Handley Page HP.57 Halifax / Halton
The four-engined bombers, the Halifax, Stirling and Lancaster, all originated from a pre-war Air Ministry specification. The Handley Page Halifax was first flown on 25 October 1939 from RAF Bicester with four "Merlin X" engines.
Entering production in 1939, it was the second British four-engined bomber to enter service in the Second World War, with 35 Squadron in November 1940. The first Halifax raid by the squadron was against le Havre, France, on 10 March 1941. The Halifax was the first to bomb Germany when one took part in a raid on Hamburg on the night of 12-13 March 1941.
The Halifax shared with the Lancaster the major burden of Bomber Command's night bombing campaign against Nazi Germany but the Halifax was used extensively on other duties including glider-tug, agent dropping transport and general reconnaissance aircraft in Coastal Command.
However, between 1941 and 1945 the Halifax made 75,532 bombing sorties and dropped 227610 tons (231300 tonnes) of bombs; more than a quarter of all bombs dropped on Germany by the Royal Air Force.
Handley Page Halifax II(III)
The Halifax I and II aircraft were powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines and the Halifax III was powered by Bristol Hercules engines. Apart from the role as a heavy bomber, the Halifax III and later versions also served in Coastal Command and in paratrooping and glider towing roles with the Airborne Forces.
Due to mounting losses on Bomber Command operations over Germany Halifax bombers were restricted to less hazardous targets from September 1943.
The Halifax was in the process of being replaced as a front line bomber in 1945 but it continued in service with Coastal and Transport Commands after the war. The last operational flight was made by a Coastal Command
Halifax in March 1952 while operating from Gibraltar.
Halifax production totalled 6,178, , including 4751 bombers.
During 1946-48 more than 90 halifax were converted to civil transport Halton variants.
BOAC operated 12 Haltons on the African routes.
Engines: 4 x RR Merlin XX.
Max speed: 282 mph
Range: 1030 miles
Armament: 9 x .303 Browning mg
Bomb load: 13,000 lb
Handley Page HP 57 Halifax B Mk III
Engines: 4 x Bristol Hercules XVI, 1615 hp
Length: 70.079 ft / 21.36 m
Height: 20.735 ft / 6.32 m
Wingspan: 98 ft 10 in , later 104 ft 2 in / 31.75 m
Wing area: 1274.996 sq.ft / 118.45 sq.m
Max take off weight: 65012.2 lb / 29484.0 kg
Weight empty: 38245.7 lb / 17345.0 kg
Max. speed: 245 kts / 454 kph
Cruising speed: 187 kts / 346 kph
Service ceiling: 23999 ft / 7315 m
Cruising altitude: 20013 ft / 6100 m
Wing loading: 51.05 lb/sq.ft / 249.0 kg/sq.m
Range (max. weight): 895 nm / 1658 km
Armament: 9x cal.303 MG (7,7mm), 5897kg Bomb.
Engines: 4 x Bristol Hercules 100, 1325kW
Max take-off weight: 24980-30845 kg / 55072 - 68002 lb
Empty weight: 17500 kg / 38581 lb
Wingspan: 31.8 m / 104 ft 4 in
Length: 21.4 m / 70 ft 3 in
Height: 6.3 m / 20 ft 8 in
Wing area: 118.5 sq.m / 1275.52 sq ft
Max. speed: 502 km/h / 312 mph
Ceiling: 7310 m / 24000 ft
Range w/max.fuel: 3540 km / 2200 miles
Range w/max.payload: 2030 km / 1261 miles
Armament: 9 x 7.7mm machine-guns, 6550kg of bombs
Halifax B Mk.VII