of which 15 were later sold to Mexico in 1961.

Vampire F Mark 3

Image of the Vampire F Mark 3 as shown in the Pilot's Notes.

Original cockpit and instrument panel layouts

The images below show the cockpit layout as shown in the Pilot's Notes for the Vampire F.3 (Air Ministry, 1949 with updates until 1955. Pilot's Notes for Vampire F.3 A.P. 4099C-P.N., second edition, 39 pages + illustrations). Higher resolution images can be viewed by clicking on the images.

Vampire cockpit, port side
Vampire F Mark 3 cockpit, centre
Vampire F mark 3, starboard cockpit side

Vampire F Mk 3 restoration projects

Below are images of one of the surviving Vampire Mk 3 aircrafts and its cockpit, This Vampire was from the Canadian RCAF and then transferred to the USA, where John Travolta owned it for some time. It is now being restored in a project involving Rick Arbour and friends. Rick was kind enough to supply me with some photographs of their Vampire for display on this page.

Vampire Mk3 front view
Front view of a De Havilland Vampire F Mk 3. This aircraft was once used by the RCAF and is now under American registration (photo courtesy of Rick Arbour).

Images of the cockpit are shown below. Several of the original instruments have been replaced by modern versions, including the HSI, course indicator, ADF and DME equipment, and a transponder was installed. The images below show a good overview of the cockpit layout and appear all courtesy of Rick Arbour.

Vampire, port side panel
Port side utility panel
Centre console, Vampire cockpit
Centre panel
Vampire, starboard panel
Starboard utility panel
Vampire throttle quadrant
Throttle quadrant and gear handles

Vampire cockpit starboard control section
Starboard control boxes and navigation equipment
Rear part of the Vampire cockpit, port side
Rear part of the Vampire cockpit, port side

Rear starboard side of Vampire cockpit
Rear part of the Vampire cockpit, starboard side

IMPORTANT REQUEST: The restoration project in which Rick is involved has the 4099C Volume I documents for this aircraft but is still looking for the remaining 4099C volumes, as well as any maintenance manuals. The group does have the maintenance manuals for the vampire MK 1, but these may differ from the Mk 3. Please contact me at the e-mail address below if you can help this project with documentation about the Vampire F Mk 3. It will be very much appreciated and it contributes to keeping these beautiful machines flying...

Rear view of Vampire F Mk 3
Rear view of a De Havilland Vampire F Mk. 3 (photo courtesy of Rick Arbour).

The images below show a second DH100 Vampire F.3 restoration project in Mexico. This Vampire misses part of the fuselage but retains most original features of the cockpit instrumentation.

Ex-RCAF Mexican Vampire F Mk 3 cockpit
Cockpit view of a De Havilland Vampire F Mk. 3. This Vampire flew for the RCAF and later served in the Mexican Air Force (photo courtesy of Héctor Romo de Vivar L.).

I would also like to ask anyone who can contribute to further improve this site with images or additional information about the Vampire or its instruments to contact me at

Ex-RCAF Mexican Vampire F Mk 3 cockpit
  The Mexican Air Force (bought from the RCAF) De Havilland Vampire F Mk. 3 under restoration (photo courtesy of Héctor Romo de Vivar L.).

Links to other De Havilland Vampire web sites

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