Handley Page Halifax

This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules


Honourably banned
Mar 26, 2007
Notice cross of Lorainne.

Handley Page Halifax_01.JPG

In french service.

Handley Page Halifax_02.JPG
So why is it that it seems that the French had so many different foreign-built aircraft in their possession, either for trials or in service? The recent flurry of posts seem to suggest an eclectic mix of many types of aircraft. Is that the case or is it just me?
The 'French' Halifax is from one of two Free French squadrons originally in the RAF, both based at Elvington, Yorkshire, UK.
These were 346 (G.B 2/23 'Guyenne') Sqn, and 347 ( G.B. 1/25 'Tunisie') Sqn., made up of French personnel transferred from North Africa, forming in May and June 1944 respectively.
In October 1945, both Squadrons moved to France, with their Halifaxes, passing into the control of the Armee de l'Air in November 1945.
Free French units operating other Allied aircraft types also returned to France, continuing operation of the aircraft until such time as domestic-produced aircraft were available from the re-built French aviation industry in the 1950s, with some types, such as the Lancaster in the Aeronavale units, and A-26 attack aircraft, for example, continuing in service until the early 1960's.
So why is it that it seems that the French had so many different foreign-built aircraft in their possession, either for trials or in service? The recent flurry of posts seem to suggest an eclectic mix of many types of aircraft. Is that the case or is it just me?

This was certainly not for testing. Don't forget France was a colonial power and got involved in war just after Liberation in several nations i.g. Indochina.
They had a bewildering number of types in service. Even German ones build from parts lying around or using the jigs. Aircraft like the NC-900_Fw190, Nord 1100 Noralpha_Me 208, NC701 Martinet_Siebel Si204a and the Amiot AAC-1 Toucan_Junkers Ju52. I will post those too.

I think it it quite a feat producing aircraft so soon after almost total destruction of this industry.

Fw190_NC-900 post:

google translation

The French Fw190
It was in France that a number of Fw190 began a new career. At the end of 1944, the liberation of the French metropolitan territory was being completed, it was discovered dozens of cell and body and a hundred engines abandoned by the Luftwaffe in several French plants. It was basically A-5, A-7 and A-8 incomplete or being repaired found in Cravant in Yonne.
The management of the factory Cravant was entrusted to the National Society of Aerospace Engineering Centre (SNCAC), which had a contract from the Air Ministry to complete a batch of cell and fuselage. Refurbishment and overhaul of engines was entrusted to the company Voisin, she was also very difficult to rehabilitate them, most of these engines had been deftly sabotaged by the French workers forced to make them. Engines for these hunters were found in deposits all over France, particularly in St Astier where a hundred under review engines were found in an underground factory installed in caves. These caves are still used today as a deposit by the Army.
This option, choosing the government of the time, allowed to have a transitional aircraft pending the development of a purely French plane equivalent or higher. For France, bled after four years of occupation, the savings was substantial because a Fw190 and reconditioned cost 1.5 million francs at the time against 12 million for a "Spitfire" bought new in Britain .dropoff window
Designated NC900 (sometimes AAC5 or AAC6 few photos) the first of these Fw190 recovered complete the flight test was an A-5 (NC900 No. 1) 16 March 1946. The tests lasted until mid-April with 4 other devices while SNCAC ended requested hunters. In May, the aircraft was certified. The AAC5 or 6 more visible designation period photograph and recovery in some works, probably comes from the fact that the two factories who controlled and gathered the NC900 were the Aeronautical Workshops Cravant (AAC6) and the Aeronautical Workshops Courbevoie (AAC5) any two property SNCAC.
The hunting group that was assigned the "NC900" was the group "Normandie-Niemen" (I bet the drivers just returned from Russia have little appreciated the situation, especially as they returned with their Yack with whom they fought, offered by Russia for services rendered!). As trials continued, the NC900 first arrived at the Le Bourget airport and were taken into account by the III / 5 Normandie-Niemen. But even repaired and overhauled the engines were unreliable, other problems arose, the French engineers used to more rustic devices, only happened difficult to solve the notorious and delicate "KommandoGeräte." Other problems caused some accidents, giving a bad name to the device. The poor availability and lack replacement quickly decided the authorities to ban flying handle NC900 still in flying condition in mid 1947, most were scrapped. The decision to remove them also been made aware 1946. Some devices served a few more years (NC900 No. 54 and 60 at least) to the CEV Cazaux and Bretigny until 1949, another was transferred to the Naval Aviation (the first flotilla Cuers it seems) and broken after a few flights, others have probably used here and there but I have no verifiable information, a final (NC900 No. 62) was preserved as is, then restored in the colors of JG26, it is visible at the Le Bourget Air Museum.

camo information collected on former Aviation (Goose Pendelton)
Color is hard to know on NC 900, as on all planes "French" of that time. Originally, the desire was to paint aircraft in olive drab, US to do more, even add even landing strips long after D day. In practice painters made for the better. There were mostly German painting of stocks, it was used. Then we mixed it all to make a nice "goose poop", very close to the olive drab. MS 500, 1000 NC 900 North had this color, top and bottom. The mixture does not take into account the fact that these paintings do not have the same chemical origin, it ensued a strong tendency to premature degradation, especially as for reasons of economy, there was no put under layer zynchro. If you see the pictures, you will see the degradation of the paint after a few months of use !!!
France's armed forces and aircraft industry was devastated during WW2 and had to make do with hand me downs until it could get back into re-establishing an industry. Local productionn of German types, such as the Ju 52/3m and Fieseler Storch continued for awhile, then with foreign (Marshal Aid?) money the country was able to begin building Vampires and Sea Venoms under licence. The demands placed on the country with respect to continue manitaining an empire in the Far East after the war meant the French used whatever they could, including Japanese types.
Handley-Page Halifax Mk.II NF-coded serial W7773 S 138 (SD) Squadron (SD for Special Duties). The plane takes off from RAF Tempsford, Central Bedfordshire, in the night of 29 to 30 October 1942 for an operation called "Operation Wrench" in the company of SN W7774. The purpose of this mission is to drop weapons containers to the Polish resistance. The entire crew is Polish. 3 members of the Polish army must also be parachuted. This aircraft is lost without any information from its takeoff. The International Red Cross will inform much later than the W7773 was intercepted by a night fighter in southern Norway and shot. No survivors.

Handley Page Halifax_18.jpg

Users who are viewing this thread