Handley Page HP42/HP45

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Handley Page HP45

Handley Page HP42/HP45 Biplane History
Designed by British aircraft manufacturer Handley Page Aircraft, to a 1928 specification provided by Imperial Airways, the Handley Page HP42 and HP45 were two cabin civilian airliners that became the mainstay of Imperial Airways. The Handley Page HP42s (known by Imperial Airlines as HP42E) were based in Cairo, Egypt, and used for Eastern services between England, Africa and India. The Handley Page HP45s (known by Imperial Airlines as HP42W) were slightly different in layout as they flew the Western, or European, routes with more passengers but with less luggage space and a smaller range. Each of the Handley Page HP42/HP45 biplanes had four engines, two mounted on the upper wing and two mounted on the lower wings. The lower wing engines were mounted either side of the fuselage. The construction of the Handley Page HP42/HP45 was metal, with the exception of the wings which were covered with fabric.

The Handley Page HP42/HP45 Biplane Operations History
Eight of these Handley Page aircraft were produced in total, four of each type. Several of them went into service with the Royal Air Force during WW2, however none of them survived beyond 1940.

Handley Page HP42s

(G-AAGX) was the prototype and first flew on November 14, 1930. Following early damage caused during a forced landing in Kent on August 8, 1931, Hannibal was taken by road to Croydon Airport and repaired. Hannibal was lost over the Gulf of Oman on March 1, 1940, while in the service of the Royal Air Force.
(G-AAUC) first flew on September 11, 1931. Horsa was also in the service of the Royal Air Force when she burned after a forced landing at Moresby Parks, Cumberland, on August 7, 1940.
(G-AAUD) first flew on July 19, 1931, and was later converted to an HP45. Hanno, which appears in the documentary ‘Air Outpost’ by the Strand Film Company, went into service with the Royal Air Force and was destroyed in a gale at Whitchurch Airport Bristol, on March 19, 1940, when blown together with Heracles.
(G-AAUE) – First flew on June 24, 1931. Hadrian also served with the Royal Air Force and was damaged beyond repair in a gale at Doncaster Airport, on December 6, 1940.

Handley Page HP45s

(G-AAXC) first flew on August 8, 1931. As with Hanno, Heracles was in service with the Royal Air Force and was destroyed in a gale at Whitchurch Airport Bristol, on March 19,1940, when blown together with Hanno.
(G-AAXD) first flew on November 6, 1931, and later survived a lightning strike, while crossing the English Channel on a flight from Paris to London. Horatius was destroyed during an emergency landing at Tiverton golf course, Devon, on November 7, 1939. She was returning from a mission in the service of the RAF.
(G-AAXE) first flew on December 8, 1931, and was later converted to a Handley Page HP42. Hengist was burned in an airship hangar fire on May 31, 1937.
(G-AAXF) first flew on December 30, 1931, and was also later converted to a Handley Page HP42. Helena served with the RAF’s 271 Squadron before being grounded and condemned, due to corrosion, late in 1940.

Various scale models, model kits and plans of the Handley Page HP42.45 have been available in the market place.

Handley Page HP42/HP45 Biplane Specifications:

Handley Page HP42/HP45 Crew: 4
Handley Page HP42/HP45 Passenger Capacity:
Handley Page HP42/HP45 Length:
92ft 2in (28.09m)
Handley Page HP42/HP45 Wingspan:
130ft 0in (39.62m)
Handley Page HP42/HP45 Height:
27ft 0in (8.23m)
Handley Page HP42/HP45 Wing area:
2,989ft² (278.0 m²)
Handley Page HP42/HP45 Empty weight:
17,740lb (8,047kg)
Handley Page HP42/HP45 Max takeoff weight:
28,000lb (12,700kg)
Handley Page HP42/HP45 Engine:
4 x Bristol Jupiter XIF 9-cylinder radial engines, 490 hp (365 kW) each
Handley Page HP42/HP45 Maximum speed:
120mph (193 km/h)
Handley Page HP42/HP45 Range:
500 mi (805 km)
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