De Havilland DH 112 Venom was a British postwar single-engined jet aircraft developed from the de Havilland Vampire. It was designed as a single-seat fighter-bomber and two-seat night fighter. The Venom prototype flew September 1949. Several versions were developed (including a naval version, called the Sea Venom).
The Venom was an interim between the first generation of British jet fighters – straight-wing aircraft powered by centrifugal flow engines such as the Gloster Meteor and the Vampire and later swept wing, axial flow-engined designs such as the Hawker Hunter and de Havilland Sea Vixen. The Venom was successfully exported, and saw service with Iraq, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and Venezuela. These export versions got different type designations.
The FB.1 was a single-seat fighter-bomber, entering service in 1952. A total of 375 of these would be built. It was armed with four 20 mm (.79 in) Hispano Mk V cannons in the nose and could carry either two 1,000 lb bombload or eight RP-3 60 lb (27 kg) air-to-ground rocket projectiles. It had a single Ghost 48 Mk.1 centrifugal jet engine.
The NF 2 was a night fighter, entering service in 1953. A two man crew (pilot and navigator/radar operator) were positioned side-by-side and a radar was fitted in the nose. The NF 3 was the last night fighter variant of the Venom, first flying in 1953 and entering service in 1955. It had a relatively brief career and was withdrawn in 1957 being replaced by the Gloster Javelin.
The final Venom for the RAF was the single-seat FB 4 which entered service in 1955 and 250 were built. It was powered by a single De Havilland Ghost 105 turbojet engine. It also received an ejector seat and some modifications to its structure.
The RAF Venom saw combat during the Suez Crisis in 1956. They also saw much action in the Middle East, supporting operations against terrorists in Aden and Oman. All Venoms in RAF service were withdrawn from first-line service in 1962.
De Havilland Venom NF 51
The NF 51 was an export version and a total of 60 aircraft were purchased by Sweden as the J 33. It served 1953–1960 at the dedicated night fighter F1 wing at Västerås.
This Swedish AF Venom is located at is at the Swedish AF museum near Linkoping, Sweden. Seen August 2012.
Photographed by Peter Booij (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland