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Post Info TOPIC: The Handley Page Hastings


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The Handley Page Hastings


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I have a very large data base on The Handley Page Hastings and my experience with the aircraft goes back to 1950, three years after the Hastings first flew in April 1947, when a lad of 11 years of age at RAF Lyneham, I hope that others will contribute to this website in time, please bear with me regarding space as this will take considerable time to evolve



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http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NDczWDY5Ng==/$(KGrHqZ,!jIE-Nqs!3cmBPq5r+j9SQ~~60_12.JPG even on a postage stamp, something I only knew of until today  



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RAF Transport Command Hastings aircraft were operated with a crew of 5 made up of Pilot (left hand seat), Co-pilot (right hand seat), the Navigator sat to the rear of the pilot and sat behind the navigator, the Signaller (Radio Operator), and behind the Co-pilot sat the Air/Flight Engineer. A further crew member the Air Quarter Master (AQM) when required had a work station which was situated between the forward cabin bulkhead and the Radio/Electronics compartment, this housed a wash basin and a tea making area. Opposite was situated a crew toilet and wardroom.

In the cabin/fuselage was a spacious cylindrical area with little or no soundproofing made of quilted fabric, in flight the noise was quite intolerable where a normal conversation could not be heard unless one raised their voice considerably. This area was used for a multi-purpose role. Passengers (max 50) with rearward facing seats, freight or a mix of the two, or for paratrooping (32 in number plus gear), the latter sat in spartan seats running parallel either side of the fuselage, the para exit doors were offset to prevent parachutists colliding, but this was not always preventable. In the CASEVAC role 32 stretchers could be slung from the top of the fuselage in tiers of three and anchored to the plywood floor whilst the walking wounded could hold up to 28 seated. Nursing attendants would be fully trained in the care of the wounded and these were manned by staff from the PMRAF hospital at RAF Wroughton, Wiltshire which was conveniently placed near to RAF Lyneham. (I do know that the nursing staff were trained to evacuate the wounded in the event of a crash landing, this included practicing survival techniques in the public swimming baths at nearby Swindon, thankfully they were never asked to undertake this task in real life!).

There were two paratroop doors either side of the fuselage plus a large freight door fitted to the port side, the Mark C.4 Very Important Person (VIP) version, of which four were built did not have this door. There has often been a debate whether the Hastings would have been better off with a nosewheel, as in the sister aircraft the HP Hermes rather than a tailwheel. It is thought that the Army preferred a tailwheel configuration for ease of loading, try telling that to the guys that had to load them!

On many an occasion I was present (and sometimes used to lend a shoulder when required) when the Air Movements bods had to rig up trestles and ramps from the ground to the freight door, with the incline of the interior somewhere between 25-30 degrees this movement had to be undertaken with a series of rollers and hand winches to haul the freight on board, then shackled to the plywood floor. This operation could take longer than the turnround servicing. The weight had to be distributed exactly with a Trimsheet i.e. the heaviest of the load had to be placed over the wing floor beam girders or forward to the cabin bulkhead, with either passengers or lighter freight to the rear of the aircraft. http://www.air-movements.ex-raf.org.uk/ for more information.

From my own experiences I have seen vehicles within, bofor guns, aircraft engines etc.

The Mk. C.1 Hastings originally had 101 series Bristol Hercules Engines fitted whilst the Mk. C.2 had the 106 series. The Mk.1 differed from the Mk.2 only in that the tail plane was situated higher up the fuselage and was small in area than the C.2. Those mark C.1s that were subsequently modified had increased fuel capacity by means of underslung wing tip tanks and some had the tail plane configuration changed to a Mk.C2. These were redesignated Mk.C.1A.


Variants included the last six of the Hastings C.Mk 1 contract, which were completed as Hastings Met.Mk 1 aircraft for weather reconnaissance duties with Coastal Command, and eight Hastings C.Mk 1s which were converted as bomb aimer trainers for service with the Bomber Command Bombing School. Designated Hastings T.Mk 5, they had a large ventral radome and were equipped with radar bomb-sight equipment. The Hastings was retired from service with RAF Transport Command in early 1968, then being replaced by the Lockheed Hercules. Company designations H.P.94 and H.P.95 were allocated to the Hastings C.Mk 4 and Hastings C.Mk 3 respectively.

Specifications:Type: Long-range general-purpose transport

Powerplant: Four 1,675 hp Bristol Hercules 106 14-cylinder radial piston engines

Performance: Maximum speed: 348 mph at 22,200 ft

Cruising speed: 302 mph

Service ceiling: 26,500 ft

Range with normal payload: 1,690 miles

Weights: Empty: 48,427 lb

Maximum take-off: 80,000 lb

Dimensions: Span: 113 ft 0 in

Length: 82 ft 8 in

Height: 22 ft 6 in

Wing area: 1,408.0 sq ft



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A good overview of the Hastings from the CWM at Cosford

http://www.nationalcoldwarexhibition.org/research/collections/handley-page-hastings/



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In 1951 all the Mk. C.2 Hastings were complete and off the production line from January through to October



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