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the new bomber

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In the early 1930’s the Royal Air Force started looking for a new heavy bomber to take it into the 1940s.  Short Brothers began design of a monoplane bomber with long (for that time) wings of over 100ft span to give it higher altitude performance.  However the size of existing hanger doors precluded this and following Douglas Bader’s magnificent display in his Bristol 321 “Countdown” biplane fighter at the Farnbrough show, the Air Ministry was convinced more than ever that bi-planes were the way to go & that these new-fangled monoplanes would be just a fad.

The Handley-Page H.P.42 airliner was proving a huge success in commercial terms so the Air Ministry asked them to modify the design as the new bomber for the Air Force as it would be ideal for their Middle-East operations.  As enclosed cockpits were hot in desert areas & in alignment with the RAF’s “wind in the hair” attitude, they requested that the cockpit be open and, as gun-turrets were still unreliable in their operation & the framing obscured vision, they would be open too.
In-line engines were favoured over radials on the grounds that they were more modern & the Hawker Fury’s & Hart’s engine had proved good in service.  This bomber would be named the Handley-Page Pompeii as a warning to opponents that their towns would also disappear from the surface of the world, each aircraft being named after a volcano.  The first airframe was named Vesuvius but was soon written off in a landing accident.  The next two were Stromboli & Krakatoa and were sent to Mesopotamia to fight against the new independence movements in those areas of Britain’s colonial empire.

One aircraft was sent to the USA & modified to American tastes by Boeing to see if there was export potential …

These heavy bombers served on into 1939 &, along with the Handley-Page Hendon medium-bomber, made the first attacks on German soil in the new conflict.  Seeing an increased need to take the war further into the Continent, Short Brothers & A.V. Roe were added to the manufacturers of this aircraft.  They both quickly offered improved versions for operations in the cold climates of Europe.  The Short Starling was not very sucessful due to Vulture engines & overly complicated systems but the Avro Coventry with its more powerful Merlin engines & better systems upgrades won the day.  Postwar, many companies sprang up to once more make this Handley-Page product suitable for peacetime use by airlines.


I like it!  :smiley:

Cool creative variations.  8)    Inspiring to build one.

Is Airfix 1/144 kit I did scale-o-rama to 1/72 with.

Small brown dog:
Like this  :smiley:


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