The Temora Aviation Museum Engineers are in the process of performing an annual inspection on the Museums de Havilland Vampire T.35. What makes the Vampire in the Museums collection unique is that it is the only Australian-built Vampire flying in Australia. The Vampire was initially developed as a single-seat fighter but was subsequently developed into the night fighter, fighter/bomber and trainer versions. The Museums Vampire is a dual-seat aircraft, with its origin being service initially with the RAAF Central Flying School at East Sale, Vic and then transferred to No. 1 Advance Flying Training School at Pearce WA, until it was no longer needed in 1970. The Vampire underwent extensive restoration to become part of the Museums collection.
The annual inspection of the Museums Vampire involves many processes. One of these is the opening of all access panels and hatches. This is to check for any worn or damaged parts which may require replacing.
The inspection also involves the removal of the aircrafts two ejection seats. Once removed, their individual components can be inspected, this includes the drogue parachutes. The engineers found all parts to be serviceable, and the seats were refitted.
Whilst the ejection seats were removed, a full check of the cockpit components is carried out. Lubrication and serviceability checks of the control column and flight control cables are also performed at this stage.
The hydraulic system is another feature of the aircraft which requires testing during its annual inspection. It controls the undercarriage system as well as the speed brake, flap and wheel-brakes.
The final process of the inspection is a full engine ground run and systems check. This ensures the generator, hydraulic and fuel systems are operating correctly.