STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Handley Page - UK
OPERATORS: Australia; Canada; Egypt; France; India; Norway; Pakistan; Poland; South Africa; Switzerland; United Kingdom
LENGTH: 71.59 feet (21.82 meters)
WIDTH: 104.17 feet (31.75 meters)
HEIGHT: 20.73 feet (6.32 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 39,000 pounds (17,690 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 68,002 pounds (30,845 kilograms)
ENGINE: 4 x Bristol Hercules 100 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,800 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 312 miles-per-hour (502 kilometers-per-hour; 271 knots)
RANGE: 1,260 miles (2,028 kilometers; 1,095 nautical miles)
CEILING: 23,999 feet (7,315 meters; 4.55 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 400 feet-per-minute (122 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Handley Page Halifax Heavy Bomber / Night Bomber Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 10/16/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
While the Lancaster Heavy Bomber will always be more identifiable in terms of the British night bombing campaigns of World War Two, the Handley Page Halifax series of bombers should be remembered as being just as equally important in that role as well as others.
The Halifax began as the prototype order H.P.56 and originally featured a setup of just two Vulture piston engines. With lingering performance issues readily apparent, the Handley Page company designed another prototype featuring four Rolls-Royce powerplants with the new design designated as the H.P.57. Two H.P.57 prototypes were orders and put through the paces of real flight-testing.
In 1940, the first official production version of the Halifax entered service designated as the Halifax B.Mk I of which 84 total aircraft of this type were produced. The B.Mk I featured 4 x Merlin X's (or "tens") that could generate 1,280 horsepower each. This initial batch of 84 were split into three series in production known as the Series I, Series II and Series III - each featuring minor modifications. The Series II featured an increased maximum take-off weight while the Series III was engineering with greater fuel capacity.
The Halifax B.Mk II introduced the identifiable two-gun dorsal powered turret to compliment the four-gun turret assembly in the tail. Further variations were introduced with a dizzying array of powerplant setups and revised landing gear systems.
The Halifax saw action in other roles during and after the war as well. The transport variants were nothing more than based on original models but placed into the transport role (sans weaponry). Maritime and airborne support models followed this suit as well. Post-war models included the "Halton" civilian transport (these used in the Berlin Airlift operation of post-World War 2) and the C.Mk 8 and A.Mk 9 variants.
In total, production of the Halifax series of aircraft was reported to be 6,177. The bombers were credited with dropping 227,610 tons of bombs through more than 75,530 sorties. In the end, the Halifax bomber proved to be an efficient heavy night bomber capable of fulfilling the other not-so-glorious roles of wartime.
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General Assessment (BETA)
Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
MF Power Rating (BETA)
The MF Power Rating takes into account over sixty individual factors related to this aircraft entry. The rating is out of 100 total possible points.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (312mph).
Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units