Photo Copyright: Martin Stephen

PRESS RELEASE

WZ507 Revealed In New Colour Scheme

WZ507 has just spent ten weeks in the hangar, receiving a paint strip and re-spray.

WZ507's previous colour scheme

WZ507 being prepared for respray
Proposed, but rejected, scheme
Primed with yellow paint applied
White paint is applied
then the red
and finally the blue
The masking tape is removed
to reveal the roundels and
the rest of the design
This work was required because the previous paint scheme had been on the Vampire for almost twenty years and was beginning to look very patchy – especially in areas that had been previously treated for corrosion. The job involved removing the old paint, inspecting the aircraft and treating any further corrosion and airframe damage, before priming, re-painting and lacquering.

The new paint scheme shows WZ507 in the markings of a Vampire T11 from 219 Squadron during the 1950’s. This scheme was chosen after extensive research and discussions – as WZ507 is believed to be the only airworthy Vampire T11 in the world, we wanted to use an authentic colour scheme that had been applied to a Vampire T11 during RAF service.

This gave us the option of keeping WZ507 in the silver and yellow scheme or changing to the RAF dayglo orange scheme. The latter option received some support, as it would be immediately apparent that WZ507 had been re-painted. However, many people disliked this scheme as the aircraft would look too garish. This colour is also prone to fading when exposed to sunlight.

We knew that the silver and yellow scheme is popular, following comments from the public at air shows; from personal experience we also know that this scheme looks stunning, especially in the sunlight. Consequently we decided to stay with silver and yellow, but to take this opportunity to change the squadron markings and make some small amendments to the colour scheme.

These changes included extending the yellow training band on the underside of the wing to cover the flaps – previously the flaps were painted silver. The registration markings on the underside of the wing were also changed, as the previous font was incorrect. The spacing of the registration markings was also wrong, as there should have been a gap between the ‘WZ5’ and ‘07’ to allow for fitting of a drop tank. These mistakes have now been rectified.

When choosing the new squadron markings, the main criterion was to choose squadron markings that were colourful, attractive and different – we wanted to avoid having yet another Vampire with chequers on the tail booms!. The red and black chevrons of 219 Squadron met this requirement and give WZ507 a distinctive new look.

Another consideration was whether we should keep the number ‘74’ on the nose. Whilst not strictly accurate, many people recognise WZ507 because of this number, so we decided to keep it.

On a similar theme, we decided to add our website address to the tail booms of the aircraft. Increased publicity for the Vampire Preservation Group will help to raise awareness of this historic aircraft, which in turn helps to secure its long-term future.

This work has transformed the appearance of WZ507 and will help protect the airframe from any deterioration for the foreseeable future.

We hope you will have the opportunity to see WZ507 in the new colour scheme at an airshow this summer. Please visit the Air Show Bookings sections of this website for full details of all our appearances.

WZ507 revealed in the new colour scheme

 

 


Note to Editors:

For more information, or to arrange to see this aircraft,
please contact Matt Hampton via the VPG web site.

The Vampire is often flying and will visit several airfields during the year.
You will be made most welcome if you come along to see us!

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