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de Havilland Vampire T11 WZ507 at Cranfield 1989. Photo Copyright: Malcolm Clarke

About Our Aircraft - WZ507

Photo copyright Martin StephenWZ507 is privately funded by a small group of dedicated enthusiasts and has displayed at air-shows all around the UK; we anticipate another busy display season this year. Please look at our Airshow Bookings section for more information about the displays we have attended, or contact us if you would like to enquire about booking WZ507 for either a static or flying display. We are always willing to display this aircraft for the public and have a selection of Display Authorised pilots available.

If you flew or maintained this aircraft in the RAF, or have any photographs or other information about its history, please contact us - we are always pleased to hear from people who have worked with WZ507 in the past.


WZ507 Time Line

1952 Manufactured by the de Havilland Aircraft Company at Christchurch, Dorset.  
1953 Delivered to RAF in March.  
1954 Posted to 229 Operation Conversion Unit (OCU), Chivenor  
1955 Flown to Marshall’s at Cambridge for modifications (fitting of new ‘bubble’ canopy and ejection seats)    
1959 Posted to 8 Flight Training School (FTS), Swinderby  
1961 Posted to 5 FTS, Oakington  
1963 Posted to 3 / 4 Civil Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit (CAACU), Exeter    
1964 Posted to Central Air Traffic Control School (CATCS), Shawbury  
1969 Retired from RAF service and put on static display by the Solway Aviation Society (SAS), based at Carlisle airport.  
1980 WZ507 became the first ex-RAF jet fighter to be put onto the UK civilian register (as G-VTII), after being restored to full flying condition by the SAS.    
1982 Appeared in the BBC production ‘The Aerodrome’  
1985 Ownership transferred to the Vintage Aircraft Team at Cranfield  
2002 After a period of storage and restoration, WZ507 was returned to flying condition by de Havilland Aviation at Swansea.    
2005 Vampire Preservation Group formed to operate WZ507 and preserve it as an airworthy aircraft.  
2008 WZ507 Undergoes major respray.    
2011 New Engine fitted to WZ507.    

Facts and Figures

Crew: 2
Engine: de Havilland Goblin 3
Span: 38' 0"
Length: 34' 5"
Height: 6' 7"
Wing Area: 262 sq ft
Max Weight: 11000 lb

Max Speed at Sea Level:

350 kts
Ceiling: 40000 ft
Range: 730 nm


Meet the Team

Brian Grant (Chief Instructor)

Brian is probably the most experienced fast-jet pilot in the world with nearly 14,000 fast jet hours and over 9000 hours instructing! We are extremely privileged to have someone of his considerable experience looking after us.

Brian started his service career in the RAF, earning his wings in 1960 on the Vampire T11. After a work up on Hunters at Chivenor he was posted to the Javelin OCU, flying these aircraft between 1961 and 1965.

In 1965 Brian transferred over to the Royal Navy to fly the Sea Vixen. He was assigned to 890 Squadron on Ark Royal, then 766 Squadron at Yeovilton. In 1967 he went to Valley to become a QFI on the Gnat, staying there for three years. In 1970 he officially left the services to join FRADU (Fleet Requirements and Directions Unit) back at Yeovilton. Here he once again flew the Vixen, Hunter and the Canberra on a variety of Naval support tasks, before finally 'retiring' in 1994.

Since then he has periodically flown Hawks at Culdrose and acts as senior pilot on the Hunter fleet at Exeter. Brian has amassed almost 14,000 hours on fast jets of which 2,000 were on Sea Vixens and some 8,000 on the Hunter.

Matt Hampton (Chief Pilot)

Matt flies the Boeing 757 and 767 for a large British Airline and helped form the Vampire Preservation Group in 2005.

Matt started flying in 1992, gaining his PPL in Alderney. Over the next seven years he spent his spare time gradually obtaining more experience and ratings. In 2000 he joined Cityflyer at Gatwick, as a First Officer on the ATR 42/72. After a year he moved onto the RJ100 fleet, before returning to the ATR as a Captain.

Matt first flew the Vampire in 2002 - he had always been a fan of the aircraft and jumped at the opportunity to fly in it! He will be displaying the Vampire at various airshows during 2013.

Mark Hooton

Mark flies the 767 and has approximately 9000 hours experience. He first flew the Vampire in 2003 and will also be displaying the aircraft during 2013.

Bev Steed (Ground Crew Chief)

Bev joined the Royal Air Force in 1960 and was initially stationed at Scampton, before being posted to Singapore for three years.

He became involved with WZ507 after seeing the aircraft at North Weald - he joined the Group within a week and has flown in WZ507 many times. Bev is now our Ground Crew Chief – an essential part of our team and regularly helps us depart from our North Weald base, as well as seeing us back in at the end of each flight.

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Last Update: 26-Feb-2014