Main Menu

Miles M.60 Marathon / M.69 Marathon II
Handley Page H.P.R.1 Marathon I / HP.R 5 Marathon


The Miles M.60 Marathon was the company's first all-metal aircraft and the first with four engines.

Flown in 1946 with Gipsy Queen 71 engines, the Marathon was the winner in a competitive bid to Air Ministry Specification 18/44, and the Ministry ordered three prototypes for BOAC.

The Ministry of Aircraft Production, gave orders and counter orders throughout the pre-production stages, but when the prototype flew test pilots soon found it was a very pleasant aircraft to handle. Loss of the prototype in a fatal crash during trials at Boscombe Down was attributed to pilot error. The second prototype flew in February 1947, but before a production contract could be signed the Miles company suffered financial collapse and its aircraft assets were eventually acquired by Handley Page. The company became Handley Page (Reading) Ltd. and the 18-passenger M.60 Marathon was redesignated Handley Page H.P.R.1 Marathon I.

A production order for 50 was placed, 30 for BEA and 20 for BOAC's associated companies, but the BEA order was reduced to 25 and later seven, then cancelled completely, and 28 of the Marathons were modified for use by the RAF as navigation trainers as the Marathon T.Mk II, serving for six years before being replaced by Vickers Varsities.

Handley Page built only 40. The remaining aircraft operated in a number of overseas countries including West Germany, Jordan, Nigeria, Canada, Japan and Burma.


Derby Aviation Marathon circa 1958


Some were used experimentally, including use as engine test-beds, one equipped with a pair of Mamba turboprops, designated M.69 Marathon II. Flown by the Handley Page company, initially with two 753kW Armstrong Siddeley Mamba turboprop engines, it was later used to test two Alvis Leonides Major radial engines.


First flown on 15th March 1955, the Leonides Major-powered Marathon was at the Handley Page (Reading) works at Woodley. It was to act as a general flying test-bed for the Leonides Major, but in particular for the construction of the engine at Handley. The Marathon itself, serial VX231, was originally G-AHXU, with two Armstrong Siddeley Mambas in place of the four Gipsy Queen inlines.

The fuselage is deep and flat-bottomed with a rounded nose, stepped cockpit, and square cabin windows. The underside of the fuselage has a marked upsweep. The wing is equi-tapered with square-cut tips and the engines are housed in a circular section of nacelles. There are prominent underwing bulges on the trailing edge outboard of the nacelles. The tail unit has triple oval fins. Main undercarriage legs retract forwards into the nacelles, and the nosewheel also folds forwards.

The last survivors were scrapped around the mid-1960s.

M.60 Marathon

Engines: 4 x de Havilland Gipsy Queen 71, 246kW
Wingspan: 19.81 m / 64 ft 12 in
Length: 15.93 m / 52 ft 3 in
Height: 4.27 m / 14 ft 0 in
Wing area: 46.45 sq.m / 499.98 sq ft
Max take-off weight: 7484 kg / 16499 lb
Empty weight: 5198 kg / 11460 lb
Max. speed: 322 km/h / 200 mph
Ceiling: 5030 m / 16500 ft
Range: 1368 km / 850 miles


Engines: two Leonides Major
Wingspan: 65 ft
Length: 52 ft 1 in
Height: 14 ft 1 in



Miles M.60 Marathon




Copyright © 2020 all-aero. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.