Handley Page Halifax Mk VII NA337
September 19, 2014 in Aviation
A few weeks ago a friend and I went to the National Air Force Museum of Canada, just outside of Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton, Ontario. The big attraction is a Halifax bomber that was restored a few years ago and remains the only restored Halifax in the world. The souvenir restoration booklet says that the Restoration Manager believes that it “was completely restored to be actually technically correct according to original manufacturer’s drawings.”
I have some pictures I took of the exterior. The interior shots and the condition before restoration were scanned from the booklet. The plane was built to SOE standards so it doesn’t have a top turret to allow more room for men and supplies. There is a round opening with a fairing around it on the belly aft of the bomb compartment for dropping supplies and men. You can see it if you squint in a few of the photos.
I scanned the cover of the booklet, but it may be too small to read so here is the text:
“This painting by Barry Price, depicts NA337 taking off from Tarrant Rushton Airfield at 1951 hours on the 23rd of April, 1945 to drop supplies for the Norwegian Underground at Mikkelsberget. After a successful drop, the aircraft was on its return and passed over a bridge at Minnesund where it was hit by Anti Aircraft fire from the bridge.
A fire started between the inboard and outboard starboard engines. Unable to put the fire out, Ft/Lt Turnbull decided to ditch the aircraft on Lake Mjosa. Thomas Weightman, who managed to release the dinghy was the only survivor of the ditching. F/Sgt Basset was not found. The rest of the crew, unable to find the dinghy in the dark, died of hypothermia in the icy lake.”
I will call this a “walkaround” but am probably missing many shots that should be included, plus the aircraft is inside a rope barrier and there is no access to the interior. It was still nice to see and actually more RCAF personnel flew in Halifaxes than flew in Lancasters, even though not as well-known an aircraft as the Lancaster.
These are the exterior shots from the floor and from the mezzanine for an overhead view.
There is no access to the interior, but it is fully restored. I scanned some photos from the booklet which are dated by their photographer. In order they show:
Control Column Neutral – Throttles Closed – Pitch Full Line
Control Column Back
Top of Cockpit Panel – red buttons for fire extinguishers and black buttons to feather props
Wireless Operator’s Desk – Model 1155 Receiver, 1154 Transmitter
Flight Engineer’s Panel
Finally an overall front view from the Mezzanine.
A rare plane to see and thought I would share the photos.