Given the general lack of development of transport aircraft during World War II, the RAF was forced to make up lost ground quickly in order to modernize its post-war fleet which was dominated by Lend-Lease supplied Dakotas and its own locally designed York. Fortunately, the Handley Page Hastings came along, replacing the York as the main long-range aircraft in RAF Transport Command. Boasting a sleek and attractive design which was the result of a circular fuselage and all-metal dihedral wings, the Hastings was the largest transport plane ever designed for the RAF at the time and saw extensive use during the Berlin Airlift where it was notable for flying the final sortie of the operation on 6 October 1949. Other uses for this outstanding design were as weather reconnaissance platform, aerial ambulance, glider tug, VIP transport, and trainer for "V Bomber" crews. Also used by New Zealand, the Hastings remained in RAF service for two decades until 1968.
Maiden flight of the HP.67 took place on 23 May, 1946, entering service two years later as the Hastings C.1. Subsequent marks included the improved C.2 with uprated engines, a lowered and larger tailplane, and extra fuel tanks (C.1 conversions to this standard were later known as the C.1A). The otherwise similar C.3 was supplied to New Zealand while the final C.4 was a VIP transport. Lastly, the T.5 was a bomber navigation trainer.
|Wing Span||34.44 m|
|Wing Loading||277.4 kg/m²|
|Engine||4 x Hercules Mk. 106|