Handley Page began manufacturing aeroplanes in a small factory in Barking, Essex in 1909. Handley Page Limited was founded by Frederick Handley Page (later Sir Frederick) as the United Kingdom's first publicly traded aircraft manufacturing company. Sir Frederick declined to allow his company to be merged into the two large ‘forced marriages’ of aircraft manufacturing companies in the 1960s. It failed to survive alone, and went into voluntary liquidation and ceased to exist in 1970.
During the First World War Handley Page produced a series of heavy bombers for the Royal Navy to bomb the German Zeppelin yards, with the ultimate intent of bombing Berlin in revenge for the Zeppelin attacks on London. Handley Page had been asked by the Admiralty to produce a "bloody paralyser of an aeroplane". These aircraft included the O/100 of 1915, the O/400 of 1918 and the fourengined V/1500 with the range to reach Berlin. The V/1500 only just reached operational service as the war ended in 1918.
The real success of the Company came during the Second World War with the magnificent and robust Halifax bomber. In all, more than 6,000 of them were produced, or more than 40 per cent of Britain’s total heavy-bomber power.
In the bombing operations alone, approximately 76,000 sorties were flown and nearly a quarter of a million tons of bombs were dropped on to enemy targets. Bomber Command had no less than seventy-six Halifax squadrons in action at the time of its peak strength.
|235 x 165 mm
|15 July 2012
|148 black and white photographs
This is a Fonthill Media edition.