A Shorts SC-5 Belfast oversize freighter is currently being restored for a return to revenue service, making it only the second of the type operating in the World.
The former HeavyLift Cargo Belfast (G-BEPS) has been bought by HeavyLift Cargo Airlines (Australia) for oversized cargo operations in the Southern Hemisphere in and around Australia. HeavyLift Australia already operates the only other airworthy example of the type (G-HLFT, now 9L-LDQ).
G-BEPS has been stored in the open at Southend-on-Sea airport, UK, after being retired as part of HeavyLift Cargo's restructuring that eventually led to a $23.75 million management buy-out. The restoration involved a small team of engineers. In December last year all four 5,730shp, (4,270kW) Rolls Royce Tyne 22 two-shaft turboprop engines were re-fitted ahead of engine runs (pictured below).
The SC-5 is expected to be delivered to Sydney later this year. Ten Belfasts were originally built by Short Brothers at Belfast in the 1960s as a transport aircraft for the UK Royal Air Force and remained in service until the 1970s when they were retired and converted for civil use at Southend by the then-HeavyLift Engineering.
© Simon Murdoch