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Sunday, 19 February 2012

From Louis : The Handley Page H.P.42 and H.P.45

The HP 42 and HP45 were regular visitors in Haeren in the years 1930's

Forwarded message ---------- From: Louis Nève

From: Jean Schoefs

Subject: The Handley Page H.P.42 and H.P.45

The Rather Amazing 1930 Handley Page H.P.42/H.P.45

The H.P.42, what an amazing beast! With four Bristol Jupiter engines making 490hp (550hp on the H.P.45) and wingspan on the top wing of 130 feet, this was one big airplane! Big enough to actually have two passenger cabins, one forward of the wings and one aft... with the ability, depending on configuration, of carrying 38 passengers and a crew of 4. Pretty amazing given the time period, and the relatively low overall horsepower.

The one big trade-off that these airplanes had was that they were darn slow. With a cruise speed of just 95 to 100 mph, you'd better hope you didn't have a very strong headwind! Eight of the big birds were built, (four H.P.42 and four H.P.45), and while none survive today, they served in an airliner capacity for about 9 years, during which time no lives were lost - quite an impressive record for the 1930's.

Aviation history is full of fascinating aircraft that represent a tremendous accomplish for their day, and the Handley Page H.P.42 and H.P.45 were pretty amazing flying machines.

Interestingly, there was a project seeking to build an authentic replica of the aircraft, though it's hard to tell if it's still in the works these days or not.

Be sure to watch the video below that shows this big bipe in the air!

The Handley Page H.P.42 and H.P.45 were British four-engined long-range biplane airliners designed to a 1928 Imperial Airways specification by Handley Page of Radlett in Hertfordshire.

The huge 4-engine, 130' wingspan Handley Page H.P.42 airliner introduced in 1931

The H.P.42/45 were the land-based airliners of Imperial Airways and along with the company's later flying boats are well remembered. Eight aircraft were built, four of each type; all were named, with names beginning with the letter "H". One was destroyed in an airship hangar fire in 1937 but the remainder survived to be impressed into Royal Air Force service at the outbreak of the Second World War. No lives were lost in civilian service (a record thought to be unique for contemporary aircraft) but by 1940 all had been destroyed.

The H.P.42 was designed for the long-range, Eastern routes and the similar H.P.45 was built for the European routes. In Imperial Airways service, the H.P.42 was designated the H.P.42E (E for "Eastern" routes - India and South Africa), while the H.P.45 was called the H.P.42W (W for "Western" i.e. European routes).

The H.P.42 and H.P.45 designations were Handley Page's identifiers but this was not commonly known at the time. The H.P.42 was a large unequal-span biplane of all-metal construction except for the fabric coverings of the wings, tail surfaces and rear fuselage. The wings were braced by Warren girders. The tailplane was of biplane configuration with three fins. The H.P.42 was powered by four Bristol Jupiter XIFs of 490 hp (365 kW) each, while the H.P.45 used four Bristol Jupiter XFBM supercharged engines of 555 hp (414 kW), greater fuel consumption being traded for more power. In both cases, two engines mounted on the upper wing and one on each side of the fuselage on the lower wing.

The crew compartment was enclosed, which was a new development and there were two passenger cabins, one fore and one aft of the wings. The H.P.42 carried six (later twelve) in the forward compartment and twelve in the aft. There was substantial baggage room. The H.P.45 seated 18 forward and 20 aft, with reduced baggage capacity.

The first flight was on 14 November 1930, by G-AAGX later to be named "Hannibal", with Squadron Leader Thomas Harold England at the controls. The certificate of airworthiness was granted in May 1931, permitting commercial service; the first flight with fare-paying passengers was to Paris on 11 June of that year.

When the H.P.42s were finally withdrawn from civil service on 1 September 1939 they had recorded almost a decade of service without causing any major accidents

General characteristics
Crew: 4
Capacity: 24 passengers
Length: 92 ft 2 in (28.09 m)
Wingspan: 130 ft (39.62 m)
Height: 27 ft (8.23 m)
Wing area: 2,989 sq ft (278 m²)
Airfoil: RAF 28
Empty weight: 17,740 lb (8,047 kg)
Loaded weight: 28,000 lb (12,700 kg)
Powerplant: 4× Bristol Jupiter XIF radial engine, 490 hp (365 kW) each
Maximum speed: 120 mph (195 km/h)
Cruise speed: 95-105 mph (150-170 km/h)
Range: 500 mi (805 km)
Rate of climb: 790 ft/min (4 m/s)