Home Aircraft / Aviation Naval Warfare Land Systems Small Arms

Handley Page Halifax

Heavy Bomber / Night Bomber Aircraft

The Handley Page Halifax bomber shined in both night-bombing and airborne support roles during World War 2.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/16/2018
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.


Retired, Out-of-Service
[ 6,177 Units ] :
Handley Page - UK
National flag of Australia National flag of Canada National flag of Egypt National flag of France National flag of India National flag of Norway National flag of Pakistan National flag of Poland National flag of South Africa National flag of Switzerland National flag of United Kingdom Australia; Canada; Egypt; France; India; Norway; Pakistan; Poland; South Africa; Switzerland; United Kingdom
- Ground Attack
71.59 ft (21.82 m)
104.17 ft (31.75 m)
20.73 ft (6.32 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI production model)
Empty Weight:
39,000 lb (17,690 kg)
68,002 lb (30,845 kg)
(Diff: +29,002lb)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI production model)
4 x Bristol Hercules 100 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,800 horsepower each.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI production model)
Maximum Speed:
312 mph (502 kph; 271 kts)
Service Ceiling:
23,999 feet (7,315 m; 4.55 miles)
Maximum Range:
1,260 miles (2,028 km; 1,095 nm)
400 ft/min (122 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
1 x 7.7mm machine gun in nose
4 x 7.7mm machine guns in dorsal turret
4 x 7.7mm machine guns in tail turret

Internal bomb load of up to 13,000 lb (5,897 kg).
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI production model)
H.P.56 - Initial Prototype Design Designation; 2 x Vulture inline engines.
H.P.57 - Alternative Prototype Design Designation featuring 4 x Rolls-Royce Merlin inline engines of which two were ordered.
Halifax B.Mk I Series I - Initial Production and Service Model featuring 4 x Merlin X's generating 1,280hp each of which 84 were produced.
Halifax B.Mk I Series II - Increased MTOW
Halifax B.Mk I Series III - Increased Fuel Capacity.
Halifax B.Mk II - Featuring engines of the Merlin XX (or "22") variety; Dorsal gun turret introduced; 1,977 produced.
Halifax B.Mk III - Bristol Hercules VI (sometimes XVI) radial engines generating 1,615hp each.
Halifax B.Mk V - Based on Mk II model; Revised landing gear assembly; 904 produced.
Halifax B.Mk VI - Based on Mk III model; Featured Hercules 100 engines generating 1,800hp each.
Halifax B.Mk VII - Featuring Hercules XVI engines.
Halifax C.Mk II - Transport Variant based on Mk II model.
Halifax C.Mk VI - Transport Variant based on Mk VI model.
Halifax C.Mk VII - Transport Variant based on Mk VII model.
Halifax GR.Mk II - Maritime Variant based on Mk II model.
Halifax GR.Mk V - Maritime Variant based on Mk V model.
Halifax GR.Mk VI - Maritime Variant based on Mk VI model.
Halifax A.Mk II - Airborne Support Variant based on Mk II model.
Halifax A.Mk V - Airborne Support Variant based on Mk V model.
Halifax A.Mk VII - Airborne Support Variant based on Mk VII model.
Halifax C.Mk 8
Halifax A.Mk 9
Halton - Civil Transport Variant

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes AnvilOfWar.com, GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-