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The Vampire was the UK’s first operational single-engine jet fighter and was the first jet fighter in the world to land on an aircraft carrier. The distinction for the first operational single-engine jet fighter went to the He 162 Volksjager.
The weight penalty for using a twin-boom structure was offset by obtaining the optimum thrust out of the early jet engines by not forcing them to breath down or exhaust out of long fuselage ducts. The overall design is one of simple functionality, with the least amount of weight to carry a pilot, guns, fuel and an engine aloft.
Production of the Vampire extended over 20 years in several countries, with over 5,000 aircraft built. Few jet aircraft can boast of a production run of that size, much less mass production of the UK’s first operational jet fighter!