The heavy-lift capabilities of the RAF’s then new Belvedere helicopter were demonstrated at RAF Odiham with ‘The Aeroplane and Astronautics’ reporting on the event in the November 16, 1961 issue
The Belvedere, with its two main rotors, was a sign of things to come in the form of the Chinook, which has served the RAF since 1981. The capabilities of this type of large helicopter have proven invaluable in various campaigns and so the modern-day equivalent of the Belvedere is due to stay in service for decades to come.
Belvederes in Tactical Service
AS the first twin-engined helicopter to enter service with the R.A.F., the Belvedere represents an important addition to the mobility and strength of No. 38 Group, Transport Command. This unit, under its A.O.C., Air Vice-Marshal Peter Wykeham, D.S.O., O.B.E., D.F.C, A.F.C., is itself something of a departure from normal R.A.F. practice, in being a self-contained tactical force with its own short- and medium- range transport and strike elements for the close support of the Army in the field.