Handley Page Heyford

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Handley Page Heyford

Handley Page Heyford Biplane History
The Handley Page Heyford was designed by George Rudolph Volkert and built by British aircraft manufacturer Handley Page Aircraft. It was designed as a heavy night bomber which could replace the Vickers Virginia. The first flight of the prototype, the H.P.38, took place on June 12, 1930, at their factory in Radlett, Hertfordshire. They had metal wings while the forward monocoque was aluminium and the rear frame was covered with fabric. The fuselage was attached to the upper wing, which allowed the lower wing to be used for bomb storage and the loading of bombs while the engines were still running.

This aircraft held four crewmen. The Pilot, a radio operator, a bomb aimer/navigator/nose gunner and a ventral/dorsal gunner. Following the success of the H.P.38 trials, the H.P.50 was produced with more powerful engines. Four variants were produced in total, the Heyford I, IA, II and the III.

The Handley Page Heyford Biplane Operational History
The first Handley Page Heyfords entered service in November 1933, with the Royal Air Force’s No. 99 Squadron, who were based at Upper Heyford. By the end of 1936 the RAF was running nine operational Squadrons of these night bombers. The Heyfords took part in various night exercises, including mock attacks on French targets.

The arrival of the Vickers Wellesleys and the Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys saw the gradual replacement of the Handley Page Heyford. They were withdrawn from frontline service in 1939. None of these aircraft have survived, although some small parts, such as a pair of main wheels, are housed in the Royal Air Force Museum.

Various scale models, model kits and plans of this aircraft have been available in the market place.

Handley Page Heyford Biplane Specifications:

Handley Page Heyford Crew:
Handley Page Heyford Length:
58ft 0in (17.68m)
Handley Page Heyford Wingspan:
75ft 0in (22.87m)
Handley Page Heyford Height:
17ft 6in (5.34m)
Handley Page Heyford Wing area:
1,470ft² (136.6 m²)
Handley Page Heyford Empty weight:
9,200lb (4,180kg)
Handley Page Heyford Loaded weight:
16,900lb (7,680kg)
Handley Page Heyford Engine:
Twin Rolls-Royce Kestrel II-S liquid-cooled V12 engines, 525 hp (392 kW) each
Handley Page Heyford Maximum speed:
142mph (229 km/h)
Handley Page Heyford Range:
920 mi (1,481 km)
Handley Page Heyford Service Ceiling:
21,000ft (6,400m)

Handley Page Heyford Biplane Armament

2500lb (1.134kg)

3 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns
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