Model Airplane News|
Handley-Page HP.57 "Halifax"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for December, 1941
by Jo Kotula
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The Handley Page Halifax was a British four-engine heavy bomber during the Second World War. The Halifax remained in service until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing. The Halifax was also operated by squadrons of the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal New Zealand Air Force, Royal Pakistan Air Force and Polish Air Force. Eventually, 6,176 were built.
Photos of the Handley-Page HP.57 "Halifax"
left, bottom: museum display model opened to shoe interior
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Handley Page initially designed the Halifax as a twin-engine medium bomber for "world-wide use." In mid-1937, the British finally decided to re-arm and told Handley Page to redesign the plane for four engines. This redesign increased the span from 88 ft to 99 ft and put 13,000 lb of weight on. Modifications resulted in the definitive "Halifax" following the practice of naming heavy bombers after major towns; in this case Halifax in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Such was the promise of the new model that the RAF had placed their first order for 100 Mk I Halifaxes "off the drawing board" before the first prototype even flew. The maiden flight of the Halifax took place on 24 September 1939, 21 days after the UK declared war on Germany.
The Mk I had a 22 ft long bomb bay as well as six bomb cells in the wings, enabling it to carry 13,000 lb of bombs. Defensive armament consisted of two thirty caliber Browning machine guns in the nose turret, and four in the tail turret. In a later version (right picture) a dorsal turret was also added.
Here is a video of the Handley-Page HP.57 "Halifax":
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