World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
Great Britain's flagGreat Britain's RAF aircraft marking

Great Britain's Handley Page Harrow bomber

Photos

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

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

Design

Originally the Handley Page Harrow was designed to be a transport. However, under the 1936 RAF Expansion Scheme it was decided to use it as a bomber.

Prototype

The HP.54 prototype first flew on October 10, 1936. This was also the first Harrow Mk I production plane.

Production

The Harrow Mk II first flew in February 1937.

  • Harrow Mk I: 38
  • Harrow Mk II: 62
  • Total: 100

Variants

  • HP.54: Prototype.
  • Harrow Mk I: Used for training.
  • Harrow Mk II: More powerful Bristol Pegasus XX engine.

Usage

Before World War II

Starting in April 1937 and by early 1939 there were five RAF bomber squadrons equipped with the Harrow Mk IIs. By September 1939 these had been replaced by Wellingtons.

New Duty

Starting in 1940 the Harrow began to be used as a transport. Was often used between Britain and Gibraltar.

Operation Mutton

Harrows were used in Operation Mutton where they towed aerial mines (Pandoras) in front of German bombers at night. They were guided by ground controllers. In 1941 there were six German bombers destroyed by the Pandoras.

Ambulance

In September 1944 the Harrow was used as an ambulance in Europe.

Last of Line

By late 1944 there were only twelve Harrows remaining in service. Of these, seven were destroyed in Operation Bodenplatte at the Brussels-Evere airfield on New Years Day.

By May 1945 the last five were removed from the RAF.

Specifications

  Handley Page Harrow
Type Bomber
Transport
Crew 4 - 5
Passengers 20 troops
12 stretchers
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 88' 5"
26.95 m
Length 82' 2"
25.04 m
Height 15' 5", 19' 5"
5.92 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 23,000 lb
Performance  
Speed 200 mph
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Cruising range 1,500 miles
Armament  
Nose turret 1: 0.303" MG
Dorsal cupola 1: 0.303" MG
Rear turret 2: 0.303" MG
Bombs 3,000 lb
1,361 kg
  Handley Page Harrow Mk I
Type  
Crew  
Passengers  
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus X
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 830 each, 850 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Maximum range  
Armament  
  Handley Page Harrow Mk II
Type  
Crew  
Passengers  
Engine (Type) 2: Bristol Pegasus XX
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 925 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 13,600 lb
6,169 kg
Loaded 23,000 lb
10,433 kg
Performance  
Speed  
Speed @ 10,000' /
3,048 m
200 mph
322 kph
Cruising speed 163 mph
262 kph
Climb 710'/minute
216 m/minute
Climb to 6,500' /
1,981 m
8.2 minutes
Service ceiling 22,800'
6,950 m
Range 1,260 miles
2,028 km
Maximum range 1,840 miles
2,961 km
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site