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Handley Page Hastings prototype

Handley Page Hastings prototype


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RAF Museum

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Handley Page Hastings prototype

The Royal Air Force Museum is Britain's only national museum dedicated wholly to aviation

Media ID 639852

© RAF 2007 - All Rights Reserved

Postwar Prototypes Royal Air Force


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EDITORS COMMENTS
In this evocative photograph, the Handley Page Hastings prototype, registration number WP965, stands proudly on the tarmac of an RAF airfield. The year is 1948, and the post-war Royal Air Force is at the forefront of aviation innovation. The Handley Page Hastings, a twin-engine transport aircraft, was designed to meet the RAF's requirement for a versatile and capable military transport aircraft. This prototype, the first of its kind, was a groundbreaking design for its time, featuring a large cargo hold with a rear ramp loading facility, allowing for the easy and efficient loading and unloading of cargo and personnel. The aircraft's distinctive twin-engine configuration, with the engines mounted on the wings, provided ample power for the Hastings to carry heavy loads over long distances. The wings themselves were an innovation, being designed with a constant chord, which meant that the wings maintained a consistent shape from root to tip, improving aerodynamic efficiency and reducing drag. The Handley Page Hastings prototype underwent extensive testing at the RAF's experimental establishment at Boscombe Down, where it was subjected to a rigorous program of flight testing to evaluate its performance and handling characteristics. The results were impressive, and the Hastings went on to become a mainstay of the RAF's transport fleet, serving with distinction in various roles until its retirement in the late 1970s. This photograph captures a moment in time, a snapshot of history, as the Handley Page Hastings prototype takes its place in the annals of aviation history. It is a testament to the ingenuity and determination of the designers, engineers, and pilots who brought this remarkable aircraft to life, and a reminder of the vital role that the Royal Air Force played in the post-war era in pushing the boundaries of what was possible in aviation.

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