|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
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.