Model Airplane News
June, 1941

Model Airplane News Cover for June, 1941 by Jo Kotula Handley-Page HP52 Hampden

Handley-Page HP52 "Hampden"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for June, 1941
by Jo Kotula
Click to Enlarge

The Handley Page HP.52 Hampden was a British twin-engine WWII medium bomber. The Hampden took part in the first night raid on Berlin and the first 1,000-plane raid on Cologne. the Hampden, known as the "Flying Suitcase" because of its cramped crew conditions was still unsuited to the modern air war and, after operating mainly at night, it was retired from Bomber Command service in late 1942.

 The Handley-Page HP52 Hampden    The Handley-Page HP52 Hampden      The Handley-Page HP52 Hampden

Handley-Page HP52 "Hampden"
Click to Enlarge

The Mk I had a crew of four: pilot, navigator/bomb aimer, radio operator and rear gunner. Conceived as a fast, manoeuvrable, "fighting bomber". To avoid the weight of powered-turrets, the Hampden had a curved Perspex nose fitted with a single 30 caliber machine gun and two more in the rear upper and lower positions. The guns were thoroughly inadequate for defence, consequently, by 1940, the single guns had been replaced by twin Vickers K guns. A total of 1,430 Hampdens were built: 500 by Handley Page, 770 by English Electric at Samlesbury in Lancashire; and in 194041, 160 in Canada by the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium.

A total of 226 Hampdens were in service with eight squadrons at the start of the Second World War. Despite its speed and agility, it was no match for Luftwaffe fighters. Hampdens continued to operate at night on bombing raids and mine-laying (code-named "gardening"). Almost half of the Hampdens built 714, were lost on operations, taking with them 1,077 crew killed and another 739 missing. After being withdrawn from Bomber Command in 1942, it operated with Coastal Command through 1943 as a long-range torpedo bomber and as a maritime reconnaissance aircraft. No. 144 Squadron RAF and No. 455 Squadron RAAF were involved in the escort of Convoy PQ-18 operating out of Soviet airbases and left their 23 aircraft in the USSR afterwards. These were then used by the 3rd Squadron of the 24 MTAP (Anti-shipping Wing) of the Soviet Navy until at least 1943. After war service in Europe, about 200 "war-weary" Hampdens were flown to Canada where they were used for bombing and gunnery training.

Here is a video of the Handley-Page HP52 "Hampden" in action:

Click Here for more information about the Handley-Page HP52 "Hampden".

go to the master list of Model Airplane News Covers

Click to go back and select another cover.

Counter for the Entire Site (not just this page..)

website counter

Home | About Lindy | Last Week's Reviews | Upcoming Events | 1940s Collecibles
The Guide - Establishments - Travel - Accessories
Music | Links | Photo Gallery | Extras | Contact