Thursday, July 28, 2011

RAF Bombers part 2

In the decade leading up to World War II, the Air Ministry was much preoccupied with the development of medium and heavy bombers for the RAF to use in what would become known as the "strategic" r�le. There was, nevertheless, a long tradition of operating light bombers in a tactical role, as exemplified in World War I by the de Havilland D.H.4 and perpetuated in a series of similar two-seat, open-cockpit single-engined biplanes. By 1932, the latest aircraft in this series was the Hawker Hart, and it was in the r�le of a replacement for the Hart that the Air Ministry viewed the new light bomber on which preliminary work began in that year. Specification P.27/32, which reached final definition in the early months of 1933, was drawn up, however, in parallel with the Overstrand-replacement Specification B.9/32 for a twin-engined medium bomber (which led to production of the Handley Page Hampden and Vickers Wellington described else-w here in this volume), and one of the objectives of P.27/32 was to allow a direct comparison to be made between single- and twin-engined bombers of contemporary design.