The Belfast was developed to meet a Royal Air Force requirement for a freighter capable of carrying a wide range of military loads over long ranges. The military loads envisaged included artillery, more than 200 troops, helicopters, and guided missiles. Shorts' design was based on studies they had worked on in the late 1950s and the project started as the SC.5/10 in February 1959. From that design, the prototype Belfast first flew on 5 January 1964.
The Belfast was notable for being only the second aircraft type to be built equipped with autoland blind landing equipment.
To meet the demands of the specification the Belfast used a high wing carrying four Rolls-Royce Tyne turboprops. The cargo deck, 64 ft long in a fuselage over 18 feet in diameter (roomy enough for two single deck buses), was reached through a "beaver tail" with rear loading doors and integral ramp. The main undercarriage was two 8-wheel bogies and a 2-wheel nose. The Belfast was capable of a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of over 220,500 lb (100 tonnes) but still less than the contemporaneous 250-tonne MTOW Antonov An-22 and the 128-tonne MTOW Douglas C-133 Cargomaster. It could carry 150 troops with full equipment, or a Chieftain tank or two Westland Wessex helicopters.
The original RAF requirement had foreseen a fleet of 30 aircraft, but this number was to be significantly curtailed as a result of the Sterling Crisis of 1965. The United Kingdom government needed to gain support for its loan application to the International Monetary Fund, which the United States provided. However, one of the alleged clauses for this support was that the RAF purchase Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. With a surplus of airlifting capabilities the original order was reduced to 10. The Belfast entered service with No. 53 Squadron RAF in January 1966 based at RAF Fairford. By May the following year they had been repositioned at RAF Brize Norton.
This aircraft requires the FGUK payloads package, availableÂ HERE
First public release.
YASIM FDM, using YASIM CURRENT VERSION, suitable for FG V3.2+
MP Crew positions available:- Co Pilot, Flight Engineer, Load Master - Currently the load master is the only one with function as he can Â launch the Para troops.
Multiple liveries included.
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|Changed by||Gary Brown|