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Handley Page Halifax

United Kingdom (1940)
Picture of 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.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Handley Page Halifax Heavy Bomber / Night Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/18/2017. 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.

Any available statistics for the Handley Page Halifax Heavy Bomber / Night Bomber Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (312mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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
6177
6177


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United Kingdom
Year: 1940
Type: Heavy Bomber / Night Bomber Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Handley Page - UK
Production: 6,177
Global Operators:
Australia; Canada; Egypt; France; India; Norway; Pakistan; Poland; South Africa; Switzerland; United Kingdom
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
7


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
71.59 ft


Meters
21.82 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
104.17 ft


Meters
31.75 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
20.73 ft


Meters
6.32 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
39,000 lb


Kilograms
17,690 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
68,002 lb


Kilograms
30,845 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
4 x Bristol Hercules 100 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,800 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
312 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
502 kph


Knots
271 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,260 mi


Kilometers
2,028 km


Nautical Miles
1,095 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
23,999 ft


Meters
7,315 m


Miles
4.55 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
400 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
122 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
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

OPTIONAL:
Internal bomb load of up to 13,000 lb (5,897 kg).
Variants: Series Model Variants
• 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