The Belfast was a four-engined heavy transport for the RAF, the first of which flew on 5 January 1964. It was specifically designed for the carriage of heavy freight, including the largest types of guns, vehicles, guided missiles and other loads and had 'beaver-tail' rear loading doors capable of permitting the unhindered passage of any load that the fuselage could contain. As a troop transport it could carry 200 men, and was often used to carry helicopters overseas. Ten were built for the RAF, first entering service with No 53 Squadron in January 1966 as the Belfast C.1.
| ENGINE||4 x Rolls-Royce Tyne Rty 12, 4273kW|
| Take-off weight||104326 kg||230001 lb|
| Empty weight||57606 kg||127000 lb|
| Wingspan||48.4 m||159 ft 10 in|
| Length||41.58 m||136 ft 5 in|
| Height||14.33 m||47 ft 0 in|
| Wing area||229.09 m2||2465.90 sq ft|
| Cruise speed||566 km/h||352 mph|
| Ceiling||9145 m||30000 ft|
| Range w/max.fuel||10200 km||6338 miles|
| Range w/max.payload||2000 km||1243 miles|
|A three-view drawing (592 x 844)|
Further to my earlier posting and subsequent to Kevin's comment, at the time of writing the last Belfast (current registration RP-C8020) is stored at Cairns International Airport Queensland devoid of any Heavylift markings. I don't suppose it will fly again - so be it.
|Christopher McBrien, 04.02.2011|
Although I was assigned to the VC-10 Flight Simulator in 1966, I did some work on the Belfast Sim which was just next door and eventually linked to the VC-10's visual flying attachment. I would like to make contact with ex-Belfast Sim blokes of that era.... Ginge Jones, Geordie, Ian McMullen, Harry Stapleton was the Link Miles man responsible for the early digital radio aids computer using Logic building blocks. Those were the days!!
|RAY WIKE, 02.11.2010|
Brize Norton: they had six "bells" working from Brize in 1965,I was busy during that time ROLING the Belfasts and VC 10s. I was lucky enough to cadge a lift in one of the BELFASTs No 366 transporting a large "part" for the "Concord" to BAE at Warton, Lancs. It's destination was of course France where they were building the first of the Concords.
We ground crew considered it a fantastic plane and a great asset to the Royal Air Force at that time.
I worked on them from 74 to 76, great old girl,The flight systems were great, autoland, auto throttle, I used to do an Autoland every Before Flight I done, it was great to watch. Sadly the scrapped them before i went aircrew. I flew the Herc and Electra 188 for Channel Express and Ameria, but did see the Belslow come into Dublin a couple of times around 1999. Just seen an advert for the last one on the net (sept 2010) for $920,000.
|Jim Hanna, 20.08.2010|
I was posted to Brize Norton in Feb 1968. I worked on the Belfast / VC-10 flight line from 1968 to early 1972. I certainly have some good memories of my days, and nights servicing the ' Bell '
I flew to New York in a Belfast in 1968 or was it 1969. Anyway we carried a couple of spare engines for the Harriers which were taken part in the Daily Mail air race.
|Jon Mercer, 21.02.2010|
I used to live a few miles from Southend Airport at the time Heavylift were operating Belfasts from there. Apart from seeing loads of Viscounts, plenty of warbirds transiting to the continent and back (including once three B17s when they were filming Memphis Belle at Duxford and Binbrook) there was only one time I saw a Belfast flying over. It was an extremely impressive aircraft to see with the huge H on the tail. I also saw one display at West Malling for the Great Warbirds display, although how it qualified as a warbird is slightly tenuous.
I had occasion to see the Belfast several times when Heavylift picked up cargo at KBWI near Baltimore. One trip took a multi-million dollar satellite down to South America for its launch. I was told that when the Belfast got back to Stansted it was to be pulled into a dark corner to supply parts for Belfasts with fewer hours on their airframes.
|Gary Davey, 01.02.2010|
I used to carry out heavy maintenance on these in Abingdon, circa 1974. I also flew on a round trip from Brize Norton to Decimomanu (Sardinia), Malta and Cyprus and one engine packed up on the way home but we kept going on 3 which was VERY noisy.
A damned shame the British government of the day dropped the ball on this one. They sold off the Belfast and got the less capable Hercules and then decades later had to buy another Yank plane to give them the capacity they already had in the 1960s.
The last flying Belfast is still in operation with HeavyLift Cargo Airlines headquartered in Queensland, Australia. I've seen it flying in Australia a few times.
Based around the Brittania, it was called originally the Short Brittanic.It gave the R.A.F. a strategic heavylift that had been missing for sometime. The plane itself suffered from drag problems which was partially releived from the addition of strakes to the rear fuselage. However,yet again the goverment of the day retired them to save a few pence that could be spent on some "good cause or intiative". They were sold to what was a subsidiary of the Trafalgar House group called THC Heavylift. Of course, come the day when the R.A.F. needs heavylift capacity in this case the Falklands War (Conflict) the M.O.D. hired the planes from the by now independent Heavylift. The last one flying was sold abroad after the collapse of Heavylift. It is doubtful whether it is still flying now and guess what? What is the R.A.F. looking to purchase now? That's right a strategic heavy lift transport.They have the GlobemasterIII but the goverment has commited itself to the less capable still to fly white elephant the A400M. Politicians never seem to learn.
Nice plane.Resembles an An-12.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?