Great Britain's flagGreat Britain's RAF aircraft marking
Toggle Menu

Great Britain's General Aircraft Hamilcar glider

Photos

General Aircraft Hamilcar glider:
Great Britain's General Aircraft Hamilcar  glider
General Aircraft Hamilcar glider:
Great Britain's General Aircraft Hamilcar  glider
General Aircraft Hamilcar glider:
Great Britain's General Aircraft Hamilcar  glider
Airspeed Horsa glider:
Great Britain's General Aircraft Hamilcar  glider
Airspeed Horsa glider:
Great Britain's General Aircraft Hamilcar  glider

Design

The General Aircraft Hamilcar was designed to carry heavy payloads to landing zones.1 It could carry a Tetrarch, Locust, two Bren carriers, a 17 pdr gun, a mobile Bofors gun, or other equipment.1

The Hamilcar was made from wood.1

Cargo Bay

The cargo bay was 25' 6" / 7.77 m long, 8' / 2.44 m wide, and 7' 6" / 2.29 m high.1 The nose of the Hamilcar was hinged for easy loading and unloading.1,2

Undercarriage

There were wheels for takeoff which were jettisoned allowing for the Hamilcar to land on skids.1

Tugs

The usual tug for the Hamilcar were Halifaxes and sometimes Stirlings.1,2

Prototype

A half scale prototype first flew on March 27, 1942.1,2

Production

General Aircraft built the first 22, and the rest by subcontractors under the guidance of Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company.1

  • Prototypes: 21
  • Hamilcar Mk I: 4101
  • Hamilcar Mk X: ~20 converted2, 22 converted1
  • Total: 4121,2
    • Manufacturer: General Aircraft Ltd.2

Variants

  • Hamilcar Mk I: Main production version.1
  • Hamilcar Mk X: Conversion of Mk I.1 Was to be used against Japan.1 With two engines it could take off under its own power.1,2 100 were originally ordered but on 22 were completed by the end of World War II.1 None saw action.1

Usage

Normandy

70 Hamilcars took part in the landings on June 6, 1944, at Normandy.1,2

Arnhem

In September 1944, at Arnhem, 28 Hamilcars were used.1

Rhine Crossing

The Hamilcar was used during the Rhine crossings.1

Specifications

  General Aircraft Hamilcar1
Type Glider1, Transport Glider2
Crew 22
Passengers / Cargo 15,500 lb2
Engine (Type) None2
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 110'1,2
33.53 m1
Length 68'1,2
20.73 m1
Height 20' 3"1,2
6.17 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 37,000 lb2
Maximum load for towing  
Performance  
Maximum towing speed  
Maximum diving speed  
Stall speed  
Speed 150 mph2
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Maximum ferry range with no payload  
Armament  
  General Aircraft Hamilcar Mk I1
Type  
Crew 21
Passengers / Cargo 17,500 lb1
7,938 kg1
Engine (Type) None1
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 19,500 lb1
8,845 kg1
Loaded 37,000 lb1
16,783 kg1
Maximum load for towing  
Performance  
Maximum towing speed 150 mph1
241 kph1
Maximum diving speed 187 mph1
301 kph1
Stall speed 65 mph1
105 kph1
Speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Maximum ferry range with no payload  
Armament  
  General Aircraft Hamilcar Mk X1,2
Type  
Crew  
Passengers / Cargo 21,400 lb1
9,707 kg1
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Mercury2
2: Bristol Mercury 311
Cylinders Radial2, Radial 91
Cooling  
HP 965 each1
Propeller blades 2 each1
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 25,510 lb1
11,571 kg1
Loaded  
Maximum load for towing 47,000 lb1
21,319 kg1
Performance  
Maximum towing speed  
Maximum diving speed  
Stall speed  
Speed 145 mph1, 150 mph2
233 kph1
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 705 miles1
1,135 km1
Maximum ferry range with no payload 1,675 miles1
2,695 km1
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

Find me here too:
feedburner rssfeed bloggerfacebook youtube Follow wwiivehicles on Twitter