No. 11507. General Aircraft G.A.L. 49 Hamilcar (DP206) Royal Air Force
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General Aircraft G.A.L. 49 Hamilcar

08/31/2012. The G.A.L. 49 Hamilcar was designed to Spec. X. 27/40 which called for a tank-carrying glider, was preceded by a half-scale model, the G.A.L.50 completed early in 1941. Of wooden construction, the HamiIcar prototype (s/n DP206) made its maiden flight at Snaith on March 27, 1942. General Aircraft Ltd., of Hanworth, Feltham, Middlesex, built 22 production aircraft and another 390 were built by various subcontractors, including the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Waggon Co. Ltd.

The Hamilcar was the largest and heaviest glider used by the Allied forces in WW II, and its major role was the transport of heavy freight to the landing zone, and it was in fact the first British glider to carry a tank into action. It could carry a British Tetrarch Mk IV or US Locust tank, two Bren-gun universal carriers, a self-propelled Bofors gun, two armored scout cars, or freight loads up to 17,500 lb (7,940 kg).The Hamilcar had a crew of two, and featured a sideways-hinging nose to enable vehicles to be driven straight out into action on landing. Over 70 Hamilcars were used in the D-Day landings in Normandy, being towed into action by Halifaxes and Stirlings.

Created August 31, 2012