The Bristol Type 192 Belvedere is a British twin-engine, tandem rotor military helicopter built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company. It was designed by Raoul Hafner for a variety of transport roles including troop transport, supply dropping and casualty evacuation. It was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1961 to 1969. The Belvedere was Britain’s only tandem rotor helicopter to enter production, and one of the few not built by Boeing or Piasecki.
The Belvedere was based on the Bristol Type 173 10-seat (later 16-seat) civilian helicopter which first flew on 3 January 1952. The 173 project was cancelled in 1956 and Bristol spent time on the Type 191 and Type 193 to Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy specifications. These two naval variants were cancelled, but the RAF expressed an interest in the aircraft and the Type 192 “Belvedere” was created.
The Type 192 shared some of its design features with the cancelled naval variants, which made it less than ideal for transporting troops. The front undercarriage was unusually tall, originally designed to give adequate clearance for loading torpedoes underneath the fuselage in the anti-submarine warfare role. This left the main passenger and cargo door 4 feet (1.2 m) above the ground. The engines were placed at either end of the cabin. (By comparison the purpose-designed troop transport contemporary Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight had its engines above the aft cabin to permit a rear loading ramp). To provide access to the cabin from the cockpit there was a small entry past the engine that resulted in a bulge on the left side of the fuselage.
You are definitely intrigued to discoverBristol Type 192 Belvedere "1958"
he first prototype Belvedere went to the Belvedere Trials Unit at RAF Odiham, which was subsequently reformed as No. 66 Squadron RAF in 1961. Engine starter problems caused trouble early on but operational deployment continued. The prototype saw service in Europe, Africa, Southern Arabia and Borneo. XG447 was broken up at Boscombe Down on 7 August 1966.
In June 1960 the fifth prototype, XG452 set a speed record of 130 mph (210 km/h) between Gatwick and Tripoli. In 1962 a 72 Squadron Belvedere lowered the 80 ft tall spire onto the new Coventry Cathedral.[9
As well as 66 Squadron, the type was deployed to 72 Squadron in 1961 and 26 Squadron in 1962, all at RAF Odiham. 26 Squadron later transferred to RAF Khormaksar where it disbanded in November 1965. The helicopters were transferred by HMS Albion to Singapore to join 66 Squadron until the squadron was disbanded in 1969. 72 Squadron kept its Belvederes until August 1964 when it exchanged them for Westland Wessex