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De Havilland DH 112 Venom / Sea Venom



The Venom was a development of the Vampire, designed to accommodate the de Havilland Ghost engine and with aerodynamic refinements enabling it to take full advantage of the increased power. The nacelle and tail assembly were substantially similar to those of the Vampire, but the wings were entirely new, with square tips, very thin section and jettisonable long-range wingtip tanks. Originally designated the Vampire FB Mk.8, the Venom FB.1 was the first version for the RAF: a day fighter and fighter-bomber with provision for bombs and rockets in addition to the standard four 20 mm Hispano Mk 5 cannon in the nose. The prototype of this version flew for the first time on 2 September 1949 and entered squadron service in September 1952. A total of 373 FB.1 were built, powered by one de Havilland Ghost 103 turbojet of 4850 lbs thrust.


DH Venom FB.1


Built by the Swiss under licence in the early 1950s, the FB.Mk.1 designated by the Swiss Flugwaffe as the FB.Mk.50.


Fences were incorporated into the top surface of the wings to direct airflow, and wingtip fuel tanks were fitted as standard. The Venom FB 1 had four Hispano 20mm cannon in the nose and hard points under the wings for up to 2,000lb of bombs or rockets.

Introduced in 1955 was the single-seat Venom, the FB. 4 (D.H. Ghost 103), with powered ailerons, an ejection seat and under-wing fuel tanks in addition to the tip-tanks. These new external tanks have a very high fineness ratio and a minute tailplane for stability. The FB.4 also had completely revised fin outlines, with both the front bullet fairing of the earlier Venoms and the rear bullet fairing of the Sea Venoms.


de Havilland DH112 Venom FB 4


A two-seat night fighting version of the single-seat Venom fighter was evolved in the same way that the Vampire night fighter was derived from the original Vampire, and a company-funded prototype was first flown on 23 August 1950. The front fuselage was lengthened and widened to accom-modate Al Mk 10 radar and crew of two side-by-side, the remainder of the airframe being basically as Venom 1 and the engine being the 4,850 lb st (2200 kgp) Ghost 104. Ninety similar Venom NF Mk 2s (first flight 4 March 1952) were delivered to the RAF from 1953 onwards, many later being modified to NF Mk 2A standard with revised tail units, including dorsal fins and acorn fairings, and clear-view canopies.

Further tail unit changes distinguished the Venom NF Mk 3, first flown on 22 February 1953; 129 were built for the RAF with Al Mk 21 radar, powered ailerons, 5,150 lb st (2338 kgp) Ghost 105 engine and other changes. Sweden’s Flygvapnet bought 62 Venom NF Mk 51s, similar to the NF Mk 2s and powered by Swedish-built Ghost RM 2A engines; they served from 1953 to 1960.

Following the evaluation of a standard RAF Venom NF.Mk 2 night-fighter during the course of 1950, the Royal Navy ordered three fully navalized prototype aircraft to Specification N.107, as the de Havilland Sea Venom NF. (later FAW, for Fighter, all-weather) Mk 20, the first of which made its maiden flight on 19 April 1951. Principal Naval features were a V-type arrester hook, strengthened longer-stroke undercarriage, catapult pick-up points and (from the third prototype onwards) folding wings with tip tanks of revised design.




Subsequent carrier compatibility trials conducted aboard HMS illustrious showed that the type possessed considerable promise, and an initial batch of 50 production Sea Venom NF.Mk 20s was contracted, deliveries getting under way during the mid-1950s. Attaining operational status with No. 890 Squadron aboard HMS Albion in July 1955

Following the NF.Mk 20 was the Sea Venom FAW.Mk 21, which used the more powerful Ghost 104 turbojet engine, Martin-Baker ejection seats and which was also fitted with American APS-57 airborne interception radar. Deliveries of the Sea Venom FAW.Mk 21 began before the Sea Venom NF. Mk 20 became operational, the delivery beginning in May 1955 of what eventually became the most widely used version, a total of 167 being built for service with the Fleet Air Arm.
Production of the Sea Venom was completed with 39 examples of the Sea Venom FAW.Mk 23, which differed mainly by virtue of being powered by the Ghost 105 turbojet.


Sea Venom F.(A.W.)21s – 1956 890 Sqn aerobatic team.
Sqn CO Lt.Cmdr P.G.Young, Lt. Anderdon & Commsd. Plt Hilditch.


Sea Venoms were also operated by the Royal Australian Navy which received 39 NF.53 (similar to F(AW).21) from 27 February 1955. British-operated Venoms and Sea Venoms were withdrawn from operational service in 1962 and 1960 respectively.

Failure of the shipboard fighter requirement issued by the Service Technique Aeronautique in June 1946 (and which had resulted in Aerocentre NC 1080, Arsenal VG 90 and Nord 2200 prototypes being built) led to consideration being given to adoption by the Aeronavale of the Grumman F9F-5 Panther. In January 1951, however, the Ministere de la Marine announced the decision to adopt the de Havilland Sea Venom Mk 20, which was being developed for the Royal Navy as a side-by-side two-seat shipboard all-weather fighter and had yet to enter flight test. Four aircraft were supplied to the SNCASE in knocked down form for assembly as a "pre-series", the first of these flying on 31 October 1952, and the name Aquilon (North Wind) being adopted. A fifth "pre-series" aircraft and 25 production aircraft employing sub-assemblies provided by Airspeed, the first known as Aquilon 20s and subsequentl aircraft as Aquilon 201s, the first of these flying on 24 March 1954 (The designation Sea Venom NF Mk 52 referred to a version licensed for production by SNCASE). These were powered by the 4,850 lb st / 2200kg Fiat-built de Havilland Ghost 48 Mk 1, armament comprising four 20mm cannon. Non-availability of the intended Thomson AI radar restricted the Aquilon 201s to diurnal operation, the same restriction being imposed on the next 25 aircraft which, delivered as Aquilon 202s, were entirely manufactured in France and differed in having ejection seats, an aft-sliding rather than aft-hinged cockpit canopy and a strengthened undercarriage. A decision was taken to adopt the Westinghouse APQ 65 AI radar, but, without major redesign of the airframe, it was found impossible to fit this equipment in the ejection seat-equipped two-seater. Production therefore continued with the Aquilon 203 single-seater, the last 25 of the 40 production examples of this version being equipped with APQ 65 radar as were the six two-seat Aquilon 204 radar trainers (not fitted with ejection seats) that brought production to an end, the last of these being flown at the beginning of 1958. The Aquilon was flown operationally by Flottilles 11F and 16F, eventually serving in the fighter training role and being phased out during 1964-65.


Sud-Est Aquilon


During 1955-58 sixteen served with the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

de Havilland DH112
Engine: de Havilland Ghost 103 turbojet, 4850 lbf thrust
Length: 31 ft 10 in (9.7 m)
Wingspan: 41 ft 8 in (12.7 m)
Maximum speed: 640 mph (1030 kph)
Range: 1080 miles (1730 km)
Service Ceiling: 39,400 ft (12,000 m)


Venom FB.1 / FB.50
Engine: De Havilland Ghost 48 Mk I, 21778 N
Length: 32.087 ft / 9.78 m
Height: 6.168 ft / 1.88 m
Wingspan: 41.732 ft / 12.72 m
Wing area: 279.003 sq.ft / 25.92 sq.m
Max take off weight: 15655.5 lb / 7100.0 kg
Weight empty: 8820.0 lb / 4000.0 kg
Max. weight carried: 6835.5 lb / 3100.0 kg
Max speed: 640 mph below 20,000 ft.
Initial ROC: 7230 fpm.
Service ceiling: 39370 ft / 12000 m
Wing load : 56.17 lb/sq.ft / 274.0 kg/sq.m
Range : 378 nm / 700 km
Endurance : 1 h
Armament: 4 x 20mm mg, 2000 lbs of bombs or 8 x 60 lb rockets.
Range (max): 1075 mile.
Crew: 1

Venom FB.4

Engine: one 2336-kg (5, 150-tb) thrust de Havilland Ghost 105 turbojet.
Maximum speed 961 km/h (597 mph) at sea level
Initial climb rate 2204 m (7,230 ft) per minute
Service ceiling 14630 m (48,000 ft)
Range 1730 kin (1,075 miles).
Empty weight 3674 kg (8,100 lb)
MTOW: 7180 kg (15,830 lb)
Wingspan 12.70 m (41 ft 8 in)
Length 10.06 m (33 ft 0 in)
Height 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in)
Wing area 25.99 sq.m (279.75 sq ft)
Armament: four 20-mm Hispano cannon, 907 kg (2,000 lb) of external stores

Venom NF Mk 3
Engine: DH Ghost 104.
Max speeds, 576 mph (927 km/h) at sea level,
555 mph (893 km/h) at 30,000 ft (9145 m)
529 mph above 40,000 ft (12 200 m).
Initial climb rate, 6,280 ft/min (31,9 m/sec).
Patrol duration, 1.85 hrs.
Loaded weight, 14,400 lb (6538 kg).
Span, 42 ft 10 in (13,06 m).
Length, 36 ft 8 in (11,17 m).
Height, 6 ft 6 in (1,98 m).
Wing area, 279.75 sq ft (25,99sq.m).

Sea Venom FAW Mk 20

Engine: Ghost 103.

Sea Venom FAW.Mk 21

Engine: one 2245-kg (4,950-lb) thrust de Havilland Ghost 104 turbojet.
Maximum speed 1014 km/h (630 mph) at sea level
Service ceiling 14995 m (49,200 ft)
Range 1609 km (1,000 miles)
Maximum take-off 7212 kg (15,900 lb)
Wingspan 13.08 m (42 ft 11 in)
Length 11.15 m (36 ft 7 in)
Height 2.59 m (8 ft 6 in)
Wing area 25.99 sq.m (279.75 sq ft).
Armament: four 20-mm cannon, 907 kg (2,000 lb) of external ordnance

Sea Venom FAW Mk 22 
Engine: de Havilland Ghost 104, 4850 lb
Span: 42 ft 10 in (13,06 m).
Length: 36 ft 8 in (11,17 m).
Height: 8 ft 6¼ in (2,62 m).
Wing area: 279.75 sq ft (25.99 sq.m).
MTOW: 15,400 lb (6980 kg).
Max speeds: 576 mph (926 km/h) at sea level
555 mph (893 km/h) at 30,000 ft (9150 in).
Initial climb rate: 5,750 ft/min (29,2 m/sec).
Service ceiling: 37,000 ft
Patrol duration: 1.73 hrs.
Armament: 4 x 20mm cannon


Sea Venom F.A.W. Mk 53
Engine One 5,300lb thrust De Havilland Ghost 105
Wing Span: 42 ft 10 in
Length: 36 ft 8 in
Height: 8 ft 6.25 in
Weight 15,000 (loaded)
Initial Rate of Climb: 5,900 ft per minute
Ceiling: 40,000 ft
Speed: 575 mph
Range: 705 miles
Guns: 4 x 20 mm (150 rounds per gun)
Bombs: 8 x 60lb rockets
Crew: 2


Aquilon 203
Loaded weight: 5500 kg / 12125 lb
Wingspan: 13.07 m / 43 ft 11 in
Length: 11.17 m / 37 ft 8 in
Height: 2.60 m / 9 ft 6 in
Wing area: 26.00 sq.m / 279.86 sq ft
Max. speed: 935 km/h / 581 mph
Range w/max.fuel: 1557 km / 968 miles




Sud-Est Aquilon

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