The Handley Page Dart Herald was the penultimate aircraft designed by Hertfordshire based Handley Page in the UK. Designed to carry 50-56 passengers up to 700 miles (1,126 kilometres), it suffered from a difficult beginning and few orders.

First flying on 25 August 1955 powered by four Alvis Leonides Major radial engines, the aircraft eventually entered service powered by two Rolls-Royce Dart turboprops with Jersey Airlines on 16 May 1961.

A Change From Four Engines To Two?

During the design phase, the decision was made to use four piston engines and the prototype flew in this configuration. At the time, the turboprop Vickers Viscount, powered by Rolls-Royce Darts, was proving very popular with airlines around the world.

Competing with the Herald was the Dutch Fokker F27 Friendship, already elected to be powered by the Dart, and airlines cancelled their orders for the Herald and swapped to the Friendship. This resulted in Handley page redesigning the Herald into the Dart Herald.

Handley Page Dart Herald Video

Following on from the last video about the Avro York, this time we stay in the UK for a look at the Handley Page Dart Herald. First up is a short 20 second colour video from 1959, showing a BEA example inflight.

The sound of the Dart turboprops is unmistakable there. Next up is a 35 second video circa 1986, taken of a Channel Express aircraft taxiing at Exeter Airport.

Finally, there is this four minute video showing another Channel Express Herald on its final journey to a museum. It features engine startup, plus some air to air shots.

Finishing with a couple of flypasts, it then takes its final landing. Compared to seeing aircraft in a museum, it is good to see it in action to understand what it is really like.

Overall Thoughts

Just 50 examples of the Handley Page Dart Herald were produced from 1959 to 1968, compared to 586 Fokker F27 Friendships. The last passenger flight took place by British Air Ferries operating for Ryanair in 1987, and the last flight altogether was on 9 April 1999.

Handley Page went into voluntary liquidation in August 1969 and was wound up the following year. The development costs of their last aircraft, the Handley Page Jetstream (later further developed by British Aerospace as the Jetstream 31), along with low sales of the Herald were contributing factors.

Various airlines, predominantly in the UK used the aircraft, such as BEA, British Air Ferries, AirUK, Arkia Israeli Airlines, Court Line, and British United Airways. Eight also went to the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

Have you flown aboard a Handley Page Dart Herald before? What was it like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image via The Aviation Anorak.
Four engine Herald image via Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives.