Weight & dimensions
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The Short Belfast (or Shorts Belfast) is a heavy lift turboprop freighter that was built by British manufacturer Short Brothers at Belfast. Only 10 aircraft were constructed, all of which entered service with the Royal Air Force (RAF), who operated it under the designation Short Belfast C.1.
Upon its entry into service, the Belfast held the distinction of becoming the largest aircraft that the British military had ever operated up to that time. It was also notable for being the first aircraft to be designed from the onset to be equipped with full ‘blind landing’ automatic landing system equipment. Following the formation of RAF Strike Command and a reorganisation of transport assets, the RAF decided to retire all of its Belfast transports by the end of 1976.
Shortly after the type had been retired by the RAF, five Belfasts were sold and placed into civilian service with the cargo airline TAC HeavyLift. These civilian aircraft were used for the charter transport of various goods, including to the RAF. One Belfast is on display at the RAF Museum Cosford. A Belfast formerly operated by Heavylift Cargo is lying abandoned at Cairns Airport in Australia and is the subject of a legal dispute for fees between the airport and the current owner of the aircraft, Flying Tigers.