Handley Page Type O Aircraft History
When the twin engine Handley Page Type O biplane heavy bomber entered service with the British RFC in 1916, it was one of the largest aircraft ever built, and certainly the largest that had been built in the UK or America. Part of the Handley Page Type O bomber's design requirement was that the aircraft was to be a "bloody paralyser of an aircraft".
Handley Page Type O Production
A total of 600 Handley Page Type O bomber were built and once they entered service with the RFC during WW1 lead to the American forces requesting that their own aircraft manufacturers to produced something similar for strategic bombing, Martin responded with their MB-1 heavy bomber but most orders for the aircraft were cancelled once it became clear the WWI was coming to an end.
Handley Page Type O RFC and RAF Service
The Handley Page Type O bomber served with the RFC and then the RAF from 1916 until 1922, the Handley Page Type O biplane's replacement being the famous Vickers Vimy Heavy bomber which had far greater effective range.
Handley Page Type O Bomber Storage
The Handley Page Type O bomber was a very large aircraft by the standards of the day, existing aircraft hangers were just to small! Handley Page's solution was to design the Type O bomber so that the wings could be folded back parallel to the fuselage, the hinge was placed just outboard of the engines, this resulted in the Handley Page Type O heavy bomber being no wider than existing fixed wing designs.
US Built Handley Page Type O Bombers
Of the 6oo Handley Page Type O heavy bombers built over a hundred were built by the Standard Aircraft Corporation in the USA, these were basically the same as the British built aircraft apart from being powered by American Liberty L-12 engines.
Handley Page Type O Biplane Specifications:
Crew: 4 or 5
Length: 62 ft 10¼ in (19.16 m)
Wingspan: 100 ft (30.48 m)
Height: 22 ft (6.71 m)
Empty weight: 8,502 lb (3,856 kg)
Maximum takeoff weight: 13,360 lb (6,060 kg)
Engines: Twin 360 hp (268 kW) Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII inline piston engines
Maximum speed: 97.5 mph (157 km/h)
Range: 700 mi (1,120 km)
Service ceiling: 8,500 ft (2,600 m)
Endurance: 8 hours
Handley Page Type O Bomber Armament: Guns: Five 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Guns (Two on Scarff rings mounted in the nose , two on dorsal positions and one at the ventral hatch). Bombs: Up to a maximum of 2,000 lb (907 kg)