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The Handley Page HP 67 Hastings was a British troop-carrier and freight transport aircraft designed and built by Handley Page for the Royal Air Force. At the time it was the largest transport plane ever designed for the RAF, and it replaced the Avro York as the standard long-range transport.

The Hastings prototype (TE580) first flew on the 7 May 1946. The first production aircraft (designated Hastings C1) entered service in October 1948. In-service the aircraft was operated by a crew of five and could accommodate either 30 paratroopers, 32 stretchers and 28 sitting casualties or 50 fully equipped troops. A total of 147 aircraft were built for the Royal Air Force and four for the Royal New Zealand Air Force, a total of 151.

A total of 12 squadrons were equipped with the Hastings:

24 Squadron - In November 1950, the Squadron moved to Lyneham and replaced its ageing Yorks and Dakotas (mainly VIP tasking) with the Hastings, an aircraft that the Squadron operated for the following 17 years. In the years that followed less and less VIP work was done until by the time the Squadron re-equipped with the Hercules in 1968, it was solely involved with general transport work.

36 Squadron - The squadron was reformed on 1 September 1958, in the transport role equipped with Hastings at Colerne. The squadron moved to Lyneham in August 1967 and at the same time re-equipped with the Lockheed Hercules
47 Squadron - The squadron returned to Dishforth in the UK from Palestine in September 1948, where it became the first unit to operate the Handley Page Hastings, which it began using on the Berlin Airlift as soon as it had worked up on the type. During the Berlin Airlift, No 47 flew over 3,000 sorties in the seven months it was assigned to the operation, mainly transporting coal to the beleaguered city. In March 1956, the Squadron became the first to receive the lumbering Beverley heavy transport aircraft.
48 Squadron - Originally 215 Squadron, renumbered to 48 Squadron in Singapore on 15 February 1946 and undertook transport duties in Malaya with Dakotas, Valettas and Hastings being heavily involved with Operation Firedog against communist terrorists. The squadron was disbanded on 3 March 1967. It was then reformed again with Hercules in Singapore on 1 October 1967 and in September 1971 returned to the UK where it was disbanded on 7 January 1976
53 Squadron - The disbanded squadron reformed 1st August 1949 at RAF Topcliffe with Handley Page Hastings transports. Blackburn Beverleys replaced the Hasting in 1957. The squadron was disbanded at Abingdon on 28 June 1963.  (On 1 November 1965 it reformed as the RAF's first and only squadron at RAF Fairford with the Short Belfast. It moved to RAF Brize Norton in 1967, and remained there until disbanding on 14 September 1976.)
70 Squadron - The squadron was stationed at Nicosia in Cyprus and in 1956 converted to the Hastings which were used during the Suez Crisis. After the crisis it continued to provide transport cover for the Middle and Near East areas.
99 Squadron - The squadron, based at Lyneham, converted from Avro Yorks to the Hasting in August 1949. The squadron dropped paratroops during the Suez operation of November 1956 and in June 1959, it replaced its Hastings becoming the first unit to operate the Bristol Britannia.
114 Squadron - The disbanded squadron reformed on 5 May 1959 at Colerne in the transport role equipped with Hastings aircraft. These were flown until 30 Sep 1961 when the squadron was disbanded only to be reformed the following day at Benson as the first Argosy squadron.
202 Squadron - Initially operating the Halifax on meteorological reconnaissance flights over the Atlantic, the aircraft were replaced by Hastings Met Mk 1s in October 1950 and continued in use until the squadron disbanded on 31 July 1964.
242 Squadron - The squadron had been equipped with Yorks on flights to India and the Azores. In 1948, the squadron joined the Berlin Airlift, after which it converted to the Hastings in June 1949 and reverted to their Far East routes until 1 May 1950, when it disbanded at Lyneham.
297 Squadron - In October 1948, the Halifax squadron moved to Dishforth and the following month re-equipped with the Hastings C Mk 1. Some of its trained crews were detached to Germany during the Berlin Airlift, where thy delivered coal into the city. On returning from Germany, the squadron moved base to Topcliffe but on 15 November 1950 the squadron was disbanded, many of its crews going to No 24 based at Lyneham.
511 Squadron - During 1948 and 1949, the squadron was involved in Operation Plainfare, the Berlin Airlift, using Yorks. In September 1949 it was re-equipped with the Hastings, which it operated until 1 September 1958 when it was re-numbered No 36 Squadron. (It was reformed once again on 15 December 1959 at Lyneham, but this time being equipped with the Bristol Britannia).



Hastings TG582, Christmas Island August 1956
OBA member Alex Masson is in the doorway with arms up


General characteristics

Crew:   5-6  
Passenger Capacity:   50 troops  
Length:   81 ft 3 in 24.8 m
Wingspan:   113 ft 0 in 34.5 m
Height:   22 ft 6 in 6.9 m
Wing area:   1,408 ft² 130.8 m²
Empty weight:   41,689 lb 18,910 kg
Loaded weight:   75,000 lb 34,010 kg
Powerplant:    4× Bristol Hercules
  1,675 hp
1,250 kW
Maximum speed:   343 mph 552 km/h
Range:   2,850 miles 4,590 km
Service ceiling:   26,700 ft 8,140 m

The Hastings was retired from Royal Air Force Transport Command in early 1968 when it was replaced by the Lockheed Hercules. Four Hastings are preserved in the UK and Germany:

TG503 (T5) on display at the Alliiertenmuseum (Allied Museum), Berlin, Germany.
TG511 (T5) on display at the RAF Museum Cosford, England.
TG517 (T5) on display at the Newark Air Museum, Newark, England.
TG528 (C1A) on display at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, England.