BELVEDERE HC.1 gallery

The origins of Bristol Type 192 Belvedere helicopter date back to 1948. But only after 14 years of work and 3 failed models this helicopter would see the light. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a model with worse characteristics than those expected during its development. That is why only 26 units were built, which were in service for only 8 years.
Belvedere is derived from two models of naval helicopters, so it has several features that are not very useful for cargo models. For example, the entrance to the passage and cargo bay was especially complicated due to the excessive height above the ground, reached more than 1 meter. This was because one of the tested models, the Type 191, was designed for anti-submarine warfare and it was necessary to have enough space under the fuselage to house a torpedo.
It would not be until the eleventh production aircraft when its manufacture was standardized, that is, when the model could be considered completely finished. Until then, modifications and improvements, both internal and external, were constant. The first Belvedere were delivered in grey and white colours, although later all would be painted in the RAF’s green and gray camouflage.
The official designation was “Belvedere HC Mk.1” and began its career with the 66 Squadron RAF of Odiham in September 1961. Belvedere‘s payload was limited to a maximum of 2,700 kg of cargo inside the fuselage. This payload could be composed by 18 equipped soldiers or 12 stretchers and two seated wounded. It could also carried an external load up to 2,400 kg.
Despite the large size of this helicopter, the placement of the rotors prevented the proper use of the airframe for transport missions. Even so, the active life of Belvedere was not easy and they served well in hard missions in Yemen, Malaysia or Saudi Arabia. They were in service with the 26, 66 and 72 Squadrons RAF.

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