Aircraft Of Bomber Command

In 1939 the only aircraft available to Bomber Command were twin engined and included the Whitworth Whitley, Bristol Blenheim, Handley Page Hampden, and Vickers Wellington.

As the war progressed the swift, twin-engined de Havilland Mosquito and four engined heavies became available, first the Short Stirling and Handley-Page Halifax, and later the Avro Lancaster.


The Halifax was the second of the four-engined heavy bombers to enter service with the Royal Air Force. The huge Stirling was already flying operations but the prototype Lancaster had…

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Bristol Blenheim Mk IV

Just one minute after Britain's formal declaration of war against Germany took effect on September 3, 1939, a Blenheim IV of 139 Squadron took off to fly the RAF's first…

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De Havilland Mosquito
[ British Aerospace photo ]

De Havilland Mosquito

The first thing that struck one about the Mosquito was the beauty of line of the fuselage, tailplane, fin and engine cowlings. They all went together and made a lovely…

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Handley Page Hampden

Eight squadrons of Hampdens were operational at the beginning of the war and were in action immediately, raiding enemy naval installations and ships until the daylight formations encountered enemy fighters.…

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Short Stirling

The Short Stirling was the first of the four-engined bombers to fly, the prototype taking to the air in May of 1939. However its undercarriage collapsed on landing and it…

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Vickers-Armstrongs Wellington
Brager crew; No. 408 Sqd. RCAF

Vickers-Armstrongs Wellington

The "Wimpey" featured a geodetic form of construction and was the RAF's most formidable bomber when war was declared. The "Wimpey" featured a geodetic form of construction and was the…

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Armstrong Whitworth Whitley

The Armstong-Whitworth Whitley was a sturdy airplane with few vices, generally liked by those crews who flew them on operations. It could take a lot of punishment and was said…

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The Lancaster Bomber

During the 1930's few would have foreseen that Britain would be as isolated and vulnerable as it became in 1940. Indeed, few people today understand how threatened the future of…

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