Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.III

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Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.III
Handley Page Halifax.jpg
No 462 Squadron Halifax AWM P01523.033
Handley Page Halifax 2.jpg
Halifax Mk 3 version
Type 4 engine monoplane
Role Strategic heavy bomber
Designer Handley Page
Manufacturer Handley Page (1,589), English Electric (2,145), Fairey Aviation (662), London Aircraft Production Group (710), & Rootes Securities (1,070)
Produced 1940 - 1946 in the UK
Number built 6,176
Primary users RAF, RCAF, RAAF
In service Nov 1940
Out of service 1961


The original design was in response to the Air Ministry request for a world wide medium bomber. Its maiden flight occurred on 25 Oct 1939, and it entered service with the RAF in late 1940, quickly becoming a major component of Bomber Command. Construction continued until April 1945. Many variations of the basic design evolved, including an unarmed passenger version. During war time operations 1,833 aircraft were lost.

In addition to the RAF, the Halifax was flown by the Canadian, Australian, Free French, and Polish Air Forces. Three Australian Squadrons flew the Halifax - Nos 460, 462 and 466 Squadrons. While 462 Squadron spent considerable time in the Middle Eastern theatre, they all flew bombing raids over Germany until the war in Europe finished. Forty one Halifax aircraft were used during the Berlin Airlift carrying goods and personnel into Berlin following the Communist action to isolate West Berlin from the Allies controlled West Germany.

General characteristics

  • Crew: Seven - Pilot, co-plot/engineer, navigator, bomb aimer, radio operator/gunner, two gunners.
  • Length: 21.82 m
  • Wingspan: 31.75 m
  • Height: 6.32 m
  • Empty weight: 17,178 kg
  • Max takeoff weight: 24,675 kg
  • Powerplant: 4 x Bristol Hercules XVI 14 cylinder air cooled piston engines. 1,615 hp each
  • Maximum speed: 454 km/h at 4,100 m
  • Range: 2,990 km
  • Service ceiling: 7,300 m
  • Armament
  • Guns: 8 x .303 Browning machine guns (4 in dorsal turret, 4 in rear turret); 1 x .303 Vickers machine gun in nose.
  • Bombs: 5, 897 kg

Crew members

No. 462 Squadron