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Handley Page HP.67 Hastings

The Handley Page HP.67 Hastings, made by aviation company Handley Page for the Royal Air Force (RAF), was a retired British troop-carrier and freight transport aircraft.

It was introduced in September 1948 and was the largest transport plane ever designed for the service.

During the Second World War, the development of the Hastings was initiated in response to Air Staff Specification C.3/44, which aimed to create a new large four-engine transport aircraft for the RAF.

The company initially prioritized a civil-oriented derivative but changed direction following an accident.

On 7 May 1946, the first prototype completed its maiden flight, and testing revealed some unfavourable flight characteristics, which were successfully addressed through tail modifications.

The type was rushed into service so that it could participate in the Berlin Airlift.

Reportedly, the fleet of 32 Hastings deployed during the RAF operation delivered a combined total of 55,000 tons (49,900 tonnes) of supplies to the city.

As the RAF’s Hastings fleet expanded during the late 1940s and early 1950s, it supplemented and eventually replaced the wartime Avro York, a transport derivative of the famed Avro Lancaster bomber.

RAF Transport Command operated the Hastings as the RAF’s standard long-range transport.

As a logistics platform, it contributed heavily during conflicts such as the Suez Crisis and the Indonesian Confrontation.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) also procured a handful of them to meet its transport needs.

Besides its use as a transport, several Hastings were also modified to perform weather forecasting, training, and VIP duties.

A civilian version of the Hastings, the Handley Page Hermes, was also produced, but it only achieved limited sales.

The RAF continued to heavily use the Hastings until the late 1960s, and the fleet was withdrawn in its entirety during 1977.

The type was succeeded by various turboprop-powered designs, including the Bristol Britannia and the American-built Lockheed Hercules.

The Handley Page Hastings was a large aircraft designed for transport purposes, equipped with four engines.

It boasted modern features such as a Messier-built fully retractable undercarriage, operated hydraulically, and ample storage space for cargo or passengers.

The cabin was designed with a Plymax floor and various grooves, channels, and lashing points for securing goods of varying sizes.

The walls were soundproofed and lined with plywood for increased comfort.

The aircraft featured two paratrooper doors and a freight door on the port side, and a deployable ramp on the ground for road vehicles.

It was typically operated by a crew of five and could accommodate up to 50 fully equipped troops, 30 paratroopers, 32 stretchers and 28 sitting casualties.

The Hastings had a circular cross-section fuselage constructed in three main sections using rolled alloy frames.

The wing box was built with larger I-section structures and supported a metal sheet covering riveted directly onto stringer flanges.

The aircraft’s fuselage was paired with a low-mounted cantilever wing, the connection between the two being smoothly faired.

The wing comprised a twin-spar structure with inter-spar diaphragm-type ribs.

The aircraft was powered by four wing-mounted Bristol Hercules 101 sleeve valve radial engines, with interchangeable power-eggs installed on the leading edge of the wing.

The engines drove de Havilland-built hydromatic four-blade propellers, which could be individually feathered if required.

The aircraft’s fuel tanks were located just inboard of the inner engine nacelles, and retractable ejector pipes were present within the wing for jettisoning fuel in emergency situations.

Each engine had a Vokes-built automated air cleaner and fire detection systems were installed to alert the crew of any dangers.

Fire extinguishers were also installed around each engine.


HP.67 Hastings

Prototype, two built.

HP.67 Hastings C1

Production aircraft with four Bristol Hercules 101 engines,

94 built all later converted to C1A and T5.

HP.67 Hastings C1A

C1 rebuilt to C2 standard.

HP.67 Hastings Met.1

Weather reconnaissance version for Coastal Command, six built.

HP.67 Hastings C2

Improved version with a larger-area tailplane mounted lower on the fuselage, increased fuel capacity, and powered by Bristol Hercules 106 engines, 43 built and C1s were modified to this standard as C1As.

HP.95 Hastings C3

Transport aircraft for the RNZAF, similar to C2 but had Bristol Hercules 737 engines, four built.

HP.94 Hastings C4

VIP transport version for four VIPs and staff, four built.

HP.67 Hastings T5

Eight C1s converted for RAF Bomber Command with ventral radome to train V bomber crews on the Navigation Bombing System (NBS).





50 troops


35 Para troops


32 stretchers and 29 sitting wounded.

20,311 lb (9,213 kg) maximum payload


81 ft 8 in (24.89 m)


113 ft 0 in (34.44 m)


22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)

Wing area

1,408 sq ft (130.8 m2)

Aspect ratio



NACA 23021 at root,

NACA 23007 at tip

Empty weight

48,472 lb (21,987 kg) (equipped, freighter)

Max take-off weight

80,000 lb (36,287 kg)

Fuel capacity

3,172 imp gals (14,420 l; 3,809 US gal)


4 × Bristol Hercules 106,

14-cylinder two-row air-cooled radial engines,

1,675 hp (1,249 kW) each


4-bladed de Havilland constant speed, 13 ft 0 in (3.96 m) diameter


Maximum speed

348 mph (560 km/h, 302 km) at 22,200 ft (6,800 m)

Cruise speed

291 mph (468 km/h, 253 km) at 15,200 ft (4,600 m) (weak mixture)


1,690 mi (2,720 km, 1,470 nmi) (maximum payload),

4,250 mi (3,690 nmi; 6,840 km)

(Maximum fuel, 7,400 lb (3,400 kg) payload)

Service ceiling

26,500 ft (8,100 m)

Rate of climb

1,030 ft/min (5.2 m/s)

Time to altitude

26 minutes to 26,000 ft (7,900 m)

Take-off run to 50 ft (15 m)

1,775 yd (5,325 ft; 1,623 m)

Landing run from 50 ft (15 m)

1,430 yd (4,290 ft; 1,310 m).

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