Handley Page Hampden

The Hampden was a medium bomber flown by Britain's Royal Air Force during the early years of the Second World War. It entered service in late 1938 and equipped ten squadrons by the outbreak of war in September 1939. With the Wellington and Whitley it took part in the early attacks against Germany. It had better performance and manoeuvrability than both the Wellington and Whitley, but its narrow fuselage caused cramped, uncomfortable conditions for the crew, which affected their endurance. With no power-operated multi-gun armament, it was also very vulnerable to attack by fighters. As a result, the Hampden suffered severe losses during the daylight operations over western Europe. They were transferred to night operations, with the last Hampden bombing raid being flown on the night of 14 September 1942. The Hampden was given a second lease of life as a torpedo bomber with Coastal Command, but it was not particularly suited to this role and was retired in late 1943 as more capable aircraft became available. Production of the Hampden had ceased in March 1942, by which time 1,532 had been built in Britain and Canada.

Specifications:



Handley Page Hampden Mk I

Type:   Medium bomber
Entered service:   1938
Crew:   4
Wing span:   21.08 m
Length:   16.33 m
Weight (unladen):   5,354 kg
Ceiling:   5,790 m
Endurance:   1,762 km
Speed:   410 km/h
Armament:   4 x .303-in machine-guns
1,814 kg of bombs


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