Air Weapons

Fighter-Bomber (1952)

de Havilland



The de Havilland Venom was initially conceived as simply an upgraded version of the successful Vampire but ended up becoming a completely new aircraft which saw considerably more combat action than its predecessor. It was the second of the company's twin tailboom designs with notable differences being a larger but thinner and slightly swept back wing, new and more powerful Ghost engines, ejector seats (in later versions) and wing tip fuel tanks. It also was developed into a night fighter and as an advanced navalized fighter known as the Sea Venom with all-weather capability thanks to AI radar. Both RAF and FAA Venoms were prominent during the 1956 Suez Crisis as well as other operations in Malaya, Kenya, and Yemen. Although built in less numbers than the Vampire, the Vemon was used by a number of foreign operators such as Australia, Iraq, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden, as well as license production in France (Sud-Est) and Switzerland (FFA).

The DH.112 began life as the Vampire Mk. 8 but by the time of its first flight on 2 September 1949, they had been redesignated as the Venom FB.1. Other fighter-bomber versions included the FB.4 with more powerful engines and underwing drop tanks, and the export FB.50. Night fighters included the NF.2 which was only used in small numbers before the improved NF.2A and NF.3 were designed. Finally, the navalized Sea Venom FAW.20 featured a host of modifications for carrier operations such as folding wings, arrester hooks and a stronger undercarriage. Other variants were the FAW.21 with a new powerplant, clear view canopy, and ejections seats, as well as the FAW.22 with the improvements made to the night fighters. An export version of the FAW.21 was the FAW.53 while French-built units were named Aquilon.

Preceded by:

Vampire (1946)



Succeeded by:



DesignVenom FB.4Venom NF.3Sea Venom FAW.21
TypeFighter-BomberNight FighterFighter
Length10.06 m11.18 m11.18 m
Height1.905 m2.591 m2.591 m
Wing Span12.70 m13.06 m13.06 m
Wing Arean/an/an/a
Empty3,674 kg3,992 kg4,990 kg
Maximum6,945 kg6,532 kg7,212 kg
Wing Loading267.9 kg/m²251.1 kg/m²277.3 kg/m²
Speed961 km/h929 km/h906 km/h
Ceiling14,630 m14,935 m12,192 m
Range1,730 km1,609 km1,609 km
Engine1 x Ghost Mk. 103
de Havilland
2,336 kgf
1 x Ghost Mk. 105
de Havilland
2,336 kgf
1 x Ghost Mk. 104
de Havilland
2,245 kgf
Radar-AI Mk. 10
AI Mk. 21
Guns4 x 20-mm
Hispano Mk. V
4 x 20-mm
Hispano Mk. V
4 x 20-mm
Hispano Mk. V
Payload907 kg907 kg907 kg