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Short Belfast Status - Cairns Airport - Updated to April 2018

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    Originally posted by HP111 View Post
    Well that is rather an exaggeration. The P.1121 is a partly constructed hulk consisting of a centre fuselage shell, a cockpit shell and one wing only partly skinned. It is not my idea of easy to finish off. Anyway what would be the point, it is an accurate representation of its history as it stands.
    I fully agree: if someone wants to build a replica then fine. But why would you "finish off" a valuable set of artefacts which were never complete in period? I does however deserve an inspired restoration and display.

    But this is off-topic: let's hope that the Cairns Belfast has earned a stay of execution.


      Originally posted by J Boyle View Post
      So the RAF crews that gave their lives in Hudson's, Mustangs, Catalinias, Dakotas, Thunderbolts, etc etc. should have their aircraft overlooked? Surely, you don't want that.
      No, not at all, but none of these aircraft should receive preferential treatment for preservation on the grounds that they were 'better' than aircraft produced by Britain during the war, as was the original suggestion.

      Also, all these aircraft have a healthy preserved population in the United States (and other countries) that is not perhaps the case with the equivalent British aircraft.

      Originally posted by J Boyle View Post
      Likewise the sterling service of the Hercules.....Phantoms...
      Agreed, but although these are undoubtably far more 'significant' aircraft, and more significant in British service too, these should never take precedence over the Belfast, Beverley, Argosy or Sea Vixen, for example.

      Of course I have no problem with RAF examples of the Hercules or Phantom being preserved either; but they shouldn't take precedence just because they were 'better' or even because they were more significant.


        Surprised at that, Meddle. The history of aviation deserves to be properly represented, not reduced to the pointy and shiny. And if you wish to be Darwinian, the Bristol Freighter was far more commercially sound, and produced in greater numbers, than Concorde.
        It's all good. Probably.


          Soooo, six months on can anyone confirm or otherwise that the Belfast was indeed scrapped - or is this magnificent old transport aircraft still hanging on?

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            Still there for the time being.


              Thanks Brenden S. For as long as it survives then maybe just maybe there's a future for it - somehow somewhere!

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                As far as the Bristol 170 is concerned, I hope you are not referring to ZK-CPT at Omaka in Blenheim. My father flew that for twenty years with Safe Air and it has a 35 year local flying history. It is also maintained in taxiing condition by a very dedicated group of volunteers.

                On the other hand there are a number of Bristol Frighteners in various stages of preservation, ranging from another taxiiable example with the RNZAF, two or three other static display examples, restaurants, shops, backpacker hostels to "Oh my giddy aunt!" scattered around NZ. Surely a nice static display example could come out of that if someone with the necessary were to take an interest. There is even an ex-RNZAF example on static display in Canada at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin. It was the last example to fly when it was donated by Hawkair and flown in to the museum's runway in 2004. There are static display 170s in Australia and Argentina too. Are there none at all in the UK? If you want to see how successful it was as a type, take a look at Wikipedia's list of civil and military operators.
                Last edited by ctayfor; 13th October 2017, 02:01.


                  ctayfor, the RNZAF's Freighter at Wigram isn't taxiable - to the best of my knowledge CPT is the only running example anywhere.

                  Until ZK-EPG arrives for Aerospace Bristol I understand there are no complete examples on display in the UK.
                  "those who know keep quiet, and those who don't are frowned upon for asking." - snafu


                    I don't see many 707s or C-130s being preserved
                    re the C-130 the simple reason is you wont and that is down to them still in service, so are a potential asset to sell on as airworthy to military operators the world over. Some already have been sold off, are the rest of the K's still in storage at Saints?.

                    we are flogging off J's at the moment.



                      Are all the RAF C-130J aircraft being retired then (as A400M finally enters RAF service)...

                      ...does that make the C-130J 'historic' now?

                      Yikes.....I feel old!


                        The UK Royal Air Force will continue operating its remaining Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transports until 2035, with their service-life extension to be supported by a key structural upgrade programme.

                        In a controversial move, the UK government's Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2010 proposed removing the RAF's entire C-130J fleet from service. But with the service facing a looming tactical airlift shortfall and delays to the introduction of tactical capabilities for its incoming Airbus Defence & Space A400M Atlas, this decision was partially reversed in its 2015 review, which identified a need to retain 14 Hercules.

                        Flight Fleets Analyzer shows the RAF's C4-model C-130Js as being aged between 17 and 21 years. Its short-fuselage C5-standard examples have already been retired from use or placed in storage. The UK acquired an original 25 "Super Hercules", with one having been destroyed after sustaining damage from an improvised explosive device on landing at a remote airstrip in Iraq in 2007.

                        The UK's Hercules fleet is based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, along with 16 of the service's eventual 22 A400M tactical transports.


                        That's the problem, go to war in different countries and your peacetime planned useage goes out the window as you ramp up hours flown, thus the estimated fleet lives are effected.
                        Similar happens when for budget restraints you cut a type, the emphasis on fullfilling the tasking then falls on other types and their utilisation goes through the roof meaning often a forecasted time out of service is advanced and the planned replacement is no longer available in the timeframe needed, hence you need to then go through expensive fleet life enhancements, probably similar to what the Herc will have.
                        Last edited by TonyT; 13th October 2017, 15:15.


                          Tony T one of the airframes in St Athan XV295 was sold and flew to the Austrians for Spares and I think two were flown out to Canada in 2014/15 to undergo upgrades before going to The Mexican AF From memory.

                          The remaining aiframes have been/are being parted out this year as far as I can recall. I did see some picture of this at St A on a Facebook post, but doubt I could find that now



                            I seem to remember reading on pprune, one of the ones the Mexicans bought was the problematic one of the fleet.


                              Sorry if I may just drift this thread in another direction ...

                              Any chance for an update on the status of the Short Belfast at Cairns?


                                The Belfast is still there. 2 Dash8's however have had the chop.



                                  The link above suggests that there have been some engine runs recently.


                                    Was in Cairns in December and got this shot of it from the plane.


                                      Click image for larger version

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                                        Great, thanks for this! Pictures speak a thousand words!


                                          Good news indeed. A bit weathered but holding on. Hell she even looks like shes ready to come home ��

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