Imperial Airways aircraft in the desert, 1930s.
© Nigel Dobinson / Science & Society Picture Library
G-AAXF HP 42 Helena. The Handley Page HP42 was the most famous Imperial Airways airliner of the period. It first flew in at Radlett in 1930 and entered service in June 1931. The eight aircraft served until 1941 in different versions over routes to Australasia and Africa. It was powered by four Bristol Jupiter engines and carried 24 passengers and four crew at about 100mph.