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Short Stirling

Short Stirling


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Short Stirling

Short Stirling I aircraft of 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit RAF, 29 April 1942

The Royal Air Force Museum is Britain's only national museum dedicated wholly to aviation

Media ID 702048

© RAF Museum 2008 - All Rights Reserved

Royal Air Force World War Two


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> Historic > World War I and II > World War I

> Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum > Charles Brown Colour Photographs

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EDITORS COMMENTS
This evocative photograph captures the majestic presence of a Short Stirling I bomber of the 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU) of the Royal Air Force (RAF), as it taxis along the tarmac on 29 April 1942. The Short Stirling was the RAF's first four-engined heavy bomber, and was a crucial addition to the Allied air arsenal during World War Two. The Short Stirling was a large and imposing aircraft, with a wingspan of 102 feet and a length of 77 feet. It was designed to carry a heavy bomb load, with a maximum capacity of 12,000 pounds. The aircraft was crewed by a team of eleven men, including the pilot, navigator, bomb aimer, wireless operator, flight engineer, and seven gunners. The 1651 HCU was based at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England, and was responsible for training crews to fly the Short Stirling. This photograph shows the aircraft in its natural habitat, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of a busy RAF base. The ground crew can be seen working around the aircraft, ensuring that it is ready for its next mission. The Short Stirling saw action in various theatres of the war, including raids on German cities such as Essen, Cologne, and Berlin. It was also used for maritime patrol and anti-shipping strikes. Despite its size and power, the Short Stirling was not without its challenges. It was known to be difficult to fly, and was prone to engine failures and other technical issues. However, it proved to be a valuable asset to the RAF, and played a crucial role in the Allied bombing campaign against Germany. This photograph is a poignant reminder of the bravery and determination of the RAF personnel who flew and maintained the Short Stirling during World War Two. It is a testament to their skill and dedication, and to the important role that the RAF played in the outcome of the war.

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Charles Brown Colour Photographs
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