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Blackburn Beverley

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The Blackburn B-101 Beverley was a 1950s British heavy transport aircraft built by Blackburn and General Aircraft.

Design and development

Designed and built by General Aircraft as the GAL.60 Universal Freighter, the first aircraft was dismantled at the Feltham, Middlesex factory and transported to Brough in Yorkshire to have its maiden flight on 20 June 1950. This was followed by a second, the GAL.65, which was modified from the original. Clamshell doors replaced a combination of a door and ramp, and the tailplane boom received seating for 36 passengers. The Bristol Hercules engines became Bristol Centaurus with reverse-pitch propellers, a feature that gave it a short landing length. The RAF placed an order in 1952 as the Beverley C.1 (Beverley, Cargo Mark 1). All Beverleys would be built at Brough.

The aircraft is a high-wing cantilever monoplane with a fixed undercarriage. The large fuselage has a tailboom fitted with a tailplane with twin fins. The tailboom allowed access to the rear of the fuselage through removable clamshell doors. A 36 ft (11 m) main fuselage space was supplemented by passenger accommodation in the tailboom. The main cargo hold could accommodate 94 troops, with another 36 in the tail-boom.

The aircraft was designed for carrying large bulk loads and landing them on rough or imperfect runways, or mere dirt strips. It could trace its design back to the GAL49 Hamilcar glider of the Second World War. At the time of its entry into service, it was the largest aircraft in the Royal Air Force (RAF). It had a large interior cargo area split into two levels which amounted to around 6,003 ft³ (170 m³) of space. Paratroopers in the upper passenger area jumped through a hatch in the base of the boom just in front of the leading edge of the tailplane.

In total, 49 of the aircraft were produced, with the last one being manufactured in 1958, and final retirement from RAF service was in 1967.

Operational history

The first operational aircraft was delivered to 47 Squadron Royal Air Force at RAF Abingdon on 12 March 1956. 53 Squadron, also at RAF Abingdon, received Beverleys but was absorbed into 47 Squadron in June 1963. They were flown until October 1967 when the squadron disbanded. 30 Squadron received its Beverleys in April 1957 at RAF Dishforth subsequently deploying to RAF Eastleigh, Kenya and RAF Muharraq, Bahrain where it disbanded in September 1967. The longest serving Beverleys were in the Far East. 34 Squadron received its aircraft at RAF Seletar in October 1960 and continued flying them until the end of 1967. The squadron strength was supplemented in June 1959 when 48 Squadron, then based at RAF Changi, was absorbed into it. The sixth squadron to fly the Beverley was 84 Squadron at RAF Khormaksar, Aden which flew them until August 1967 when they were exchanged for Hawker Siddeley Andovers. [1]


Only one Beverley has survived: XB259 is on display at Fort Paull, just east of Hull, England. Two other aircraft were on public display but have since been scrapped:

  • XH124 was on display at the RAF Museum, Hendon. Kept outside, the aircraft deteriorated and was scrapped in 1989.
  • XB261 was on display at the Southend Historic Aviation Museum in 1971. When the museum closed it sat outside for years being weather-beaten and vandalised. It was scrapped in 1989, however, part of its cockpit has been preserved at the Imperial War Museum Duxford.
  • XL149 was an instructional airframe after its RAF service and was scrapped in 1977.


  • B-101 Beverley : Company designation for the Beverley C.Mk 1.
  • G.A.L. 60 Universal Freighter : Designation for the first aircraft.
  • G.A.L. 65 : Designation for the second aircraft. Also given the company designation Blackburn B-100.
  • Beverley C.Mk 1 : Medium-range tactical transport aircraft for the RAF.



Accidents and incidents

Nine aircraft were lost in service with the RAF. Two of these were write-offs after explosive damage (1 landmine, 1 bomb).

Specifications (B-101)

Data from Aeroflight[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 6(2 pilots, flight engineer, navigator, signaller, loadmaster)
  • Capacity:
  • Payload: 44,000 lb (20,000 kg) for 200 mi (322 km)
  • Length: 99 ft 5 in (30.3 m)
  • Wingspan: 162 ft (49.4 m)
  • Height: 38 ft 9 in (11.8 m)
  • Wing area: 2,916 sq ft (270.9 m²)
  • Empty weight: 79,234 lb (35,950 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 82,100 lb (37,240 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 135,000 lb (61,235 kg)
  • Powerplant:Bristol Centaurus 173 18-cylinder radial engines, 2,850 hp (2,130 kW) each


See also

Comparable aircraft

Related lists

See also



  1. Jefford, RAF Squadrons
  2. Hayles, John (2006-05-06). Blackburn Beverley. Aeroflight. Retrieved on 2006-08-19.


  • Hobson, Chris. Blackburn Beverley C.Mk 1 (Warpaint Mini-Monograph). Alan W. Hall(Publications)Ltd., 1988. ISBN 1-00863-007-X.
  • Jackson, A.J. Blackburn Aircraft Since 1909. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1989. ISBN 0-85177-830-5.
  • Jefford, Wing Commander C.G. RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988 (second edition 2001). ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
  • Overton, Bill. Blackburn Beverley. Midland Counties, 1990. ISBN 0-904597-62-8.

External links


Template:Blackburn aircraft Template:GAL aircraft

de:Blackburn B-101 es:Blackburn Beverley it:Blackburn Beverley ja:ブラックバーン ビバリー

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Blackburn Beverley".