Freight DogsFinally a forum for those midnight prowler types who utilise the unglamorous parts of airports that many of us never get to see. Freight Dogs is for pilots and crew who operate mostly without SLF.
I have found a photograph of a C133 landing at Lajes in January or February 1958. I remember the stir it caused as it was the first time a C133 had landed there. At the time I thought it didn't look right!
Apologies in advance for the poor quality of the picture. Blame my steam driven Voigtlander.
DH, the 'Guppy' Tynes don't have the water-meth injection which makes them pretty useless for the Belfast in any sort of hot/high conditions at T/O.
The Tyne 515's from the Guppy are also air start as opposed to electric starter motors on the Belfast Tyne 12's. Also, different bearer mountings and many other things not compatible. I think Tyne engines are still in use by the Italian air force, so someone somewhere must still be able to rebuild them.
The Belfast was a great aircraft if you wanted to move a packet of RyVita from the UK to Mazira. Eff all range (900 miles) fully loaded. That's why they were all fitted with in flight refuelling probes, which Marshalls removed during the transfer mods for the civilian register.
Well, my record was Cold Lake, Alberta to Brize Norton (4303 nautical miles). It took us 13 hours and 30 minutes. I freely admit that we only had a 25,000 lbs load down the back.
My heaviest load was a complete building (right down to the toilet seats and a flag pole) from St Johns, Newfoundland up to Goose Bay, Labrador for the Canadian Department of Transport. (It was the only way to get the building there for the sea never did unfreeze that year). The weight of the building was just under 78,000 lbs.
The Belfast was never designed to carry general freight over long distances. That was what the CL-44 did. It was designed to move indivisible loads like two Puma helicopters or a Sea King. The 80 foot by 12 foot freight bay was the largest available at the time apart from the C-5A. There were no Antonov 124s available for hire in those days.
Most people who were critical of the Belfast never set foot on the bottom rung of the spiral staircase!
Other indivisible loads that come to mind were those made up of a mix of Abbott Self-Propelled Guns and FV 432 APCs to BAOR in late 1969; all in the 70,000 lb bracket with, as I recall, not exceeding Max Zero Fuel Weight as a planning consideration. And for awkward shaped support equipment on squadron deployments, for example, the aircraft's bulk capacity meant that one Belfast load would normally shift what otherwise needed two Hercs. It was a very handy aircraft in the inventory in its day.