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Handley Page HP.81 Hermes




Designed during the Second World War for future peace-time routes, the Hermes was dogged by misfortune and delays. The initial prototype of 1945 stalled and crashed, and it was not until September, 1948 that the definitive passenger version flew.

On 19 March 1947 production was authorised for 25 pressurised HP.81 Hermes IVs for BOAC.

Loss of the prototype dented confidence but Farnborough 1950 saw the Mk.5 second prototype G-ALEV featuring slotted flaps, increased all-up weight and a fuselage very high above the ground which necessi-tated what for the period were very high steps.



The Hermes 4 was the first British post-war airliner built to modern standards to go into service; 25 were delivered to BOAC for use on its Commonwealth routes, services beginning in August 1950. Normal accommodation was for 40 passengers, but alternative seating arrangements provided for a maximum of 74. Originally powered by four 1,565kW Bristol Hercules 763 radial engines, all were subsequently re-engined with 1,583kW Hercules 773s and were then known as Hermes 4As.
It was replaced by Canadian C-4s in 1952.

Hermes IV
Engines: 4 x Bristol Hercules 763, 1566kW / 2,100 hp
Max take-off weight: 39000 kg / 85981 lb
Empty weight: 25100 kg / 55336 lb
Wingspan: 34.44 m / 113 ft 0 in
Length: 29.51 m / 96 ft 10 in
Height: 9.14 m / 29 ft 12 in
Wing area: 130.80 sq.m / 1407.92 sq ft
Max. speed: 563 km/h / 350 mph
Cruise speed: 435 km/h / 270 mph
Ceiling: 7470 m / 24500 ft
Range: 3200 km / 1988 miles with 14,000 lb (6,350 kg.) payload
Seats: 5 crew; 40 passengers



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