A contemporary of the Short Stirling and Avro Lancaster 4-engined heavy bombers, the Handley Page Halifax entered RAF service in 1940 quickly becoming an integral part of Bomber Command’s night time bomber operations over mainland occupied Europe.
While its bomb payload was considerably smaller than the Avro Lancaster, being a relatively conventional mid-wing design with twin tailplanes and rudders, it was considerably quicker and less complicated to build and with Handley Page’s new manufacturing split component construction could be produced in large numbers.
In all, 6,178 Halifax’s were built and at its construction peak, 41 separate factories and dispersed units were involved in production, along with 600 subcontractors and 51,000 employees, with one Halifax completed every hour.
The Halifax carried a crew of 5 consisting of the Bomb Aimer who also doubled as the Navigator stationed in the nose of the aircraft with the Wireless Operator and Flight Engineer immediately behind. The Flight Engineer also performed the role of Co-pilot from a fold-down seat opposite the Pilot. Perched in his dorsal turret sat the Midships Gunner with the Tail Gunner bringing up the rear.
Five Halifax Squadrons were selected to form the No 8 Pathfinder Group and along with modified De Havilland Mosquitos and Avro Lancasters, marked the routes and targets for the main bomber force which enabled greater accuracy for Bomber Command.
With the need for heavier payloads and larger single target ordinance such as the 22000lb ‘block-buster’ Tall Boy, Bomber Command gradually phased out the Halifax replacing it with the more versatile Avro Lancaster although it still formed part of the main bombing offence right through to the end of the War in Europe.
All Handley Page Halifax Instruments listed below come complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
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