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Short Belfast

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Fairly high-tech for RAF Movers


A fine aircraft spoiled by rubbish British procurement nonsense; set a very high spec and then order stupidly small numbers of them = expensive planes. In fairness, the original idea was to order around thirty kites, but that didn't take in to account the Labour government of the day and the state of the 'pound in your pocket'.

A fiscal bail out by the US-controlled IMF contained the caveat that C130s came with the deal and thus it came to pass that the RAF had to reduce the initial Belfast requirement to accomodate the Hercules - an arguably more useful aircraft, albeit with a lesser payload than Short's design.

Hopelessly underpowered, it was known as the 'Belslow' to crews. Legend has it that flight planning was carried out with a calandar, and on one flight to Hong Kong - when well down-route - the captain sent a message saying 'Progressing steadily: no signs of scurvy amongst crew yet.'

Then the clowns at the MOD decided to bin RAF Transport Command and flog the lot after a whole decade of service. Inevitably we ended up chartering them back when the next emergency occurred.

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