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Hampden HP 52

Medium Bomber

Handley Page

Hampden HP 52

HANDLEY PAGE HP.52 HAMPDEN twin-engined monoplane bomber was designed in 1933 under the direction of G R Volkert in response to the requirements of Specification B.9/32, having a crew of three and a slender fuselage designed to accommodate nose, dorsal and ventral turrets and a bomb-bay carrying 4,000 lb (1,816 kg) of bombs. Single prototype (K4240) ordered 1933 powered by 815 hp Pegasus XVIIIs, flown on June 21, 1936, without armament. Second prototype (L7271) flown July 1, 1937, had 835 hp Pegasus XXs and was started as the sole HP.53 for Swedish Air Force (which later received a production HP.52, L4036, instead).

Handley Page Hampden I: First production contract for 180 placed with Handley Page August 1936 to Specification B.30/36, with Pegasus XVIIIs or XXIIs and armament of one 0.303 in (7,7 mm) Vickers 'K' gun in nose, dorsal and ventral positions plus one fixed forward firing Browning in fuselage side, and stowage for four 500 Ib (227 kg) or two I,500 Ib (681 kg) mines or two 2,000 Ib (908 kg) bombs; later aircraft had twin ventral and dorsal guns on Rose mountings. First production aircraft flown June 21, 1938; deliveries began to No 49 Squadron and six squadrons operational by September 1939. Production total 500 by Handley Page plus 770 by English Electric at Preston (first flown February 22, 1940) and 160 by Canadian Associated Aircraft in Quebec and Ontario (first flown August 9, 1940). Operational 1940-42 for leaflet dropping, mine-laying and day and night bombing; thereafter for training, including about 100 transferred to Canada in 1943.

Handley Page Hampden T.B.Mk I: 144 Handley Page Hampden bombers converted 1942/43 as torpedo-bombers to equip five squadrons of Coastal Command, each carrying one Mk XII torpe-do in open bomb-bay and one 500 Ib (227 kg) bomb under each wing. Gross weight, 23,500 Ib (10,669 kg) and range 1,960 mis (3,154 km) with torpedo. Twenty-three transferred to Soviet Air Force 1942 after operations from Soviet bases by Nos 144 and 455 Squadrons and then used by 3rd squadron of 24MTAP (Anti-shipping Wing) of Soviet Navy until late-1943.

Handley Page Hampden Met I: Variant modified for meteorological reconnaissance, used by Nos 517, 519 and 521 Squadrons, 1943.

Handley Page Hampden II: Two Handley Page Hampden Is convert-ed to have 1,100 hp Cyclone GR-1820-G102A radials (as HP.62) in 1940.

Handley Page Hereford - The Handley Page HP.52 Hereford was a version of Handley Page Hampden powered by two 955 hp Dagger VIII in-line air-cooled engines. Second Handley Page Hampden prototype L7271 (the original HP.53) converted by Short Bros in Belfast and first flown with Daggers on October 6, 1938. Production of 150 to Specification B.44/36 by Shorts; first flight May 17, 1939, and production completed September 1940. Used only for crew-training by Nos 14 and 16 OTUs and at least 23 later converted to Handley Page Hampdens. Specification similar to Handley Page Hampden bomber.

Hampden HP 52

Handley Page Hampden I
Crew 3
Wing span 69 ft 2 in (21.07 m)
Length, m 53 ft 7 in (16.35 m)
Wing area 668 sq ft (62.1 m²)
2 × Bristol Pegasus 2 × 980 hp
Empty weight 11,780 lb (5,345 kg)
Loaded weight 18,756 lb (8,505 kg)
Maximum speed at at 13,800ft (4,206 m) 254 mph (409 km/h)
Cruising speed 167 mph (269 km/h)
Initial rate of climb 980 ft/min (4,98 m/sec)
Service ceilling 19,000 ft (5,880 m)
Range with 2,000 lb (908 kg) bombs 1,885 mi (3,160 km)
One Vickers gun in the nose, one Browning gun in the cockpit, 2x2 Vickers guns in the turret, Bombs, kg 1814

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Photo Description
 Drawing HP Hampden B.Mk.I

Drawing Handlley Page Hampden B.Mk.I

«Hampden» L4159

«Hampden» L4159.

The fifth production «Hampden»

The fifth production «Hampden»

P1333/EA:F of No 49 Squadron

The Hampden had a maximum bomb load of 4,000 lb. P1333/EA:F of No 49 Squadron is seen about to be loaded with six 250 lb GP bombs at its Scampton dispersal. A few nights after this photograph was taken, on 16/17 August 1940, PI 333 was one of two Hampdens that failed to return from an attempt to bomb the Merseburg oil plants. Flt Sgt M. Stetton and crew crash-landed in the Netherlands and were taken prisoner. Married quarters can be seen in the background, as can Hampden PI347/ EA:D, which succumbed to flak on 4/5 September 1940 with the loss of all the crew. (IWM CH262)


  • "Handley Page Hampden and Hereford" /by Alan W. Hall/
  • "RAIDING THE REICH. The Allied Strategie Offensive in Europe" /Roger A. Freeman/