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Handley Page Halifax


Heavy Bomber / Night Bomber Aircraft (1940)


Aviation / Aerospace

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Image from the Public Domain.

Jump-to: Specifications

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 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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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.

Specifications



Service Year
1940

Origin
United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Status
RETIRED
Not in Service.
Crew
7

Production
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 the United Kingdom Australia; Canada; Egypt; France; India; Norway; Pakistan; Poland; South Africa; Switzerland; 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.


Length
71.6 ft
(21.82 m)
Width/Span
104.2 ft
(31.75 m)
Height
20.7 ft
(6.32 m)
Empty Wgt
39,000 lb
(17,690 kg)
MTOW
68,002 lb
(30,845 kg)
Wgt Diff
+29,002 lb
(+13,155 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI production variant)
Installed: 4 x Bristol Hercules 100 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,800 horsepower each.
Max Speed
312 mph
(502 kph | 271 kts)
Ceiling
23,999 ft
(7,315 m | 5 mi)
Range
1,260 mi
(2,028 km | 3,756 nm)
Rate-of-Climb
400 ft/min
(122 m/min)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
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 Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
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).


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


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


General Assessment
Firepower  
Performance  
Survivability  
Versatility  
Impact  


Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
Overall Rating
The overall rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry.
70
Rating is out of a possible 100 points.
Relative Maximum Speed
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
Handley Page Halifax B.Mk VI operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
Max Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Design Balance
The 3 qualities we look at for a balanced aircraft design are altitude, speed, and range.
Aviation Era Span
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing era cross-over of this aircraft design.
Unit Production (6,177)
6177
36183
44000
This entry's total production compared against the most-produced military and civilian aircraft types in history (Ilyushin IL-2 and Cessna 172, respectively).
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