MiG and Vampire restorations at Pima
Sep 1, 2012 - CJAA members near Tuscon have two news reasons to visit the Pima Air and Space Museum - This week, two of the newest aircraft restorations are on display: a MiG-15 and a Vampire jet fighter.
The museum's spokesperson, Tim Vimmerstedt, explained the history of the MiG-15 in a news release:
"The MiG-15 came as a great surprise to the Western nations when they first encountered it during the Korean War. It was much more advanced and capable than the West had believed and proved to be more than a match for virtually all the Western fighters except for the F-86 Sabre. The MiG-15s engine was a direct copy of the British designed Rolls-Royce Nene engine, samples of which had been bought from England in 1946. The first Mig 15 flew in 1948. A total of 16,085 MiG-15 were built in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and China as well as in Russia. In all 38 different countries used the aircraft."
The Vampire jet fighter was restored earlier this month. Vimmerstedt shared the history of this British plane:
"The Vampire jet fighter was designed for the British Royal Air Force. Design work began in mid 1942 and the first prototype flew in September 1943. The Vampire was the second jet fighter to enter service with the RAF although it did not see combat in World War II. The Vampire remained in RAF service as a fighter-bomber until the end of the 1950s. The two seat trainer version was used until 1966. The aircraft was also adopted by more than thirty other air forces around the world with the last of them leaving the Rhodesian Air Force in the early 1980s.
"The Royal Australian Air Force was one of the largest users of the Vampire with nearly 200 aircraft being built in Australia by de Havilland's Australian branch. The two seat T.35s were delivered between 1952 and 1954. They served in the RAAF until their retirement in 1970."