Sir Frederick Handley Page was born in 1885, in Cheltenham and studied engineering at Finsbury Technical College where he gained a degree in engineering.
He was interested in mechanical flight and set up his own, small business making propellers and aircraft for other aviators. This led him to form his own The Handley Page Ltd, which had its workshops and hangars at Creekmouth, in Barking. He was to become a pioneer in aircraft development, experimenting with gliders and using the steep hillocks, covering a dumping site, for take-off. His first monoplane was known as The bluebird, later followed by a biplane, nick-named The Yellow Peril because of the antiseptic yellow colour of its wings.
Onwards and Upwards
By 1912 Handley-Page’s relationship with Creekmouth came to an end. He had become so successful that he needed to look for bigger premises and moved to Cricklewood, in North London where he continued his aeronautical experiments.
During the Great War he designed and built the O/400 and the V/1500 planes . He went on to design Halifax bombers during WW2. By the end of the war there were 258 Handley Page aircraft on active service. Post war, he continued his aeronautical research and designed planes for the RAF. In later years, he turned to the designing of commercial aircraft. He received a knighthood in 1942. Sadly, he died in 1962 but his final design, the Jetstream, took to the air in 1967.
Source – Handley Page Association.