Herald G-CEXP in BEA colours

We use cookies responsibly to deliver this website

Please continue only if you're happy to accept cookies.

No problem      Privacy policy

 
Herald G-CEXP at Gatwick Airport

We see this as a beginning

...but we need your help now

When this Handley Page Herald first took to the sky half a century ago, she was the very latest development of a notable line of aircraft. Now, she lies moulding in a field near the western end of Gatwick Airport. She's scruffy and neglected, but those classic lines remain intact. That massive tail is still held high, and she's still supported by her own undercarriage. With some care and attention, she could regain her film star looks.

We'd seen her several times, languishing by the taxiway, and always felt a pang of sadness that an important part of British aviation history was slowly turning to oxide. And the Herald was important. So important to our aviation industry that, when it was launched in the mid-fifties, the Duke of Edinburgh took the pilot's seat to showcase her on her world sales tour. Yet today, only four examples remain in existence. And one of them was dissolving before our eyes.

We resolved to do something positive about saving her and made enquiries which led to our speaking with the Gatwick Fire Service. They were delighted that someone cared enough about the old girl to take on the task of restoring her. In a few months' time, she'll be ours, thanks to their generosity and enthusiasm to save this precious airframe.

Encouraged by the Gatwick guys' support, we've set about finding a new home for G-CEXP, and we're excited to say that we believe we've found one. The details can't be revealed just yet, but expect an announcement soon. If all goes to plan, you'll soon be seeing this classic airliner in a proper, accessible museum setting. Then we can get seriously to work on restoring her. Initially, she'll be a museum piece. Our intention is to restore her inside and out so that visitors can explore what air travel felt like in the middle of the last century. But we're hoping strongly to be able to recommission her engines with the aim of bringing her to a taxiable state.

The chances of her returning to the sky are, frankly, pretty slim. But it's not an impossibility. The only real barrier is money - some classic aircraft flying today have been rebuilt from little more than a rudder bar and a couple of instruments. So let's dream a little. Let's try for the sky. Sure, we might not succeed, but the closer we get to that aim, the more perfect will be our restoration of a rare and irreplaceable airliner.

 
 
Herald Skyward logo

Will she fly again?

We've named our campaign Herald Skyward. Does that mean we intend to fly her again?

In a word, yes. And is that possible? In three words, we don't know.

Our commitment to G-CEXP is that we'll do our absolute best to restore her completely. We're realistic enough to recognise that the ultimate goal may be beyond us, but our motto will always be Try for the sky. Whatever happens, the end result will be a beautiful machine, preserved for posterity. But we owe it to her to try for the ultimate. And, who knows? Sometimes, dreams come true.

 

 

XP's Friends

XP will be one of four preserved Heralds. Here are some links to visit her sisters:

Herald G-APWA

G-APWA

Flown by HRH Prince Philip to South America

Museum of Berkshire Aviation
Herald G-APWJ

G-APWJ

The tenth Herald 201 off the production line

Duxford Aviation Society
Herald G-ASKK

G-ASKK

On display at City of Norwich Aviation Museum

City of Norwich Aviation Museum

Herald by Numbers

Type:Handley Page Dart Herald
Manufacturer:Handley Page (Reading) Ltd
Purpose:47-56 seat, medium-haul airliner
Powerplant:2 x Rolls-Royce Dart Mk527 turboprop, 1,425kw (1,910hp) each
First flight:25 August 1955
Dimensions
Length:23m (75ft 6in)Wingspan:29m (94ft 10in)
Height:7.3m (24ft 0in)Wing area:82.3m² (886ft²)
Empty weight:11,345kg (24,960lb)Max take-off weight:18,818kg (43,700lb)
Performance
Cruise Speed:435km/h (275mph, 235kn)Max Speed:495km/h (309mph, 267kn)
Range:2,632km (1,635mi, 1,422nmi)Initial rate of climb:580m/min (1,900ft/min)
 
 

PRESERVING OUR AVIATION HERITAGE

Home   How You Can Help   News   Blog   Historic Airliners  About Us   Contact Us   Privacy Policy