Handley Page Hastings (Nose)

The Hastings was a large four engine transport aircarft operated by the RNZAF for some year in the 1950's and 1960's.

When retired from service one aircraft was offered to MOTAT but transport and labour constraints prevented the preservation of the whole aircraft. Instead only parts of the aircraft could be saved including the large nose section. This is now under restoration in the Belfast Hanger. It was repainted in the 1990's by the RNZAF, but the interior is in poor condition with many missing instruments and fittings. Currently a team is working to completely restore the interior.

There was a plan to turn the nose section into a flight simulator and a stand and frame built up around the nose for this purpose. The people involved lost interest and the project was abandoned.

Other parts that still exist are one main undercarriage unit with wing section and engine mounting, four Bristol Hercules engines complete with cowling's, and the rear tail wheel unit assembly. The undercarriage units have now been completed restored and returned to operating condition with both the main undercarriage and tail wheel being able to lower and retract.

Hastings were operated by Royal New Zealand Air Force's 40 Squadron flew the type until replaced by C130 Hercules in 1965. Four Hastings C.Mk 3 transport aircraft were built and supplied to the RNZAF. One crashed at RAAF Base Darwin and caused considerable damage to a water main, a railway and the road into the city. The other three were broken up at RNZAF Base Ohakea. During the period that the engines were having problems with their sleeve valves (lubricating oil difficulties) RNZAF personnel joked that the Hastings was the best three-engined aircraft in the world.
Two UK squadrons equipped with Hastings flew intensively during the Berlin Airlift, and a Hastings made the last sortie of the airlift on October 6, 1949. In total 100 Hastings C.Mk 1 and 41 Hastings C.Mk 2 were built.

- Nose section on display in the 1990's (Richard Wesley)
- Complete aircraft at Ohakea in 1960's or 70's (Wikipedia)
- Aircraft being refuelled in the 1960's (Wikipedia)
- Main undercarriage unit in storage 2009 (Richard Wesley)

- Completed assembly of functioning undercarriage, engine and propeller (2014 Richard Wesley)

1 comment:

dennis said...

We are currently restoring the nose section to as close to original as possible, for future display.One major component missing is a pilots seat and any help locating one would be appreciated.