The Handley Page 0/400 Bomber
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An illustration from the "Octopus Colour Encyclopaedia of Aircraft"
showing a Handley Page 0/400 Bomber in service.
|When the war started, the British had no bombers
as such. Concerned about the ability of the Germans to use Zeppelins to
launch bombing raids on Britain, several attempts were made to destroy the
Zeppelin sheds by manually dropping bombs from single seater aircraft. Very
little success was achieved, and it wasn't until March 1915 that a system
was devised for dropping bombs from an externally mounted rack, - releasing
them by pulling on a wire.
Seeing the absolute neccessity of having an aircraft that was specifically able to carry a heavy bomb load over some distance, the Royal Naval Air Service ordered the Handley Page 0/100 bomber. The RNAS took delivery of its first HP 0/100 in November 1916, and this first flew in December 1916.
An improved version of this bomber, the HP 0/400, was delivered in early 1918. The HP 0/400 had more powerful engines than the HP 0/100.
Although the HP 0/400 made no great impact in the war itself, when the war ended about ten of the Handley Page O/400 bombers were converted to 12-seat passenger airplanes. These passenger aircraft were designated the Handley Page O/10 or O/11 and Handley Page Transport used them on their Croydon to Paris route.
Bombs being fitted to a Handley Page 0/400 Bomber.
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