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Handley Page HP.54 Harrow


The Harrow was one of the RAF’s first monoplane bombers, and though never used in combat by Bomber Command it played a significant part in the training of bomber crews. The Harrow was based on the H.P.51 troop transport, and first flew on 10 October 1936 14 months after 100 had been ordered ‘off the drawing board’.

The Harrow bomber was a cantilever high-wing monoplane with a fixed divided-type landing gear and a twin fin and rudder-type tail unit. Enclosed accommodation was provided for a normal flight crew of four, who were also expected to man the nose turret, tail turret and mid-upper gun position.

The 38 Harrow Mk I bombers had the 619-kW (830-hp) Pegasus X radial, and were followed by the 62 Harrow Mk IIs with 689kW Pegasus XX engines and improved defensive armament. Production ended in December 1937, 11 months after the type had begun to enter service with No. 214 Squadron. By the time production ceased another four squadrons (Nos 37, 75, 115 and 215) had equipped with the type, and with some Whitley squadrons these formed Bomber Command’s main strength until well into 1939. At the outbreak of war the type was retired to the transport role and tested as an in-flight refuelling tanker circa 1939.

Engines: 2 x Bristol Pegasus XX, 690kW / 925 hp
Wingspan: 26.95 m / 88 ft 5 in
Length: 25.04 m / 82 ft 2 in
Height: 5.92 m / 19 ft 5 in
Wing area: 101.26 sq.m / 1089.95 sq ft
Max take-off weight: 10433 kg / 23001 lb
Empty weight: 6169 kg / 13600 lb
Max. speed: 174 kts / 322 km/h / 200 mph at 10,000ft
Cruise speed: 141 kts / 262 km/h / 163 mph
Service Ceiling: 6950 m / 22800 ft
Range: 1086 nm / 2010 km / 1249 miles
Armament: 4 x 7.7mm / 0.303 machine-guns, 1360kg (3,000 lb) bombs
Crew: 6





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