Remarks: 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. With a surplus of airlifting capabilities the original order by the RAF of 30 was reduced to 10 aircraft. Following entry to RAF service it became apparent that a major drag problem was preventing the initial five aircraft attaining Short’s desired performance figures. Indeed the suction drag on the tail and rear fuselage was so severe that the RAF nicknamed the aircraft ‘The Dragmaster’. By the end of 1976 the Belfast fleet had been retired and flown to RAF Kemble for storage. TAC Heavylift then purchased 5 of them for commercial use in 1977, and operated three of them from 1980 after they had received work so they could be certificated to civil standards. The type entered something of a hiatus after being retired from TAC Heavylift service and several were parked at Southend Airport for a number of years until one aircraft (SH1819, pictured in photo) was refurbished and flown to Australia in 2003. A second, G-BEPS (SH1822), is to join her in Australia following a refurbishment at Southend Airport.