Handley Page Halifax B.Mk.III
From Our Contribution
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.
- 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
- 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
No. 462 Squadron
- Ernest Ronald William Oliver Navigator 30 Jan 1945 - 24 Feb 1945 KIA