|Manufacturer||Handley Page, Limited|
|Primary Role||Heavy Bomber|
|Maiden Flight||24 September 1939|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseDue to the build-up of political tension in Europe, the British Royal Air Force ordered 100 Halifax bombers even before a prototype unit took flight. Production began at English Electric's plant at Samlesbury, Lancashire after the European War began. The Halifax bombers were built to be heavy bombers, featuring a large internal bomb bay with the possibility of carrying additional bombs in the wings. They first entered service with No. 35 Squadron RAF in Nov 1940, and conducted their first combat mission against Le Havre on the night of 11-12 Mar 1941. Veterans of Halifax bomber crews recalled their relative relief knowing that, flying at the high altitude that Halifax bombers were capable of, they were safe from flak; however, they had the vulnerability of having a large blind spot beneath the back of the aircraft, which soon became a favorite angle of attack by German Luftwaffe fighters. In 1943, the most numerous variant of the Halifax design, B Mk III, was introduced; 2,091 of this variant were eventually built. In service with RAF Bomber Command, Halifax bombers flew 82,773 missions, dropped 224,207 tons of bombs, and lost 1,833 aircraft. They also serviced in other roles such as glider tugs, reconnaissance aircraft, and paratrooper transports. When production ended in Nov 1946, 6,176 were built.
ww2dbaseAfter the war, they remained in service with the RAF Coastal Command, the RAF Transport Command, the French Air Force, and the Pakistan Air Force. The last active Halifax bomber was retired from Pakistani service in 1961.
ww2dbaseSources: Inferno, Wikipedia.
Last Major Revision: May 2008
|11 Mar 1941Â||During the night of 11 to 12 Mar, six British Handley Page Halifax bombers of No. 35 Squadron of No. 4 Group from RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom attacked Le Havre, France. It was the operational debut of the four-engine heavy bomber. It was marred by the accidental shoot-down of one of them by an RAF nightfighter.|
|11 May 1941Â||The first combat mission by the RAF's new four-engine Halifax bombers failed to succeed when the bombers failed to find their French targets.|
|30 Jun 1941Â||The Handley Page Halifax bomber made its first daylight operation during a raid on Kiel, Germany but it did not take long to discover that its defensive armament was inadequate for daylight use and by the end of the year Halifax bombers were only used on night raids.|
B Mk III
|Machinery||Four Bristol Hercules XVI radial engines rated at 1,615hp each|
|Armament||4x7.7mm dorsal Browning machine guns, 4x7.7mm tail Browning machine guns, 1x7.7mm nose Vickers K machine gun, 5,897kg of bombs|
|Wing Area||110.60 mÂ²|
|Weight, Loaded||24,675 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||454 km/h|
|Rate of Climb||3.80 m/s|
|Service Ceiling||7,315 m|
|Range, Normal||1,860 km|
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