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Great Britain's Handley Page Hampden bomber

Photos

  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • handley-page-hampden-bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden Mk I bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden Mk I bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden Mk I bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden Mk I bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden Mk II bomber
  • Handley Page Hampden prototype
  • Handley Page Hampden prototype
  • Handley Page Hampden prototype
  • Handley Page Hampden TB Mk I
  • Handley Page Hampden TB Mk I

Design

The Handley Page Hampden was designed to a specification (B.9/325) 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 and was piloted by Major J.L.H.B. Cordes.1,2,3,5

The Hampden Mk I's trial flight was on June 24, 1938.5

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: 5002,5
      • English Electric: 7702,5
      • Total: United Kingdom: 1,2701
      • Canadian Associated Aircraft: 1601,2,5
  • Hampden Mk II: 25
  • Total: 1,4303, 1,5322,5

Variants

  • HP.52: Prototype.2 Pegasus PE.55(a) engines.2,5 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 1415 / 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

By December 1938 the No 49, 50, and 83 Squadrons were equipped with the Hampden Mk I.5

Start of War

There were eight (102) squadrons equipped with Hampden Mk Is at the start of World War II.1 They were with the No 44, 49, 50, 61, 83, 106, 144, and 185 Squadrons under the No 5 Bomber Group at Lincolnshire and Huntingdonshire.5

Eventually fifteen squadrons would be equipped with Hampdens.1

Missions

The first mission was on September 3, 1939, by the No 83 Squadron flying reconnaissance to Schillig Roads.5 Mission wasn't completed due to fog.5

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.2,5

Hampdens were used in August 1940 / August 25 - 26, 19405 during the first raid on Berlin.3

Torpedo Squadrons

The No 144, 408, and 455 Squadrons, with Coastal Command, were equipped with the Hampden TB Mk I torpedo bombers.5

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

  Hampden
Type Medium bomber2
Crew 42
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII4
HP 1,000 each4
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
Weight  
Loaded 21,000 lb4
Performance  
Speed 265 mph4
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
  Hampden Mk I
Type Bomber1,3, Medium Bomber5
Crew 41,3,5
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XVIII1,2,3,5
Cylinders Radial1,5, Radial 92,3
Cooling Air3
HP 980 each2,5, 1,000 each1,3
Propeller blades 3 each2
Dimensions  
Span 69' 2"1,3,5
21.08 m1,5
Length 53' 7"1,3,5
16.33 m1,5
Height 14' 9"5, 14' 11"1,3
4.49 m5, 4.55 m1
Wing area 669 sq ft5, 688 ft2 1
62.06 sq m5, 63.92 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 11,780 lb1,2,5
5,343 kg1,2,5
Loaded 18,750 lb2, 18,756 lb3
8,508 kg2
Maximum load 21,000 lb1,2,5
9,526 kg1,2,5
Performance  
Speed at 13,800' / 4,205 m 254 mph1,3
409 kph1
Speed at 15,500' / 4,724 m 265 mph2
426 kph2
Speed at 15,500' / 4,725 m 265 mph5
426 kph5
Cruising speed 167 mph2,5
269 kph2,5
Climb 980'/minute1,2
298 m/minute2, 299 m/minute1
Climb to 15,000' / 4,570 m 18 minutes 55 seconds5
Service ceiling 19,000'1, 22,700'3,5
5,790 m1, 6,920 m5
Range 1,885 miles3, 1,990 miles5
3,200 km5
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, 7.7 mm Vickers K5
1: 0.303" Browning5
Nose - Flexible 1: 7.7 mm1
Dorsal position 2: 7.7 mm1, 7.7 mm Vickers K5
Ventral position 2: 7.7 mm1, 7.7 mm Vickers K5
Bombs 4,000 lb1,3,5
1,814 kg1,5
  Hampden Mk II
Engine (Type) 2: Wright Cyclone5
HP 1,100 each5

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
  5. The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II, Chris Bishop, 1998
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