De Havilland Vampire, Royal New Zealand Air Force (NZAF) colours
This aircraft is a former Swiss Air Force De Havilland Vampire T.55 trainer aircraft. Built in 1958 it served with the Swiss Air Force until its retirement in 1990. Here it wears the colours of a No. 75 Squadron Vampire along with the (fictitious) Royal New Zealand Air Force (NZAF) serial number NZ5712. The Vampire was the first operational jet aircraft with the RNZAF, receiving their first examples in 1951, equipping No.s 14 and 75 Squadrons at Ohakea. The Vampire remained in RNZAF service until 1972 when it was replaced by the BAC Strikemaster. The Vampire has a rather distinctive planform for a jet fighter and I wanted to capture this against an appropriate background with soft lighting. Late on this day with the sun going down, I was presented with some great clouds and light as this historic aircraft headed into the sun.
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