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Handley Page Type S

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Title: Handley Page Type S  
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Handley Page Type S

Role Fighter
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Handley Page
First flight 7 September 1923
Status Prototype
Number built 2

The Handley Page Type S, or HPS-1 was a prototype British carrier based fighter developed for the United States Navy in the early 1920s. A low-wing monoplane, it was unsuccessful, only two being built and flown.

Development and design

In 1921 the United States Navy drew up a specification for a single seat fighter aircraft capable of operating either as a landplane from its aircraft carriers or from the water as a seaplane, seeking designs from both American and European companies. The British aircraft manufacturer Handley Page, who had recently developed the Leading edge slot, realised that the use of slots and flaps could allow a high speed monoplane to fly at the low speeds needed for carrier operations with a much higher wing-loading than a normal biplane, and decided to develop an aircraft to meet this requirement. The resulting design, given the Handley Page designation Type S (and later retrospectively known as the H.P.21) was a small, low wing cantilever monoplane, with full span leading edge slots and full-span slotted flaps. The airframe was a plywood monocoque, with the fuselage capable of being broken into two sections for storage on-board ship. It had a tailwheel undercarriage that could be replaced by two floats. Although designed to use engines of up to 400 hp (298 kW), the prototypes were fitted with a much less powerful surplus Bentley BR2 rotary engine.[1][2]

The US Navy placed an order for three prototypes, designated HPS-1 (Handley Page Scout) in the contemporary US Navy designation system.[3] The first prototype flew on 7 September 1923, but proved to have poor handling, with the rudder proving to be ineffective.[4] The second prototype was built with its wings fitted with six degrees of dihedral, flying in February 1924. It had much improved handling, and showed good speed at low level.[5] However, when undergoing full load trials for the US Navy at Martlesham Heath, it was wrecked when its undercarriage collapsed on landing, and the US Navy cancelled the contract, with the third prototype, intended to be a floatplane not completed.[6]


United States

Specifications (variant)

Data from Handley Page Aircraft since 1907 [6]

General characteristics



See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ Barnes 1976, pp.230-232.
  2. ^ Mason 1992, p.170.
  3. ^ Swanborough and Bowers 1976, p.485.
  4. ^ Barnes 1976, p.232.
  5. ^ Barnes 1976, p.237.
  6. ^ a b Barnes 1976, p.238.
  7. ^ Green and Swanborough 1994, p.275.
  8. ^ a b Mason 1992, p.171.


  • Barnes, C.H. Handley Page Aircraft since 1907. London:Putnam, 1976.ISBN 0 370 00030 7.
  • Green, William and Swanborough, Gordon. The Complete Book of Fighters. New York:Smithmark, 1994. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8.
  • Mason, Francis K. The British Fighter since 1912. Annapolis, USA:Naval Institute Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55750-082-7.
  • Swanborough, Gordon and Bowers, Peter M. United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. London:Putnam, Second edition, 1976. ISBN 0-370-10054-9.
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