JOHAN VISSCHEDIJK COLLECTION
No. 10310. Shorts SC.5/10 Belfast C.Mk.1 (G-BEPS c/n SH.1822) HeavyLift Cargo Airlines
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Shorts SC.5/10 Belfast C.Mk.1

12/31/2010. Shorts (Short Brothers & Harland Ltd.) at Queen's Island, Belfast, Northern Ireland designed this four-engined military transport specifically for the carriage of heavy freight, including the largest types of guns, vehicles, guided missiles and miscellaneous loads with which the RAF and the British Army were concerned in the 1960. It had "beavertail" rear loading doors capable of permitting the unhindered passage of any load that the fuselage could contain. It had a payload of 78,000 lb (35,400 kg).

Powerplants were four 5,730 shp Rolls-Royce Tyne RTy.12 turboprops. The Belfast was flown by a crew of four on the flight deck, plus an air quartermaster. Basically a freighter, with a simple conversion it could carry 150 troops, and after fitting the removable upper deck accommodation was increased to 250 troops. As a missile carrier it was able to carry all types of guided weapons, from strategic offensive missiles to light support weapons. Small missiles such as the Thunderbird and Bloodhound could be crated and stowed in quantity.

Design started in February 1959. Construction of the first Belfast began in October 1959 and this aircraft flew for the first time on January 5, 1964, and the second Belfast flew on May 1, 1964. These aircraft formed part of an order for 10 for RAF Air Support Command. The first was delivered to No. 53 Squadron, at RAF Fairford, on January 10, 1966. Only ten aircraft (c/n SH.1816 to SH.1825) were produced for the RAF and were serialed XR362 to XR371. Due to RAF reorganization the ten Belfast's were withdrawn by the end of 1976.

The pictured aircraft was first flown on February 21, 1966 and serialed XR368 it was delivered to No. 53 Squadron, at RAF Fairford on March 29, 1966. Ten years later it was stored at No.5 MU Kemble, and it appeared as G-BEPS on the British Civil Registry on April 6, 1977. Subsequently it was operated by Pan African Freight Liners, Transmeridian Air Cargo, and HeavyLift Cargo Airlines. It made it last flight on March 30, 2001, when it was ferried to Southend for storage, and was eventually scrapped on October 23, 2008.

Created December 31, 2010