DH Comet 1 prototype

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Handley Page Type W

Handley Page Type W

This noble beast was Handley Page's first purpose-built airliner. Based on the WW1 O/400 bomber, it flew for the first time on 4th December 1919 and made its first public appearance at the Paris Air Show on the 19th of the same month.

Passengers were seated in relative comfort in an enclosed twelve-seat saloon that offered the luxury of an on-board lavatory - the first airliner to be so equipped. The two-man crew were less palatially equipped, perched up front in the same open cockpit that controlled the bomber version.

The initial prototype was a twin-engined design, using a pair of 336kW (450hp) Napier Lion engines. Its saloon was equipped for fifteen passengers. The Air Ministry passed a ruling limiting the allowed passenger capacity, and the type W was reconfigured to seat twelve. The revised three-engined set-up produced less total power than the twin Napiers, but was considerably more fuel-efficient.

Type W by numbers
First Flight:4 December 1919
Capacity:12 passengers
Powerplant:Nose: 1 × Rolls-Royce Eagle IX V-12 of 269kW (360 hp) Wings: 2 x Siddeley Puma engines of 179 kW (240hp)
Range:805km (500mi)
Maximum Speed:166km/h (103mph)
Ceiling:5,560m (18,000ft)
Length:18.33m (60ft 2in)
Wingspan:22.9m (75ft 2in)
Height:5.18m (17ft 0in)
Weight:3,630kg (8,000lb)


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