Handley Page HP.45 ‘Heracles’

Many thanks to Chris and Terry for bringing their magnificent Handley Page HP.45 – Heracles to this evenings club meeting.

Built from a plan, the Heracles is a traditionally built balsa model to 1/16th scale giving a wingspan of 8 feet, a truly impressive model. The aircraft is powered by 4 x Pelikan Foxy motors each with its own speed controller and 3 cell 3900mAh LiPo battery. Construction was completed over a period of about 2 years.

The original HP.42/45 aircraft was built by Handley Page to an Imperial Airways specification and first flew in November 1930, granted a certificate of airworthiness in 1931 the first fare paying passengers were carried in June of that year. A total of 8 aircraft were built,  4 of each marque HP.42 and HP.45, all being named with names beginning ‘H’. Chris and Terry’s model is of the HP.45 G-AAXC ‘Heracles’ that flew on European routes. Also designated as an HP.42W the aircraft had an increased passenger capacity and reduced luggage capacity when compared to the HP.42E that was used on routes to India and South Africa. The HP.42W accommodated 18 passengers in the forward compartment and 20 in the rear.

Withdrawn from service in 1939 these aircraft attained the enviable record of never having an accident in civilian service.

Unfortunately none of the 8 original aircraft survive all having been lost by 1941, G-AAXC ‘Heracles’ was destroyed in a gale at Bristol Whitchurch Airport in March of 1940 when it was blown against its sister aircraft ‘Hanno’ and damaged beyond repair.