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Great Britain's Handley Page Hampden bomber

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Handley Page Hampden bomber:
Great Britain's Handley Page Hampden bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Handley Page Hampden bomber:
Great Britain's Handley Page Hampden bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Handley Page Hampden bomber:
Great Britain's Handley Page Hampden bomber

Design

The Handley Page Hampden was designed to a specification given in 1932.1

The Hampden wasn't good at daylight bombing as it had many blind spots for defense and the crews were very cramped.3

Fuselage

The fuselage was only 3' / 91 cm at it's widest point.2

Prototype

The HP.52 Hampden prototype first flew on June 21, 1936.1,2,3

Production

Deliveries started in September 1938.2 Production ended in March 1942.2

  • HP.52 and HP.53: 22
  • Hampden Mk I: 1,4302
    • Manufacturer: Handley Page Ltd.3
      • Handley Page: 5002
      • English Electric: 7702
      • Total: United Kingdom: 1,2701
      • Canadian Associated Aircraft: 1601,2
  • Total: 1,4303, 1,5322

Variants

  • HP.52: Prototype.2 Pegasus engine.2 Designed for RAF.2
  • HP.53: Prototype.2 Designed for Sweden.2 Napier Dagger VIII 16 cylinder 'H' pattern engine (1,000 HP).2
  • Hampden Mk I:
  • Hereford: Trainer.1 Had a Napier Dagger engine.1
  • Hampden Mk II: Had Wright Cyclone engine.1,2 Never produced.1
  • Hampden TB Mk I: Torpedo bomber.2 143 converted.2

Usage

Britain, Canada, and New Zealand used the Hampden.2

First Deployment

The No. 49 Squadron first received the Hampden in August 1938.1

Start of War

There were eight (102) squadrons equipped with Hampden Mk Is at the start of World War II.1

Eventually fifteen squadrons would be equipped with Hampdens.1

Missions

Early war missions involved dropping leaflets, mine laying, bombing invasion barges, and reconnaissance.2

After it was shown how vulnerable the Hampden was in daylight they switched to night operations.2

Hampdens were used in August 1940 during the first raid on Berlin.3

Last Raid

On the night of September 14 - 15, 1942 was the Hampden's last raid.1 It was withdrawn from Bomber Command.1

Coastal Command

After being withdrawn from Bomber Command four Coastal Command squadrons were outfitted with the Hampden torpedo bomber.1

Two of these squadrons, No 144 and No 255, were stationed near Murmansk.1

Three squadrons used their Hampdens for weather reconnaissance.1

Specifications

  Handley Page Hampden
Type Medium bomber2
Crew 42
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII4
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 1,000 each4
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 69' 2"2,4
21.08 m2
Length 53' 7"2,4
16.33 m2
Height 14' 11"2,4
4.55 m2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 21,000 lb4
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed 265 mph4
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 800 miles4
Armament 6: 0.303" MG2
Nose - Fixed 2: MG4
Dorsal position 2: MG4
Ventral position 2: MG4
Bombs 16: 112 lb4
10: 25 lb4
Bombs - internal 4,000 lb2
1,814 kg2
Bombs - under wings 2: 500 lb2
2: 227 kg2
OR 1: 18" torpedo2
1: 46 cm torpedo2
  Handley Page Hampden Mk I
Type Bomber1,3
Crew 41,3
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII piston1,2,3
Cylinders Radial1, Radial 92,3
Cooling Air3
HP 980 each2, 1,000 each1,3
Propeller blades 3 each2
Dimensions  
Span 69' 2"1,3
21.08 m1
Length 53' 7"1,3
16.33 m1
Height 14' 11"1,3
4.55 m1
Wing area 688 ft2 1
63.92 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 11,780 lb1,2
5,343 kg1,2
Loaded 18,750 lb2, 18,756 lb3
8,508 kg2
Maximum load 21,000 lb1,2
9,526 kg1,2
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 13,800' /
4,205 m
254 mph1,3
409 kph1
Speed @ 15,500' /
4,724 m
265 mph2
426 kph2
Cruising speed 167 mph2
269 kph2
Climb 980'/minute1,2
298 m/minute2, 299 m/minute1
Service ceiling 19,000'1, 22,700'3
5,790 m1
Range 1,885 miles3
Range with 2,000 lb /
907 kg bombs
1,885 miles2
3,033 km2
Range with 4,000 lb /
1,814 kg bombs
1,200 miles1
1,931 km1
Range with maximum bomb load 1,200 miles2
1,931 km2
Armament 6: MG3
Nose - Fixed 1: 7.7 mm1
Nose - Flexible 1: 7.7 mm1
Dorsal position 2: 7.7 mm1
Ventral position 2: 7.7 mm1
Bombs 4,000 lb1,3
1,814 kg1

Sources:

  1. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
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