Shorts Behemoth C2 “Samson C2”

Started by lenny100, March 06, 2018, 12:55:48 PM

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The Samson has its origins in studies conducted by aircraft manufacturer Short Brothers into the possibility for matching arrangement four advanced jet engines with two high power scramjet engines with an VTOL airframe that had been optimised for transporting various military stores during the mid-1970s in suport of the VTOL Harrier force. It was decided to continue these studies as part of the firm's management believed that it was highly likely that there would likely be an Operational Requirement issued for the Royal Air Force  seeking such an aircraft in the near future, although Sir Matthew Slattery, chairman of Shorts, expressed his doubt of the practicality of such an aircraft. Slattery believed that developing such an aircraft from scratch would lack sufficient market prospects and instead encouraged the use of as many components and systems from the existing transport aircraft as would be reasonably possible, a measure that was logical and practical, acting to reduce development time and cost while improving reliability, with the downside of lesser performance.
In March 1967, Shorts submitted its first brochure on their proposed transport aircraft, designated as the PD.22 and given the name Behemoth to reflect its size. 
During 1968, it became clear that there was a definite need within the RAF for a VTOL heavy freighter. Accordingly, the issuing of Operational Requirement ASR.381 soon occurred, which sought the procurement freighter capable of carrying a wide range of military payloads over long ranges. The envisioned aircraft was to be operated by Transport Command of the RAF.
The military loads envisaged included artillery, more than 200 troops, helicopters, and guided missiles. In particular, the RAF issued an increased payload/range demand of 30,000 lb being carried over a distance of 3,600 miles, greater than the Service had originally been considering.
To meet with the stated requirements, Shorts proceeded to develop their original proposal for the Behemoth, which now included a removable mission pod for faster turnaround in the field, also allowing the use of the pod as a tactical base in the feild . As the design of the proposed aircraft was repeatedly revised, it was progressively becoming less and less common to the earlier aircraft types, incorporating a greater proportion of all-new components, sections, and systems instead.
In January 1969, the Ministry announced its selection of Short's design to meet the requirement. Accordingly, in February 1970, work on the Short's project formally commenced, known by the internal designation SC TB/2. On 21 December 1970, a contract for a total of 10 freighters, and 100 pods. designated as the Samson C.1, was signed.

On 5 January 1974, the prototype Samson conducted its maiden flight from Sydenham Airport, Belfast; it flew for 55-minutes by chief test pilot Denis Taylor alongside a crew of six people. Following the first flight, Taylor stated that "It was the easiest ride I have had for a very long time... The aircraft was an absolute joy to fly. She's a beauty." The first two aircraft produced were equipped with dedicated flight-test instrumentation and were used to complete development trials, which totalled roughly 850 flight hours; certification was conducted to both RAF and Air Registration Board (ARB) requirements.  The first auto vertical landing was performed after only 120 hours' test flying, less than originally estimated. Despite the order for only ten aircraft, the decision had been made to assemble the aircraft using production jigs.
Multiple derivatives of the Belfast were proposed by Shorts in the early days. Two principal civil versions of the aircraft, designated as SC-TB2A and SC-Tb2C, were mooted during the early 1960s.

The SC-TB2A was to have been a commercial freight derived directly from the Samson C.1, retaining much of its design such as its large Pod main freight hold.
The second civil variant to be offered, the SC-TB2C, was to have featured a fixed pod with conventional doors in the lower fuselage arrangement for loading purposes in place of removable pods as used by the RAF model of the aircraft.
One proposed configuration for the SC-TB2C was as a transatlantic airliner, carrying a maximum of 280 passengers on the top deck and up to 55,000 lb of palletised cargo on the lower deck; it was projected that it would be capable of flying a payload of 100,000 lb on the London-New York City route in around 2hrs.  During 1974, Short revealed that it had approached both British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and British European Airways (BEA) with its proposal for a large double-deck short-haul passenger version of the Samson but both declined
On 20 January 1976, the Samson C.1 entered service with No. 53 Squadron on when XV167 (the sixth production aircraft) was delivered to RAF Brize Norton, Carterton, Oxfordshire. Four months later, No. 53 Squadron was relocated to RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, to make way for upgrades being performed at Brize Norton were movable ramps were to fitted to allow for rocket assisted take off of the Samson at higher weights than a conventional or VTOL take off; they returned to RAF Brize Norton in late 1977. They went on to serve in both the 1984 Falklands incident, were two aircraft lifted the 650 men of the 2-battalion parachute regiment and 2 Chieftain tanks to the island in 7 hours refuelling twice from another Samson fitted with a fuel pod.  The upgraded Samson C.2 with stronger lifting latches to carry up to 2 of the new challenger tanks entered service in 1988 and flew it support of operations in the gulf in 1990 1991, and again in the second gulf war of 2003 but were now showing their age and they were placed for disposal in 2005.
Following the type's entry into RAF service, it became apparent that a major drag problem was preventing the initial five aircraft from attaining Short's desired performance. Modifications and testing were subsequently carried out, particularly on aircraft XV 222 (which was at the time perfecting the RAF's requirement for CAT 3 automated landings at RAE Bedford), and a new rear fairing was developed, which had the result of raising the fleet's cruising speed by 400 mph.
Civilian operations
TAC Heavy Lift purchased Ten Samson's for commercial use in 1977 along with 25 Cargo pods and operated them from 1980.
After being retired from TAC Heavy Lift service in 2001 after operating costs grew too high, the aircraft were parked at Southend Airport for several years, until one aircraft was refurbished and flown to Australia in 2003 for a role in a feature film. This aircraft was painted an apple green with the titles of thunderbird 2 painted in large letters. Used as a super rescue craft during the film it has a heroic role but, the film did not recover its costs and the aircraft was arrested for unpaid airport charges and was parked up and is no longer flying; it was often visible parked on the General Aviation side of Cairns International Airport in Queensland. Now registered RP-C8020, it was moved to the general aviation (western) side of the Cairns airport on 19 August 2011, after spending the best part of a year sitting on the Cairns International apron where it had been at the end of September 2010. The Thunderbirds titles were painted over on 28 August 2011, but the registration RP-C8020 was still visible. The aircraft was photographed intact, but with no registration visible, at Cairns Airport on the 10th March 2017.
The last complete RAF Samson (Thunderbird, XV222) is preserved at the RAF Museum Cosford. This aircraft was repainted before being displayed under cover at the National Cold War Exhibition.
Cruising speed: 2,000 mph
Engines: 2 variable-cycle gas turbine engines operating as turbo fans at low speed and supersonic combustion ram jets at high speed; 4 variable-cycle turbo-ram cruise / trim jets in tailplane;
4 vertical take-off turbo fan jets in main body; 4 vertical take-off chemical rockets in landing legs
    Height: 60 feet
    Height (with pod lowered): 110 feet
    Length: 250 feet
    Maximum altitude attained: 100,000 feet
    Maximum speed: 5,000 mph
    Payload: up to 100 tons
    Range: 5000 miles
    Weight (without payload): 406 tons
    Wingspan: 180 feet

WP_20180306_003 by michael.leonard3@btinternet.com, on Flickr

WP_20180306_002 by michael.leonard3@btinternet.com, on Flickr

sorry about the poor photos but no working camera so had to use phone

its about 1/200 scale kit from japan and a easy weekend/week traped inside because of the snow and a bad leg after slipping

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Honestly, it's the honest ones you have to watch out for!!!

The Rat

BRAVO!!! What kit did you use? I've long wanted to do one in RCAF transport colours with the lightning stripe.
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Imai supersize Thunderbird 2 kit. removed all the "TOY" parts like the motor in the pod and the working misslies in the wing roots intakes, also sanded down the oversised windows
s-l1600 by michael.leonard3@btinternet.com, on Flickr
s-l16001 by michael.leonard3@btinternet.com, on Flickr
Me, I'm dishonest, and you can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest.
Honestly, it's the honest ones you have to watch out for!!!


What If? & Secret Project SIG member.
On the go: Beaumaris/Battle/Bronco/Barracuda/Corsair/Flatning/Hellcat IV/Hunter PR11/Hurricane IIb/Ice Cream Tank/JP T4/Jumo MiG-15/P1103 (early)/P1154-ish/Phantom FG1/I-153/Sea Hawk T7/Spitfire XII/Spitfire Tr18/Twin Otter/FrankenCOIN/Frankenfighter


Brilliant job.  :thumbsup:

I love how you mixed in the Belfast history in the backstory, even the drag issues early on.  ;D ;)
Kit's Rule 1 ) Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage
Kit's Rule 2) The backstory can always be changed to suit the model

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)



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I love how you mixed in the Belfast history in the backstory, even the drag issues early on. 

And how he named it after one of the Harland & Wolff cranes :D



- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..


Decals my @r$e!


"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you....."
It  means that you read  the instruction sheet

Captain Canada

Very nice for sure. Looks great in those colours. Sure would be a game changer in the face of deployment !

CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

Long Live the Commonwealth !!!
Vive les Canadiens !
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Nice one: the cammo looks really sharp!  :thumbsup:

So are you going to complete the Mole for the Royal Engineers and Thunderbird 4 for the Navy?
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Martin H

I like it.

TSRjoe did a smaller TB2 model years ago in the hi viz White over Light aircraft grey. Followed by a more recent one of a similar size of the TB2 from the 1990'2 movie from me

Heres a pic from the 2004 Glasgow show of both on display together
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experience has taught me to expect the worst.

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Great work Lenny!

I've got that same kit with plans to do something like that. Still haven't decided what though. I did think about the grey-green Hercules camo with the white undersides from the 1980s...


The mole, TB4 and TB5 that come with this kit are hopless, far to small they are around 1/400 foe the first two and 1/800 for TB5 and very pooly made,  more like they came out of a kinder egg, so they gone in the parts bins
Me, I'm dishonest, and you can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest.
Honestly, it's the honest ones you have to watch out for!!!