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Blackburn Beverly

United Kingdom (1955)
Picture of Blackburn Beverly Heavy-Lift, Short-Field Military Transport Aircraft

Nearly fifty of the oversized Blackburn Beverly aircraft were produced for the Royal Air Force from the period spanning 1950 to 1958.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Blackburn Beverly Heavy-Lift, Short-Field Military Transport Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 7/19/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

During the Cold War period, the British Royal Air Force (RAF) Transportation Command section required a modern heavy strategic transport. The call was answered by General Aircraft through the GAL.60 "Universal Freighter" Mk 1, an odd-looking, yet highly useful, high-winged, four-engined aircraft. The cargo hold was served by a combination door-and-ramp arrangement and Bristol "Hercules" engines drove conventional propeller units. The cockpit sat over the nose of the deep fuselage and a raised tailboom completed the aircraft. Of particular note was the fixed, wheeled undercarriage which did away with a complex retracting function and lowered maintenance commitments. A first flight was held on June 20th, 1950. Blackburn Aircraft was responsible for manufacture of the series.

From this work came a second prototype which was given a removable "clamshell" cargo door feature under the tailboom. The original Hercules engines were replaced by the Bristol "Centaurus" 173 radial and added a reversing function for shorter stops. Internally, the tailboom was completed to seat thirty-six additional passengers. The revised prototype was given the designation of GAL.65 Mk 2 (company model B-100) and it was this form that was adopted for service by the RAF as "Beverly C.1 Mk 1" (company model B-101). The line operated under the Blackburn brand label for its time in service with manufacture held out of the Brough facility in northeast England.

Total production eventually yielded forty-nine units with 20 of these through a first-batch order. Service introduction came in 1955 and production ended in 1958. At the time of its adoption, the Beverly was the largest aircraft in service with the RAF.
The Beverly was intended from the outset as a rough-field operator hauling heavy loads over considerable distances in variable environments. Its reverse propeller function aided in short runway landings while the reinforced, fixed undercarriage proved suitable for off-runway operations. The high-wing arrangement assisted in short runway take-offs and the deep internal cargo hold could haul anything from basic supply palettes and combat infantry to artillery loads and paratroops - up to 70 of the latter could be taken airborne, exiting either through a hatch in the boom and through side fuselage doors. The stated payload maximum was 44,000 pounds. Power from the quad-engine arrangement totaled 2,850 horsepower each which helped to produce a maximum speed of 240 miles per hour, a cruising speed of 175 miles per hour, a range out to 1,300 miles, a service ceiling of 16,000 feet and a rate-of-climb of 760 feet per minute.

While not a particularly pleasing aircraft to look at, the Beverly had much-needed (and respected) qualities in-the-field. Its performance was as intended and delivery of the line began in March of 1956 to 47 Squadron (Abingdon) before the line was stationed in far-off places like Bahrain, Kenya and the Far East to support British actions and interests. The last Beverlies were retired in 1967 as the service shifted to an aircraft of new, more conventional appearance - the Hawker Siddeley "Andover".

Of the 49 Beverlies completed, nine were lost to accident or otherwise. Two of three retired survivors fell to the scrapman's torch in time - leaving just one complete example.

Two attempts were made to evolve the basic Mk 1 production model: B-107 and B-107A. The former appeared during 1956 and introduced an all-new rounded fuselage design with larger internal capacity and power was to come from 4 x Rolls-Royce "Tyne" turboprops. This initiative was not furthered into a working prototype. Similarly, B-107A of 1959 - adding a nose door for improved loading/unloading while borrowing many elements from the B-107 before it - fell to naught.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (239mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Beverly C Mk 1 (Model B-101)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
49
49


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: United Kingdom
Year: 1955
Type: Heavy-Lift, Short-Field Military Transport Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Blackburn Aircraft - UK
Production: 49
Global Operators:
United Kingdom
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Beverly C Mk 1 (Model B-101) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
6


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
99.41 ft


Meters
30.3 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
162.07 ft


Meters
49.4 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
38.71 ft


Meters
11.8 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
79,256 lb


Kilograms
35,950 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
135,000 lb


Kilograms
61,235 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
4 x Bristol Centaurus 173 18-cylinder radial piston engines developing 2,850 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
239 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
385 kph


Knots
208 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,302 mi


Kilometers
2,095 km


Nautical Miles
1,131 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
16,076 ft


Meters
4,900 m


Miles
3.04 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
760 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
232 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None. Mission loadout typically cargo in nature - supply loads, infantry, paratroops, etc...
Variants: Series Model Variants
• Beverly - Base Series Name
• GAL.60 Universal Freighter Mk I - Initial Prototype; door-and-ramp loading feature; Bristol Hercules engines
• GAL.65 Universal Freighter Mk II (B-100) - Subsequent prototype; clamshell-style cargo door; passenger seating in tailboom section; Bristol Centaurus engines.
• Beverly C.Mk 1 (B-101) - Definitive production mark
• Blackburn B-107 - Proposed modified variant; rounded fuselage with greater internal capacity' Rolls-Royce Tyne turboprop engines; not furthered.
• Blackburn B-107A - Proposed variant based on B-107 with loading door at nose among other slight changes.