In the early 1950s Handley Page Ltd. decided to proceed with a 44-seat
feederliner. The H.P.R.3 Herald was designed by Handley Page's Reading
facility, which was formerly the Miles Aircraft Company, and work began
in 1954 to complete two prototypes, each powered by four Alvis Leonides
Major radial piston engines. By the time that the first of these
(G-AODE) made its maiden flight on 25 august 1955, followed by the
second (G-AODF) on 3 August 1956, Handley Page had received provisional
export orders for 29 HPR.3 aircraft and plans were well advanced to lay
down a production line. By this time however the advent of the proven
reliability and economical operation of turboprops by two years'
successful operation of the Vickers Viscount had caused many operators
to revise their attitude to turbine transports, and some of the Herald
customers now declined to accept the Herald in piston-engined form.
Consequently Handley Page made the decision to switch to turboprops in
May 1957. Under the designation H.P.R.7 the Herald was re-designed to be
powered by two Rolls-Royce Dart R.Da.7 turboprops. Apart from a new
centre-section with the new nacelles, few changes were needed but the
fuselage was lengthened by 20 in. Both of the original piston powered
prototypes were converted to the new form. On 11 march 1958, the first
flight of the Dart Herald occurred when the G-AODE made its second maiden
flight, followed by the second Dart Herald G-AODF on 17 December 1958.
The first Series 100 production Herald (G-APWA) flew for the first time
on 30 October 1959. Only four Series 100s were built before production
switched to the larger capacity and stretched (by 1.09m) Series 200 in
late 1961. The second prototype (G-AODF) was converted to Series 200 and
flew first as the prototype 200 on 8 April 1961. The only other Herald
derivative built was the Series 400, a military version of the 200 for
Malaysia, which took delivery of eight. Herald production ceased in
August 1968, while Handley Page collapsed in late 1969. Only 50 Handley
Page H.P.R.7 Heralds were produced: four Series 100, 38 Series 200 and
eight Series 400s.
On 4 September 1983, Handley Page H.P.R.7 Herald 214 G-BAVX was seen at
Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands. The British air ferries' airliner was chartered
to fly British supporters out of the UK to the speedway World Championship in Norden in Germany.
When photograped at Eelde, the G-BAVX was painted in the basic colours of Aero Turbo Panama to which it was leased in 1982.
Handley Page H.P.R.7 Dart Herald 214 c/n 194 flew first on 28 December 1967 and was delivered as
PP-SDN to Sadia in Brazil on 10 April 1968. On 18 April 1973, the aircraft was registered G-BAVX
with BMI in the UK. On 13 January 1977, the G-BAVX entered service with British Air Ferries. The
aircraft was reregistered G-DGLD with BAF on 30 October 1991. After the G-DGLD was withdrawn from use,
the registration was cancelled on 19 June 1996.