Handley Page Hampden

The Handley Page HP.52 Hampden was a British twin-engine medium bomber of the Royal Air Force serving in the Second World War. With the Whitley and Wellington, the Hampden bore the brunt of the early bombing war over Europe, taking part in the first night raid on Berlin and the first 1,000-plane raid on Cologne. The newest of the three medium bombers, the Hampden, known as the "Flying Suitcase" because of its cramped crew conditions, after operating mainly at night, it was retired from Bomber Command service in late 1942.

A total of 1,430 Hampdens were built: 500 by Handley Page, 770 by English Electric at Samlesbury in Lancashire; and in 1940–41, 160 in Canada by the Canadian Associated Aircraft consortium. A total of 226 Hampdens were in service with eight squadrons by the start of the Second World War.

Despite its speed and agility, in operational use the Hampden was no match for Luftwaffe fighters. Consequently, its career as a day bomber was brief, but Hampdens continued to operate at night on bombing raids over Germany, and mine-laying (code-named "gardening") in the North Sea and the French Atlantic ports.

After being withdrawn from Bomber Command in 1942, it operated with Coastal Command through 1943 as a long-range torpedo bomber and as a maritime reconnaissance aircraft.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 4
  • Length: 53 ft 7 in (16.33 m)
  • Wingspan: 69 ft 2 in (21.08 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 4 in (4.37 m)
  • Wing area: 688 ft² (63.9 m²)
  • Empty weight: 11,780 lb (5,344 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 18,756 lb (8,508 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2× Bristol Pegasus XVIII 9-cylinder radial engine, 980 hp (730 kW) each

  • Maximum speed: 265 mph (410 km/h) at 15,500 ft (4,724 m)
  • Range: 1,095 mi (1,762 km)
  • Service ceiling: 19,000 ft (5,790 m)
  • Rate of climb: 980 ft/min (300 m/min)
  • Wing loading: 27.3 lb/ft² (133 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.104 hp/lb (0.172 kW/kg)

  • 4-6 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine guns: one flexible and one fixed in the nose
  • 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) bombs or 1 × 18 in (457 mm) torpedo or mines

** Handley Page Hampden - Warbird Fare

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