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Handley Page 0/100 and 0/400

Handley Page 0/100

When completed, the prototype Handley Page 0/100 biplane, built to an Admiralty requirement for a large twin-engined patrol bomber, was the largest aeroplane that had yet been built in the United Kingdom.

The aircraft had a wingspan of 100 feet (30.48m)a nd 46 were built in total.

First flown in December 1915, the first squadron was formed in August 1916 and based in France. It made its first bombing attack in March 1917.

Handley Page 0/400

Delivery of the improved 97 mph 0/400 variant began in early 1918, and of the 549 built, over 400 had been delivered to the Royal Air Force before the November 1918 Armistice, when it was serving with seven RAF squadrons as the standard British heavy bomber.

As a portent of Second World War operations, on the night of 14-15 September 1918, forty 0/400s attacked targets in the Saar region of Germany. It could carry the 748kg (1,650lb) bomb, the heaviest used by British services during the First World Ward.

By late 1919 it had been replaced in squadron service by the Vickers Vimy and De Havilland DH10 Amiens in the drastically cut-down post-war RAF.

The last public appearance of an RAF 0/400 was at the Hendon Pageant in June 1923, although F5431 was flying with the Royal Aircraft Establishment until it crashed at Spittlegate in May 1925. Ten were converted into civil airliners by Handley Page Transport Ltd.