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Despite the need to maintain vital transport services during World War II in the face of air raids, wartime shortages and restrictions, the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) also played a part in direct war production.
Photograph of staff from London Aircraft Production workshops where sections of new Handley-Page "Halifax" bombers are made are visiting an airfield to see the completed aircraft, 1945. Archive ref num: LT000846/003
The London Aircraft Production Group (LAPG) was formed in the summer of 1940 by the Ministry of Aircraft Production (MAP). It was headed by the LPTB, and comprised Chrysler Motors, Duple Bodies and Motors, Express Motor and Body Works, and Park Royal Coachworks. Together they were to produce the Handley Page Halifax bomber. Each company was tasked with making a section, or components for the plane. It had been designed so that individual parts could then be quickly assembled.
Staff from London Aircraft Production workshops visiting an airfield to see the completed aircraft, 1945. Archive ref num: LT000846/003
The LPTB Works at Chiswick, Aldenham and White City, usually occupied with the manufacture of trains and buses, were turned over to the LAPG. They were responsible for building the centre section, the front fuselage, engines, engine cowlings, stores and spares.
Women working on a component for a Handley Page "Halifax" bomber, one of several hundred built by London Aircraft Production, 1945. Archive ref num: LT000846/003
Thousands of LPTB staff, most new to engineering, had to learn how to manufacture aircraft parts quickly and precisely. 50% of this new workforce were women.
Article describing the contribution of London Transport to the production of Halifax bombers, January 1945. Archive ref num: LT000030/078 Pennyfare_064_00006
An engineer works in the bomb-aimer's position. 1945. Archive ref num: LT000846/006
Women worked on aileron (a hinged flight control surface usually forming part of the trailing edge of each wing) and rudder assemblies among other things.
Photograph showing women work on aileron and rudder assemblies for Handley Page "Halifax" bombers. 1945. Archive ref num: LT000846/006
The assembly of the complete centre section, the engine units and the installation of the front fuselage were carried out at the railway depot at Aldenham.
A fitter works on an engine for a Handley Page "Halifax" bomber. 1941-1945. Archive ref num: LT000846/003
Components were delivered to Leavesden airfield for assembly and flight tests before being handing over to the RAF. The first aircraft was successfully flown on 8 December 1941.
A machine tool operator. 1945. Archive ref num: LT000846/003
At the peak of production 4,600 staff were directly employed by the LPTB. on work for the Halifax plane.
Photograph of a woman welder producing intricate small parts taken at London Passenger Transport Board's Chiswick Bus Overhaul works. 1945. Archive ref num: LT000350/001/025/002
A total of 710 Halifax planes were built by the LAPG between 1942 and 1945. The final plane, delivered to the R.A.F on 16 April 1945 was named the London Pride. The work of aircraft production was seen as vital and the London Passenger Transport Board staff received a telegram from the Minister of Aircraft Production congratulating them on their achievement.
Article describing the naming by Lord Ashfield of the 710th and last Halifax aircraft. May 1945. Archive ref num: LT000030/078 Pennyfare_068_00009
Poster explaining the importance to the war effort of the work of each member of London Aircraft Production staff. 1945. Archive ref num: LT000350/001/025