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In 1936, when the British Air Ministry issued Specification B.12/36 which called for a conventional design which could operate from existing airfields but have a range of not less than 3,000 miles and carry a bomb load in excess of 8,000 lbs. In all 19 aircraft manufacturers were advised of the Specification and of five tendered designs. For quicker delivery Avro and Handley-Page were ordered "off the drawing board" in mid 1937. Construction of the HP.57 began in March 1938, which upon acceptance was given the service name, Halifax. The maiden flight of the Halifax prototype took place on October 1939. The Halifax entered service in November 1940. In service with RAF Bomber Command, Hlaifax flew 82,773 operations and dropped 224,207 tons of bombs. Totally 6,178 Halifax production was built, with the last aircraft delivered in April 1945. After the war Halifax remaind in service with Coastal Command and Transport Command until early 1952