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Handley Page Heyford

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Old May 30th 17, 04:06 PM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
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Default Handley Page Heyford


The Handley Page Heyford was a twin-engine British biplane bomber of the 1930s.
Although it had a short service life, it equipped several squadrons of the RAF
as one of the most important British bombers of the mid-1930s, and was the last
biplane heavy bomber to serve with the RAF. The aircraft was named for and first
deployed at RAF Upper Heyford, near Bicester in Oxfordshire.

The aircraft was of mixed construction having fabric-covered, two-bay
metal-frame wings, while the fuselage had an aluminium monocoque forward section
with a fabric-covered frame to the rear, It had a crew of four, consisting of a
pilot, a bomb aimer/navigator/gunner, a radio operator and a dorsal/ventral
gunner. Open positions were provided for the pilot and both the nose and dorsal
gunners. The Heyford had a novel configuration, with the fuselage attached to
the upper wing somewhat like the 1914-designed German Gotha G.I and with the
bomb bay in the thickened centre lower wing. This provided a good defensive
field of fire for the nose and dorsal guns as well as the ventral retractable
"dustbin" turret, each equipped with a single .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Gun. The
fixed undercarriage consisted of large, spat-covered wheels. The design allowed
ground crews to safely attach bombs while the engines were running, but the
result was that the pilot was some 17 ft (5 m) off the ground.

The HP.38 proved successful during service trials at Martlesham Heath and with
No. 10 Squadron RAF and was chosen as the winner of the B19/27 competition,
being ordered as the HP.50 Heyford. Production Heyford Is were fitted with 575
hp (429 kW) Kestrel III engines and retained the two-blade propellers, while the
IAs had four-blade propellers. Engine variations marked the main Mk II and III
differences; the former being equipped with 640 hp (480 kW) Kestrel IVs,
supercharged to 695 hp (518 kW) in the Heyford III.

Heavy night bomber

Handley Page Aircraft

George Rudolph Volkert

First flight
12 June 1930



Primary user
Royal Air Force

1933 - 1936

Number built

The Heyford I entered service with No. 99 Squadron RAF, at RAF Upper Heyford in
November 1933, and later with No. 10 Squadron and 7 Squadron, re-equipping with
the Heyford IA and II in August 1934 and April 1935 respectively. As part of the
RAF's Expansion scheme, orders were placed for 70 Heyford IIIs in 1936, with
steam condenser-cooled Rolls-Royce Kestrel VI engines. The delivery of these
aircraft allowed the RAF to have nine operational Heyford Squadrons by the end
of 1936.

The Heyford started to be replaced in 1937, with the arrival in service of
Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys and Vickers Wellesleys, finally being retired from
frontline service in 1939. Some remained flying until 1940 as bombing and
gunnery trainers, being declared obsolete in July 1939, with two used as glider
tugs until April 1941. At least two examples found experimental use; one for
airborne radar and the other for inflight refuelling, an
d it is reported that one was still stored as late as 1944.

Specifications (Heyford IA)

General characteristics
Crew: four (pilot, co-pilot/navigator, bomb aimer/air gunner, wireless
operator/air gunner
Length: 58 ft (17.68 m)
Wingspan: 75 ft (22.87 m)
Height: 17 ft 6 in (5.34 m)
Wing area: 1,470 ft (136.6 m)
Empty weight: 9,200 lb (4,180 kg)
Loaded weight: 16,900 lb (7,680 kg)
Powerplant: 2 Rolls-Royce Kestrel II-S liquid-cooled V12 engine, 525 hp (392
kW) each

Maximum speed: 142 mph (123 knots, 229 km/h) at 13,000 ft (3,960 m)
Range: 920 mi (800 nmi, 1481 km)
Service ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m)

Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 15.3 minutes


Guns: 3 .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns (nose, dorsal and ventral 'dustbin'
Bombs: 2,500 lb (1,134 kg) total



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