Vampire Preservation Group Press Release
WZ507 Revealed in New Colour Scheme
25th May 2008
WZ507 has finally completed a ten week maintenance project to strip off the old paint, treat any corrosion and re-spray the airframe in an attractive new colour scheme.
This work was required because the previous paint had been on the Vampire for almost twenty years and was beginning to look very patchy – especially in areas that had been previously treated for corrosion during 2007 – matching the old paint colours had proved impossible.
The job involved removing the old paint, inspecting the aircraft and treating any further corrosion and airframe damage, before priming, re-painting and lacquering.
The new paint scheme shows WZ507 in the markings of a Vampire T11 from 219 Squadron during the 1950's. This scheme was chosen after extensive research and discussions – as WZ507 is believed to be the only airworthy Vampire T11 in the world, we wanted to use an authentic colour scheme that had been applied to a Vampire T11 during RAF service.
We briefly considered painting WZ507 in the RAF dayglo orange scheme, as it would be immediately apparent that WZ507 had been re-painted. However, many people disliked this option as the aircraft would look too garish – the orange is also prone to fading when exposed to sunlight.
We knew that the silver and yellow scheme is popular, following comments from the public at air shows; from personal experience we also know that this scheme looks stunning, especially in the sunlight. Consequently we decided to stay with the silver and yellow scheme, but to take this opportunity to change the squadron markings.
When choosing the new squadron markings, the main criterion was to select squadron markings that were colourful, attractive and different – we wanted to avoid having yet another Vampire with chequers on the tail booms! The red and black chevrons of 219 Squadron met this requirement perfectly and give WZ507 a distinctive new look.
This work has transformed the appearance of WZ507 and will help protect the airframe from any deterioration for the foreseeable future. For pictures showing the various stages of this re-paint, please visit our website: www.vampirepreservation.org.uk
Photographs attached, showing WZ507 in the new colour scheme.
WZ507 before setting off on the first flight in the
new colour scheme.
WZ507 starting up for the first flight in the new
Photos copyright of John Bilcliffe.