Handley Page Halifax

The Handley Page Halifax was one of the British front-line, four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. A contemporary of the famous Avro Lancaster, the Halifax remained in service until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing. The Halifax was also operated by squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Free French Air Force, and Free Polish Air Force, and after the Second World War by the Royal Egyptian Air Force, the Armée de l'Air and the Royal Pakistan Air Force.

The Halifax was originally intended to be used to bomb the Soviet Caucasus oil fields. The raids were to be carried out from Syrian and Lebanese territories. However, the first Halifax entered service with No. 35 Squadron RAF at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in November 1940, while Syria and Lebanon were already ruled by Vichy. Therefore its first operational raid was against Le Havre on the night of 11–12 March 1941.

In service with RAF Bomber Command, Halifaxes flew 82,773 operations, dropped 224,207 tons (203,397 tonnes) of bombs and lost 1,833 aircraft. In addition to bombing missions, the Halifax served as a glider tug, electronic warfare aircraft for No. 100 Group RAF and special operations such as parachuting agents and arms into occupied Europe. Halifaxes were also operated by RAF Coastal Command for anti submarine warfare, reconnaissance and meteorological roles. Postwar, Halifaxes remained in service with the RAF Coastal Command and RAF Transport Command, Royal Egyptian Air Force and the Armée de l'Air until early 1952. The Pakistan Air Force which inherited the planes from the RAF continued to use the type until 1961.

A number of former RAF Halifax C.8s were sold from 1945 and used as freighters by a number of mainly British airlines. In 1948, the air freight market was in decline but 41 civil aircraft were used in the Berlin Air Lift operating a total of 4,653 freight sorties and 3,509 sorties carrying bulk diesel fuel. Nine aircraft were lost during the airlift but as the aircraft returned to England most civil Halifaxes were scrapped. The last civilian operated Halifaxes were withdrawn from service in late 1952.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 7
  • Length: 71 ft 7 in (21.82 m)
  • Wingspan: 104 ft 2 (31.75m)
  • Height: 20 ft 9 in (6.32 m)
  • Wing area: 1,190 ft² (110.6 m²)
  • Loaded weight: 54,400 lb (24,675 kg)
  • Powerplant: × Bristol Hercules XVI radial engine, 1,615 hp (1,205 kW) each

  • Maximum speed: 282 mph (454 km/h) at 13,500 ft (4,115 m)
  • Range: 1,860 mi (3,000 km) combat
  • Service ceiling: 24,000 ft (7,315 m)
  • Rate of climb: 750 ft/min (3.8 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 45.7 lb/ft² (223.1 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.12 hp/lb (195 W/kg)

  • 8 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns, 1 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Vickers K machine gun
  • 13,000 lb (5,897 kg) of bombs

** Handley Page Halifax - Warbird Fare

Other Warbirds

Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Delicious Digg More Favorites

Back To Top