Handley Page H.P.81 Hermes

1945

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Handley Page H.P.81 Hermes

The Hermes 4 was the first British post-war airliner built to modern standards to go into service; 25 were delivered to BOAC for use on its Commonwealth routes, services beginning in August 1950. Normal accommodation was for 40 passengers, but alternative seating arrangements provided for a maximum of 74. Originally powered by four 1,565kW Bristol Hercules 763 radial engines, all were subsequently re-engined with 1,583kW Hercules 773s and were thereafter known as Hermes 4As.

Handley Page H.P.81 Hermes

Specification 
 MODELHermes IV
 ENGINE4 x Bristol Hercules 763, 1566kW
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight39000 kg85981 lb
  Empty weight25100 kg55336 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan34.44 m113 ft 0 in
  Length29.51 m97 ft 10 in
  Height9.14 m30 ft 0 in
  Wing area130.80 m21407.92 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed563 km/h350 mph
  Cruise speed435 km/h270 mph
  Ceiling7470 m24500 ft
  Range3200 km1988 miles

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60
John Henesy, e-mail, 12.02.2021 21:31

Flew from Blackbushe in March 1955 bound for Singapore. Had three attempts to take off and managed it on the third go. Got over France and had to turn back to Blackbushe due to 'technical problems'. Finally got off again and landed in Rome. From there to Nicosia in Cyprus where we were delayed for about 6 hours. Next stop Bahrain then Karachi where we stayed overnight. Then New Delhi and Calcutta, where we stayed overnight. Final stop was Bangkok before landing in Changi - about 24 hours behind schedule. Interesting experience for my first ever flight!

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John Walker, e-mail, 29.11.2020 00:38

I flew with my family in mid May 1956 (before the 21st) from Singapore to UK in an Airwork Hermes. The flight routed Paya Lebar-Bangkok-Calcutta-Delhi-Karachi (night stop)-Bahrain-Beirut-Brindisi (night stop)-Marseille-Blackbushe. I would love to identify the exact dates and the identity of the Hermes. The stop at Marseille was probably unusual and may help to pin point the details.

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Sarah Elizabeth Hymas, e-mail, 04.11.2020 13:05

Hi, I am interested in Handley Page HP.81 Hermes 4A (registration: G-ALDF) crash off Sicily on August 25th 1952. My two older sisters, then aged five and three, were aboard with my mother who was six months pregnant. Seven people lost their lives and survivors were rescued by a fishing boat from Trapani. I would love to hear from other survivors or perhaps family members of anyone involved. My email is sarahehymas@hotmail.com. Thanks.

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Patricia Redstone, e-mail, 03.07.2020 17:54

I noticed a message from Geoff Milner earlier in this thread regarding the incident involving G-ALDO landing at Paya Lebar 29th Oct. '57 when his mother was No.1 stewardess on the plane. Landing approx. 4pm local time in appalling weather, the plane overshot the runway into a ditch and tipped up - as Geoff Wills said earlier in this thread, great photo in the Straights Times the following day! I too was on this plane with my two children aged 2 and 3 flying out to join my husband stationed in Singapore with the RAF. We were in the rear-facing seats immediately behind the cockpit and I remember the pilot's distinguished handlebar moustache as he came through the curtain saying "Sorry about that, get out as quickly as you can!" We then made our way out the front RH door, first dropping my two small children down into the arms of Malay policemen, then I made my way down a knotted rope stepping into deep mud - the rain at the time was torrential! I've seen the photos in Straights Times but Geoff Milner mentioned he may have some additional photos and would be most interested to see them, together with the official accident report if anyone has it as I have not so far been able to find this online? Thanks in advance, Patricia

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Barry Redgate, e-mail, 10.05.2020 12:47

I was a technical officer in the project branch of BOAC and in April 1949 was the BOAC observer on the performance assessment carried out at Boscombe Down by order of HMG. We then took the aircraft to Castel Benito (now Tripoli) in Libya and then to Khartoum for high temperature trials. The pilot was the late Hedley Hazelden. The aircraft involved was the prototype Hermes I G-AKFP.

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Yvonne Hughes, e-mail, 08.05.2020 02:28

I flew back from Singapore aged 6 weeks on a Hermes born 30th September 1955, I am interested in this particular plane, my dad was in the R.A.F. at the time and said I attended the Ambassadors ball and stop in various places, he said he had a map of whete we stopped but can't find it, I would be interested to know where I went or should I say stop at along the way, would be greatful of any help with this, thank you, Yvonne Mann at the time .

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Yvonne Hughes, e-mail, 08.05.2020 02:28

I flew back from Singapore aged 6 weeks on a Hermes born 30th September 1955, I am interested in this particular plane, my dad was in the R.A.F. at the time and said I attended the Ambassadors ball and stop in various places, he said he had a map of whete we stopped but can't find it, I would be interested to know where I went or should I say stop at along the way, would be greatful of any help with this, thank you, Yvonne Mann at the time .

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Yvonne Hughes, 08.05.2020 02:28

I flew back from Singapore aged 6 weeks on a Hermes born 30th September 1955, I am interested in this particular plane, my dad was in the R.A.F. at the time and said I attended the Ambassadors ball and stop in various places, he said he had a map of whete we stopped but can't find it, I would be interested to know where I went or should I say stop at along the way, would be greatful of any help with this, thank you, Yvonne Mann at the time .

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Barry, e-mail, 05.01.2018 13:16

For James Talbot. James I live in a house once owned by Gerrard Fane who I think was a friend of your Dads. I have some artefacts that I am certain belong to your father that were here when we moved in. Hoping you see this!

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Barry, e-mail, 05.01.2018 12:57

For James Talbot. James I live in a house once owned by Gerrard Fane who I think was a friend of your Dads. I have some artefacts that I am certain belong to your father that were here when we moved in. Hoping you see this!

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denis arthur stafford, e-mail, 01.05.2017 19:30

I flew back from Singapore in 1956, we had overnight stays at Karachi then a day delay in Calcutta due to problems then a stay in Brindisi before landing at Blackbushe.
it was a bumpy flight due to the weather conditions.It was the first time most of us had flown.

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Guy Ayling, e-mail, 06.01.2017 12:26

Message for James Talbot. I am Headmaster of Llandovery College where your late father was a pupil. We are constructing a timeline of eminent Old Llandoverians and I was hoping you might have a picture of him. Please contact me on warden@llandoverycollege.com
Diolch yn fawr.

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George adams, e-mail, 16.07.2016 06:09

G-ALDT if I remember right

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George adams, e-mail, 16.07.2016 05:18

September 1951
First airliner flight for me aged 11.
Off to school in England
Route Nairobi Entebbe Khartoum at night, Cairo ditto, Rome dawn, then Cool London.
What an introduction to a life in aviation!!!

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David N J Manning, e-mail, 07.06.2016 22:13

Correction: It was the end of 1954 .

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David N J Manning, e-mail, 07.06.2016 22:12

My mum , brother and I (age 6 ) flew to Dar es salaam at the end of 1956 , I remember being airsick for the entire flight , 2 days .Landed at Rome;Bengazi:Cairo;Khartoum;Entebe and Dar.Don't think we went to Nairobi.Almost put me off flying for life! But I think it must have been one of the last BOAC flights for the Hermes . I think the airoplane's name began with S .

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D.cranshaw, e-mail, 31.05.2016 01:46

Flew on Hermes GALDO pilot B.Talbot.in 1954.stopped off at Brindisi,Nicosia,(had tyre failure and waited 24 hrs whilst replacement flown from U.K.)Bahrain,karachi,delhi,calcutta and then Bangkok prior to flight to Singapore with engine failure on the last lap.Quite an experience for a thirteen year old who had never flown before!Only took 5days!!!

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John Terry, e-mail, 25.11.2015 21:46

In 1957 my father was posted to RAF Seletar and flew out to Singapore on G-ALDA. 3 Months later, my mother and I followed him on this accompanied posting, again on G-ALDA. Six months after this my sister joined us, again travelling on G-ALDA
In all cases the route I belive was Cyprus, Bahrain, Karachi, Calcutta, Changi although I cannot now be sure of the route. I do recall during the stops an abundance of eggs and Camel steaks. I believe the height we travelled at was 10,500 feet. Leaving Cyprus there was a loud bang and the a /c returned but was able to leave several hours later. I was amazed and delighted to find several photographs of G-ALDA on the net and will never forget the running up of its engines prior to take off.

We had an Empire in those days and whilst we didnīt have too much television or anything else, they were good times.

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john mills, e-mail, 12.11.2015 16:49

My first ever flight was 19.7.1954 as 22year old RAF national service man. I left Blackbush in Air Work Hermes G-AKFD at 22-oo Hrs arriving Malta 03-40. Departing 05-30 to arriving Fayid 10-30 am. After time there and RAF Eastleigh Nairobi flown between by RAF Vickers Valetta. When demob time came I left Eastleigh again by RAF Valetta to Juba 3 Hrs. then on to Kartoum 3.45 Hrs. Overnight stay then on then on to
Wadi Halfa 2.20 Hrs. then to Fayid 3.25 Hrs. Thus early on 16.8 1955. borded Britania Hermes G-ALDJ and let Fayid for return with stop at malta to arrive back at blackbush at 15.00 Hrs. under Captain D. Williams whose flight bulletin shows us flying 30 miles west of Paris at 6500 ft ?? at 215 mph. Sorry to saw both AKFD & ALDY had later unrearable accidents

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David Everitt, e-mail, 18.10.2015 18:08

I flew as a 10 year old with my family from Blackbushe to Singapore in 1955 in a Hermes of Airwork Ltd, London.
I'm not sure of the route, but after a stop over in Rome to fix a problem I believe we flew onto Bengazi, and hopped our way via Karachi, Calcutta, had a night in the King George Hotel somewhere, and we spent a night in some sort of Beau Geste fort with armed guards at the gate, truly amazing, finaly landing at Changi, they opened Paya Lebar Airport when we were there.

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