This photograph looks like a shot from a sci-fi movie:
First flown in prototype form in mid-1930, the Handley-Page HP.50 Heyford was the last of the RAF's long-range biplane night bombers. It was powered in Mk I form by two 391.2kW Rolls-Royce Kestrel III engines and in the Mk II and Mk III by 428.5kW Kestrel VI.
The Heyford was an equal-span biplane with staggered wings: the upper wing centre-section rested on top of the fuselage, while the lower was positioned well below the fuselage, connected to the under-fuselage by N-type struts.
The inner interplane struts supported the engine mountings. An interesting feature of the design was that bombs of various sizes were carried inside the thickened centre-section of the lower wing, each bomb being carried in a separate cell closed by spring doors. The fixed landing gear comprised two large wheels faired into the lower wing.
Carrying 1580 kg of bombs and three 7.7mm machine-guns as defensive armament, the Heyford could operate at high altitudes (21,000 ft/6400 mm). Its top speed was mediocre - 142 mph (229 km/h), but the range was satisfactory by the early-1930s standards, 920 miles (1480 km).
A total of 124 Heyfords were built, made up of 38 Mk I and IA, 1 intermediate Mk IA/II, 16 Mk II and 71 Mk Ill - these figures being adjusted to take into account changes made from the original production orders. Heyfords served with heavy-bomber squadrons from 1933 to 1939, giving way to more modern monoplanes of World War II-type.
See it in flying:
Source: Virtual Aircraft Museum