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Handley Page V/1500

Four-Engine Strategic Heavy Biplane Bomber [ 1918 ]

Fewer than fifty Handley Page V1500 strategic heavy bombers were made - these serving just three RAF squadrons.

Authored By: Dan Alex | Last Edited: 06/29/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Towards the end of World War 1 (1914-1918), the strategic bomber was entrenched as a part of warfare. These massive, lumbering attack platforms were built with range in mind and, for the British, this meant taking off from Allied-controlled airfields and dropping ordnance on targets as far away as the German capital of Berlin. A late-war product of the period that just missed out on action in the conflict became the large "V/1500" from Handley Page which appeared in 1918 to satisfy a 1917 British Air Board requirement for such a type - particularly to operate in the night time hours against far-off German target areas. The requirement specified a warload up to 3,000lb with acceptable range to meet the demand.

Handley Page already held extensive experience in building long-range bombers through its commitment to the Handley Page O/100 and O/400 series systems detailed elsewhere on this site. The V/1500 was in many ways an extension of these two projects, projecting further in terms of range and enhanced warloads.

In the V/1500, the aircraft was given a centralized wood-and-fabric fuselage set within an over-under biplane wing configuration. The fuselage sides were slabs and the upper and lower wing members were joined by parallel struts and applicable bracing wire. Four bays were created in the wide-spanning arrangement. For power, this fell to a unique configuration involving 4 x Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines rated at 375 horsepower each and seated inline across two nacelles - a "push-pull" configuration of concentrated power. The tail unit incorporated four individual vertical fins with biplane tailplane arrangement to boot. Ground-running was handled in the typical tail-dragger arrangement with a collection of wheels seated under the forward mass of the large aircraft.

As finalized, the aircraft held an overall length of 64 feet, a wingspan of 126 feet, and a height of 12 feet. Empty weight was 15,000lb against an MTOW of 30,000lb. Performance included a maximum speed of just over 100 miles-per-hour with a mission endurance of 14 hours. Beyond the typical Rolls-Royce Eagle fit, the aircraft could also be equipped with Galloway Atlantic, Napier Lion, or Liberty V-12 engines of 500hp, 450hp, and 400hp, respectively - changing performance figures some. In all cases, the engines drove four-bladed wooden propellers (fixed-pitch).

The crew numbered between eight and nine and point defense was from three positions - the nose, dorsal section, and tail unit - mounting a single, trainable 0.303" Lewis Machine Gun. The tail emplacement was notable at it sat between the four vertical fins at rear. The bomber's warload totaled up to 7,500lb of conventional drop bombs to be held in an internal bomb bay - typically 30 x 250lb drop bombs.

Up to forty V/1500 aircraft were produced, along with twenty-two airframes reserved for spare parts, for the bomber's short time in the air. A first-flight was hand on May 22nd, 1918 and serial production continued on after the war into 1921. The series arrived too late for service in The Great War with deliveries had in November - just before the Armistice of November 11th, 1918. The series was eventually superseded by the competing Vickers Vimy (detailed elsewhere on this site).

In the post-war world, one V/1500 example recorded the first-ever flight from England to India in December 1918 and arriving the following month in 1919. The type served briefly in the 3rd Anglo-Afghan War (May 1919 - August 1919) but became more a psychological weapon than a strategic bombing one. One example was flown to Canada in an attempt to cross the Atlantic but this crash-landed in Pennsylvania field during 1919. Another attempt from Nova Scotia in the July 1919 ended with a forced landing at Parrsboro. This model ended up delivering the first mail between Canada and the United States that October.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Not in Service.


National flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.

64.0 ft
(19.50 m)
126.0 ft
(38.40 m)
23.0 ft
(7.00 m)
Empty Wgt
15,002 lb
(6,805 kg)
30,005 lb
(13,610 kg)
Wgt Diff
+15,002 lb
(+6,805 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Handley Page V/1500 production variant)
Installed: 4 x Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII V-12 liquid-cooled piston engines (push-pull configuration) developing 375 horsepower driving four-bladed propeller units. Also Galloway Atlantic 500hp, Napier Lion 450hp, and Liberty V-12 400hp used.
Max Speed
103 mph
(165 kph | 89 kts)
10,007 ft
(3,050 m | 2 mi)
1,367 mi
(2,200 km | 4,074 nm)
476 ft/min
(145 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Handley Page V/1500 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
1 x 0.303in Lewis Machine Gun on trainable mounting at nose.
1 x 0.303in Lewis Machine Gun on trainable mounting at dorsal position.
1 x 0.303in Lewis Machine Gun on trainable mounting at tail position.

Up to 7,500lb of internally-held conventional drop ordnance / bombs.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0

V/1500 - Base Series Designation.

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Image of the Handley Page V/1500
Image from the Public Domain.


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