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Thread: Handley Page 'HALIFAX' variations

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    Default Handley Page 'HALIFAX' variations

    I have recently been 'mugging up' on the many Halifax variations in shape and design. I am OK with Mk I, II & IIIs, transport types including civilian 'Haltons' but am having difficulty in differentiating between Mk V, VI & VII from the Mk III. (I understand there wasn't a Mk IV)

    Could someone tell me of any visible differences that will help evoke a name or were the differences in this group all internal? Thank you.

    Norman

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    The Mk. V was basically a Mk. II, incorporating Dowty main landing gear because of supply issues with the original vendor. The Dowty struts were sufficently different to require new structure at the attachment points, hence the new Mark, but once the gear doors were closed about the only way to tell a Mk. V from a Mk. II is the serial number.

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    Hi Norman
    If you can,say via a library, get a look at Famous Bombers of the Second World Second Series 2 by William Green,first published in 1960.
    From it, there seems to have been a proposal for a MkIV, using Merlin 65 engines set slightly lower on the wings and with the inboard nacelles extended beyond the wing trailing edge(you can see a similar arrangement on Shackletons).It wasn't proceeded with but the aerodynamics were test flown on a Mk1 and 2 MkII's
    There would be almost no external clue for the MkV where the chief difference was an u/c by Dowty to replace the Messier units which were in short supply
    The MkVI probably showed little difference to the MkIII as the change was uprated engines with consequently improved performance.
    It is difficult to be sure but the MkVII seems to have been a version for Glider towing
    This comes from a quick read of William Green's book.
    Regards
    Dick

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    The B Mk.VI and B Mk.VII were improvements on the Mk.III. They had round wingtip whereas only the late Mk.IIIs did. The intention was to move to a later Hercules (Mk.100?)but not enough engines were available - I think that the Mk.VII was a Mk.VI with the earlier engines but will have to check. There is a difference in the position of the exhaust on one of the engines - it moves from outboard to inboard - or vice versa! I don't think that any Mk.IIIs got the twin 0.5 Browning tail turret but certainly some or most Mk.VIIs did.

    Postwar the Mk.VIIs replaced the Mk.IIIs in the Airborne units, but they began life in Bomber Command.

    You don't mention the Mk.IX?

    The reference for you to find is Ken Merrick's book on the Halifax. Two editions were printed: I have seen a new work advertised but I suspect it is only a third edition.

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    Please tell me more about the Halifax Mk IX.

    Norman

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    There was a post war transport conversion, intended for airborne forces, known as the A.9. I think these were pretty much the last Halifaxes in military service.

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    Default Halifax Variants

    The Halifax III, VI and VII all had the same basic airframe. The MK VII had the same engines as the MK III but two wing bomb bays were deleted to add extra fuel tankage. The MK VI airframe retained the extra fuel tankage but with the Hercules 100 engines. The late model MK VII airframes carried the .50 cal rear turret.
    The only exception was the early MK III's did not have the extended wing tips, this was changed by mid 1944.

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    Don't forget the Met variants, althought eh only physical outside difference will be a bit of Met plumbing on the starboard side of the nose.
    Fairey-built Halifax B/Met. MK 5 DK223-DK271
    Rootes-built Halifax B/A/Met. MK5 srs 1a LL167-LL542
    EE-built Halifax B/Met MK 6 RG739-RG879
    EE-built Halifax B/Met MK 6 ST794-ST818
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Met Halifaxes

    Hello Peter,

    Please could you point me in the right direction for a Met Halifax picture? Thank you.
    These variants were unknown to me and have now been added to my ever steepening learning curve.

    Norman

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    Norman, Hi,
    The National Met Library at the Met Office HQ in Exeter has a fair number of photographs of the internal and external plumbing and 'bits & pieces' on the Met Halifax variants. The whole Met Air Observer's (MAO) kit is amply shown in "Even The Birds Were Walking" by Kington & Ratcliffe (2000), Tempus, ISBN 075242016X.
    Don't know how much the Met Library charges for prints. You could probably get "ETBWW" on your own inter-library loan. If, however, it's urgent I might be able to scan a page from ETBWW and send it as an email attachment (assuming my scanner feels like it this afternoon!!!!!!!!).
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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