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Rnd 1 Grp E - Handley Page Halifax (Britain) vs Short Stirling (Britain)

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  • Rnd 1 Grp E - Handley Page Halifax (Britain) vs Short Stirling (Britain)

    Round 1, Group E: Handley Page Halifax (Britain) vs Short Stirling (Britain)





    Candidate #66 - Handley Page Halifax (Britain)

    Service Intro - 1941
    Roles - heavy bomber; maritime recon; anti-submarine; glider towing; para-dropping; EW; clandestine ops; transport
    Quantity Produced - 6,176
    User Nations - Britain, Australia, Canada, Free France, Pakistan

    For further info & some technical details, you can start with Wiki here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handley_Page_Halifax









    Candidate #74 - Short Stirling (Britain)

    Service Intro - 1941
    Roles - heavy bomber; minelayer; EW; clandestine ops; paratroop; glider tug; transport
    Quantity Produced - 2,371
    User Nations - Britain, Belgium, Egypt

    For further info & some technical details, you can start with Wiki here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Stirling









    Will you vote for the Halifax or the Stirling?


    Only one of these two candidates will make it to the next round!


    Which of them is the more significant and/or influential?


    Consider the criteria with care! You decide!
    86
    Handley Page Halifax (Britain)
    81.40%
    70
    Short Stirling (Britain)
    18.60%
    16

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by panther3485; 01 Jan 16, 12:46.
    "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
    Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

  • #2
    I like the Halifax.
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      Both types had a good diversity of roles but the Halifax was better performing overall and built in considerably larger numbers. Halifax it is.
      "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
      Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

      Comment


      • #4
        The Stirling was severely limited by its shorter wing span which had been specified to save money (the aircraft would fit into existing hangers and at the time no body in Whitehall had really expected a war) which limited its operational ceiling and by its cellular bomb bay which constrained the maximum size of bomb. However I was once told by someone in a position to know that the Stirling was far nicer at manoeuvring than the Halifax with characteristics of an almost fighter like nature. If you were going to get jumped by enemy fighters you stood more chance in the Stirling but were more likely to get hit by Flak.
        I have been told that ground crew hated its overcomplex undercart. Early versions suffered from a stupid design fault. All the systems (electric and hydraulic) connected through a pair of junction boxes which made the aircraft neater and easier to maintain in peace time but meant that a hit in just one place would bring the aircraft down. For added stupidity these junction boxes were located right behind one of the fuselage roundels, which once the Luftwaffe realised acted as a huge bulls eye.
        Last edited by MarkV; 18 Dec 15, 04:26.
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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        • #5
          I seem to remember reading something about Lanc crews loving the Stirling. If they were around they drew the flak and fighters and gave the Lanc boys a better chance of making it home.
          Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

          That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rojik View Post
            I seem to remember reading something about Lanc crews loving the Stirling. If they were around they drew the flak and fighters and gave the Lanc boys a better chance of making it home.
            There wouldn't have been much overlap and on a night raid its difficult to see how the above would apply anyway.
            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

            Comment


            • #7
              If I did read it (and aren't misremembering or confusing the Stirling with another 'plane) then it would have been 20 years ago at a minimum, but from what I think I remember the Stirlings flew a little lower than the Lancs meaning they drew the light, and they were easier to kill so they drew whatever fighters had a choice.

              Happy to be corrected though

              Edit... also it could have just been Lanc crews being superstitious... that sometimes happens when you face death as a daily job
              Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

              That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

              Comment


              • #8
                Whilst I do take a liking to the Stirling, which is iirc a faster a/c than the Halifax. The latter is just better overall.
                The repetition of affirmations leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, you better wake up and look at the facts.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dutched View Post
                  Whilst I do take a liking to the Stirling, which is iirc a faster a/c than the Halifax. The latter is just better overall.
                  IIRC the speed thing depends which mark of Halifax; the Stirling being faster than some but slower than others.
                  However, (again, IIRC) the main drawback with the Stirling was its relatively poor altitude performance compared to either the Halifax or the Lancaster.
                  "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                  Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rojik View Post
                    If I did read it (and aren't misremembering or confusing the Stirling with another 'plane) then it would have been 20 years ago at a minimum, but from what I think I remember the Stirlings flew a little lower than the Lancs meaning they drew the light, and they were easier to kill so they drew whatever fighters had a choice.

                    Happy to be corrected though

                    Edit... also it could have just been Lanc crews being superstitious... that sometimes happens when you face death as a daily job
                    As the Lancs and Halifaxes came into service the Stirling was increasingly used in secondary roles and on secondary missions. I can recall seeing the same suggestion vis a vis Halifaxes. It's quite possible that in respect of both types it's yet another of those myths that end up enshrined in popular accounts - both world wars are full of them.
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No contest at all.

                      No explaining away Air ministry interfearence in limiting wingspan to fit existing hangar doors, or to affirming production orders for the first 100 aircraft from the Short factory "straight off the drawing board", literally, "without waiting for prototype testing". Unforgivable really, considering.

                      The Stirling is a classic case of a Horse designed by a committee, and coming out the other end as a camel.

                      I just noticed Mark's comments concerning "Fighter like characteristics" and "manoeverability". Must have been the heaviest four engined fighter of the war.

                      I'm being a little harsh on the Short & Harland Factory, Belfast and rochester, and the Austin motors works at Longbridge. For the RAF's first four engined bomber it was a pretty solid effort, given it was designed pre-war. First test flight 14 May, 1939.

                      Stirlings formed part of the RAFs main bomber force until late 1943, and inevitably suffered casualties, but the amount of punishment these large bombers could absorb and still remain in the air was indeed a tribute to it's robust construction
                      It was actually superb as a minelayer. It's initial design had supposed a secondary role as a troop carrier, and it's service with SOE was distinctive, dropping supplys with a large load, often right on target.

                      Best glider tug and target tug of the war, could carry the most troops for parachute drops for a conversion aircraft.

                      Almost makes me want to vote for it. Without the experience from the Stirling, and the 'gap filler' it provided until better designs could replace the vickers Wellington, it was not so bad.

                      I'm still voting for the Halibag, though. The other roles of the Stirling were predesigned, yes, but after the newer aircraft came, it was realised that the Stirling wasn't such a great bomber, which was supposed to be it's primary function.

                      (source.."Forgotten Bombers of the Royal Air Force", by Ken Wixey, 1997)

                      Drusus
                      Last edited by Drusus Nero; 25 Dec 15, 07:31.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post

                        I just noticed Mark's comments concerning "Fighter like characteristics" and "manoeverability". Must have been the heaviest four engined fighter of the war.

                        I
                        One of the oddest dog fights must have been that that occurred between an RAF Liberator and a FW Condor over the Atlantic - the Liberator came off best.
                        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As the wikipedia entry on the Stirling itself notes, the story of the aircraft's wingspan being limited by the size of the hanger doors is one of those colourful apocryphal tales that refuses to go away.

                          From the wiki:
                          It is often said that the wingspan was limited to 100 ft so the aircraft would fit into existing hangars but the maximum hangar opening was 112 ft (34 m) and the specification required outdoor servicing.[4] "The wing span was limited by the Air Ministry to 100 ft"[7][8] The limitation was actually to force the designer to keep overall weight down
                          From page 6 of Air Britain's " The Stirling File"

                          Performance was comprised by the Air Ministry requirement that the wing span should be less than 100 feet, allegedly to permit the type to use the standard hangers being erected at many airfields being built to accommodate the expanding Royal Air Force. Since these normally had a clear span of 120 feet and no difficulty was found in housing 103 foot span Lancasters, there seems little point to this idea
                          Author Jonathan Falconer who has written a number of books on the Stirling (Stirling at War, Stirling Wings and Stirling in Combat) makes this observation on page 8 of Haynes Publications Short Stirling Owner's Workshop Manual (2015)
                          To satisfy these criteria the specification conceded that the aircraft would be large "but it should not exceed a span of 100 ft - the actual wording of the specification-which dispels the often repeated myth that the Stirling's narrow wingspan was necessary for the aircraft to fit inside the standard RAF hanger of the day (In the mid to late 1930s the most numerous hanger design on RAF bomber stations was the C type with an overall width of 152 feet and a maximum door aperture of 126ft)
                          So yes the Air Ministry restricted the wing span but the evidence doesn't support this being due to the oft repeated "hanger door size" story.



                          For those interested in the type, the following 400 page book by Pino Lombardi, chairman of the Stirling Project and the result of 30 years research on the type has just been released. Should have a copy in my hands soon. I'm sure he'll touch on the wing span controversy too.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Two roles missing for the Halifax - Radio counter measures (with 100 sqn) and Special Duties - agent and agents' supply dropping with special duty squadrons
                            See Aircraft of the Royal Air Force - Thetford.
                            Incidentally Thetford confirms that the Stirling wingspan was defined in the original Air Ministry spec but also says that it was because of hanger restrictions!
                            Last edited by MarkV; 01 Jan 16, 09:15.
                            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MarkV View Post
                              Two roles missing for the Halifax - Radio counter measures (with 100 sqn) and Special Duties - agent and agents' supply dropping with special duty squadrons
                              See Aircraft of the Royal Air Force - Thetford.
                              Thanks. The second item you mentioned has been added as clandestine ops.
                              I already include the first under EW (electronic warfare).
                              "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                              Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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