Handley Page Halifax

Handley Page Halifax

DND Archives PL-10457

An RCAF Halifax bomber Mk II (L-QR) from 405 Squadron in flight overseas on July 16, 1942.

Overview

Overview

Names painted on the sides of RCAF Halifax bombers, such as “Willy the Wolf”, “The Champ”, “Big Chief Wa-Hoo”, and “Vicky the Vicious Virgin”, reflected the affection that Canadian wartime crews felt for the big four-engine bomber type. It could absorb tremendous punishment and still fly home. One Halifax aircraft, named “Friday the Thirteenth”, survived 128 sorties. The Halifax was perhaps overshadowed by its larger cousin in Bomber Command, the Avro Lancaster, but many Canadian crews were more than satisfied with the aircraft type and the type was perhaps Canada’s most important bomber in the Second World War. Apart from the bomber offensive, the Halifax was also used in Coastal Command to hunt submarines, and for special operations such as towing gliders or making parachute drops of supplies and agents in occupied territories. 

Model number HP 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63
Marks Mk I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII
Role Bomber, anti-submarine warfare, transport and glider tug
Taken on strength 1940
Struck off strength 1945
Number 84 Mk I, 1,977 Mk II, 2,091 Mk III
Service RCAF and Royal Air Force (904 Mk V, 467 Mk VI, 35 Mk VII)

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

Technical specifications

Technical specifications (MK III)

 

Manufacturer Handley Page Aircraft Ltd. (designed and built)
Crew / passengers 7 crew (pilot, navigator, bomb aimer, radio operator, gunners)
Powerplant Four 1,615 hp Rolls Royce Merlin or Bristol Hercules XVI radial engines
Maximum speed 280 mph (450 km/h) at 13,500 ft
Service ceiling 41,000 ft (12,496 m)
Range 3,000 mi (4,830 km)
Empty weight 36,000 lb (16,320 kg)
Gross weight 65,000 lb (29,450 kg)
Span 98 ft 10 in (30.2 m)
Length 70 ft 1 in (21.4 m)
Wing area 1,200 sq ft (111.5 m2)
Armament Nine Browning .303 calibre machine guns plus provision for 13,000 lb (5,900 kg) of bombs or stores
Cost Unknown

Source: Canadian Combat and Support Aircraft: A Military Compendium by T.F.J. Leversedge © 2007. Translated and reproduced with permission of the author.

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