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Handley Page H.P.42

Type of aircraft / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Handley Page H.P.42 and H.P.45 were four-engine biplane airliners designed and manufactured by British aviation company Handley Page, based in Radlett, Hertfordshire. It held the distinction of being the largest airliner in regular use in the world upon the type's introduction in 1931.[1]

Quick facts: HP.42 / HP.45, Role, Manufacturer, First flig...
HP.42 / HP.45
Handley Page H.P.42 G-AAUD Hanno
Role Civilian airliner
Manufacturer Handley Page
First flight 14 November 1930
Introduction June 1931
Retired 1940 (all lost)
Primary users Imperial Airways
Royal Air Force
Number built 4 HP.42, 4 HP.45
Hanno ready for takeoff

The H.P.42/45 were designed in response to a specification issued during 1928 by British airline Imperial Airways; the two models share considerable similarities, the H.P.42 being optimised towards greater range at the expense of payload while the H.P.45 had these priorities inverted, allowing the latter to carry more passengers over shorter distances. Imperial Airways approved of Handley Page's proposals and ordered four aircraft of the two variants to serve as the new land-based long-distance flagships of its fleet.

On 14 November 1930, the prototype, named Hannibal, conducted its maiden flight. Following their introduction into Imperial Airways, they formed the backbone of the airliner's land-based fleet through most of the 1930s and, along with the company's numerous flying boats, have been considered to be icons of their era. A total of eight aircraft were built, four of each type; all were named, with names beginning with the letter "H". Three of the survivors were pressed into Royal Air Force (RAF) service at the outbreak of the Second World War. By the end of 1940, all of the aircraft had been destroyed as a result of several accidents.