Handley Page H.P.42

If any aeroplane Could be described as a stately galleon of the airways, it was Handle Page’s H.P.42.This extraordinary biplane was the first four-engine airliner in the world to go into regular passenger service. First Flown in 1931, it was used exclusively by Britain’s Imperial Airwais. The 38-passenger H.P. 42W (Western) version operated to Europe from Croydon Airport in Surrey, while the 24-passenger H.P.42E (Eastern) model travelled the airline’s more exotic route from Cairo to Karachi and Kisumu.
The Warren-girder system of struts between the wings permitted the
elimination of bracing wires, but the aircraft’s design showed a haughty disdain for streamlining. The airliner ploughed through the air at a leisurely 100mph on the power of its four uncowled Bristol Jupiter engines, providing a slow but relatively comfortable service. Eight H.P.42s were built, four of each version. They were all given classical names beginning with H – the prototyp – was Hannibal.
The H.P42s remained in service until the outbreak of World War II, by which time they were looking distinctly antiquated among the
modern monoplanes on airport aprons. But they were nonetheless
outstanding in their endurance and reliability.One H.P. 42, Heracles, flew a total of 1,318.990 miles and provided safe carriage for more than 160,000 passengers.