Have You Got Any Pictures of this Bird?

Posted 19th April 2016 by R I Campbell

Whistling Kiddicar doubles in size: Demo in Appleby.


The aircraft in question is a Vampire T 11, the trainer version of the Vampire fighter.

At some time 60's (1967?) Appleby ATC Flight won a competition run by the Dept of the Environment to have a Vampire T 11 mounted outside their school, following an initiative by Mr Woof. Two cadets from Appleby, Cadets (sorry, don't know the exact ranks) Tallentire and Pigney attended a "presentation", and the machine duly arrived. It stayed outside the Grammar School some ten years, but eventually became too much to maintain, and was sold to America. It was duly dismantled, packed up in crates and sent off by sea. On the way, the ship ran into a storm, and the encgine broke free of its packing and demolished the other parts of the machine! If you can expand on this sparse coverage or especially if you have any pictures of the Appleby aircraft, please get in touch with Ian Campbell on 51139, and see if we can copy the material

The T11 became the standard advanced trainer of the RAF. During my early jet training we used two-seat Meteors which were a very different aeroplane from the Vampire fighters we were going to fly. Eventually, when I was on 23 Squadron we got a T11 to enable us to carry out Instrument Rating Tests (an annual chore) and to practise tutored air firing against a towed banner target. This was even when we had Javelin aircraft - but of course, no Javelin trainer! I did not like the T11. It was a side-by-side trainer, and my 6'1" frame did not seem to fold in the right places for me to be comfortable in it. But it was, I think, the first of its type in the world and was very successful On one Instrument Rating Test, the Examiner and I were walking out to the machine, and he said "I've been round and inspected it, jump in!" I demurred and took a quick walk round the aircraft (result of an embarrassing incident years before) and lo and behold a very large clamp holding the cowling on was open and showing its red inside to the world! The Examiner was a sensible professional pilot, but it made me look even harder on walk-round inspections!