Profiles and Logos
The General Aircraft Limited GAL.49 Hamilcar was a large British military glider used during World War 2 and was designed to carry heavy loads such as light tanks to specification X.26/40. The GAL company was chosen to develop the design as they had already been developing a glider to carry a light tank. Such a large glider had not been developed before so a half scale prototype was built, this crashed during its first flight but the flight was still seen as successful and a prototype was completed in March 1942 and made its first flight from RAF Snaith in Yorkshire on 27th March 1942. There were many issues during production and the rate was very slow mainly due to material shortages with only 344 built of the 800 ordered by the end of the war.
The Hamilcar was used in three operations during World War 2, Operation Tonga between the 5th and 7th June 1944, Operation Market Garden from 17th September 1944 and Operation Varsity, the breach of the Rhine on 24th March 1945. The last Hamilcars left RAF service by the mid 1950’s.