This Day in Aviation History

November 13th, 1940
Introduction: Handley Page Halifax with the Royal Air Force’s No. 35 Squadron.

The Handley Page Halifax was one of the four-engined heavy bombers of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. A contemporary of the famous Avro Lancaster, the Halifax remained in service until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing. The Halifax was also operated by squadrons of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Free French Air Force, and Polish forces, and after the Second World War by the Royal Egyptian Air Force, the Armée de l’Air and the Royal Pakistan Air Force.

Handley Page produced the H.P.56 design to meet Air Ministry Specification P.13/36 for a twin-engine medium bomber for “world-wide use”. Other candidates for the specification included the Avro 679, and designs from Fairey, Boulton Paul and Shorts; all were designed around a two-engine installation, using the Rolls-Royce Vulture, Napier Sabre, Fairey P.24 or Bristol Hercules. Most of these engines were under development. While four-engined bombers were considered for specification B.12/36 for a heavy bomber, wings mounting two engines were still in the experimental stage requiring testing at the RAE and the resulting increase in overall weight of stronger wing meant further strengthening of the whole aircraft structure.

Following consideration of the designs by the Air Ministry in February 1937, the Avro design was selected with the Handley Page as “second string” and two prototypes of each were ordered…

Wikipedia, Handley Page Halifax:


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