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The General Aircraft GAL 49/50 Hamilcar was a high wing cantilever monoplane glider used by Great Britain for transporting heavy loads such as tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and artillery pieces.


Originally designed to carry a single Tetrarch tank or a pair of Universal Carriers, The Hamilcar design was adapted to carry a variety of loads. All production of the Hamilcar was handled by the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. Ltd.[2]


The fuselage consisted of a rectangular all wood semi monocoque structure, consisting of a series of square frames with fabric covered plywood skin. This was reinforced by high tensile steel gusset plates and a keel beam.

The RAF 32 section wing was equipped with pneumatically operated all wooded slotted flaps and fabric covered ailerons. The two box spar structure had a plywood skin covered with fabric, and was made up of a centre section and two tapering outer sections with a total aspect ratio of 11.5.

The cantilever monoplane tail unit comprised two spar, plywood skinned fin and tailplanes with wood framed, fabric covered, trim tab equipped rudder and elevators.

The divided type landing gear consisted of two units, each comprised of two vees hinged to the lower fuselage longerons, and a vertical shock absorber attached to the centre section front spar. This was supplemented by a fully castoring tail wheel.[2]


Twenty two examples was converted into the twin engine G.A.L.58 Hamilcar X. Intended for use against the forces of Japan, The Hamilcar X was not used in action.[3]


  1. Arnhem Jim
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gunston, Bill (Forward). Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II. Tiger Books. 1989. ISBN 1-85501-996-5. (Reprint of Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1945/1946. Bridgeman, Leonard (Editor). 1946). Page 121
  3. World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. File 895 Sheet 02 (A to Z of Aircraft: G - General Aircraft G.A.L. 38 Fleet Shadower (continued) to General Aircraft Monospar ST-25 Jubilee and Universal).
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