Short SC.5/10 Belfast


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Short SC.5/10 Belfast

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.

Short SC.5/10 Belfast

 ENGINE4 x Rolls-Royce Tyne Rty 12, 4273kW
  Take-off weight104326 kg230001 lb
  Empty weight57606 kg127000 lb
  Wingspan48.4 m159 ft 10 in
  Length41.58 m136 ft 5 in
  Height14.33 m47 ft 0 in
  Wing area229.09 m22465.90 sq ft
  Cruise speed566 km/h352 mph
  Ceiling9145 m30000 ft
  Range w/max.fuel10200 km6338 miles
  Range w/max payload2000 km1243 miles

Short SC.5/10 BelfastA three-view drawing (592 x 844)

Mach2, e-mail, 09.10.2020 15:06

I have a Belfast memory. I was flying a Gnat out of Valley to Ballykelly around 1967 on a practice diversion. I was over the sea approaching N Ireland when a Belfast on the airway at FL120 requested a climb to FL140 and this was approved; I left the frequency, continued to Ballykelly, flew a full ILS pattern and overshot to return to Valley. Coasting out over the Irish Sea I returned to the ATC frequency used for the outbound transit and when half way home heard the Belfast report levelling at FL140!

I often marvelled at how Belfast crews could live at that speed


stan, e-mail, 14.06.2017 17:21

I went to India in G BEP in 83, took 3 days to get to destination stopping at Brindisi, Cairo, Dubai, Bombay and then into the Thar dessert


Ray, e-mail, 22.02.2016 14:04

I understand that the Belfast had the system for Blind landing used on the BEA Trident I worked on VRUs ADIs and ADDAs at Sperry Gyroscope Company in the 1960s


francis stevens, e-mail, 07.01.2016 16:26

I had the pleasure to fly in every Belfast that was built as an air cadet living at Brizenorton from 73 until 76, A sad day when they were scraped in favour of the herc.


Bob Armitage, e-mail, 04.11.2015 17:53

I flew in a Belfast from Leeming to British Honduras (Belize; with a few stops on the way; back in 1970 whilst attached to 37Sqn RAF Regiment. The flight was "Chalk 8". There was only a handful of personnel as we were carrying vehicles and trailers.


phill taylor, e-mail, 06.08.2015 23:56

I worked on the in the tyne bay at brise norton the belfast was a wonderfull aircraft. It actually carried its own weight 62tons from abingdone to brise i loved it.


Steve Hone, e-mail, 03.02.2015 18:38

Worked on the Belfast Simulator and was one of the team that dismantled it and shipped it to Stanstead, last saw the simulator rebuilt but not working at Southend airport.
Anyone know what happened to it?


Chris McBrien, e-mail, 28.08.2021 Steve Hone

I worked on the VC10 Sim, 1966 to 1971 and often helped on the Belfast Sim in that period. Do you have any of the names? Roy McMullen, Ginge Jones, Graham Cassells, Geordie?
They'd all be in their mid to late 70's by now.

Regards Chris McBrien.


Steve Hone, e-mail, 04.09.2021 Chris McBrien

Hi Chris
I didn’t join the Belfast Sim until 1972, the only name that rings a bell is Ginge Jones who I believe ran the stores.
Other people you may have known were Dave Tapley, Pete Smulovic and Mick Davidson who all worked on the VC10 Sim.
I have not heard from any of them for over 10 years now.

Steve Hone


john billinton, e-mail, 04.01.2015 20:28

Wonderful aircraft,did a great job,I worked on them at Brize Nrton,Abingdon,and Muharraq,as a Sgt Airframe fiter,for 7 years.happy days.


Barry, 01.05.2012 12:20

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, e-mail, 04.02.2011 14:51

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, e-mail, 02.11.2010 11:23

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.


Jim Hanna, e-mail, 20.08.2010 17:15

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.


Wayne, e-mail, 03.09.2010 01:05

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.


Jon Mercer, e-mail, 21.02.2010 22:54

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.


USCS36yrs, e-mail, 05.02.2010 21:30

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, e-mail, 01.02.2010 17:09

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.


Kevin, 05.01.2010 13:33

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.


Barry, 22.06.2009 18:41

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.


Sgt.KAR98, 11.02.2009 19:25

Nice plane.Resembles an An-12.


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