Empire / S.23
Short S.23, S.30 и S.33 Empire
По сравнению с большими и громоздкими летающими лодками-бипланами компании "Short Brothers" самолет S.23, появившийся в 1936 году, был совершенно иной конструкции. Он имел четыре двигателя Bristol
Pegasus XC мощностью 920 л.с. и конструктивно являлся свободнонесущим цельнометаллическим высокопланом с корпусом обтекаемой формы. Максимальная скорость составляла 322 км/ч, то есть на 42 км/ч больше, чем у стоявшего тогда на вооружении британских ВВС истребителя-биплана Bristol Bulldog.
Характеристики машины казались столь многообещающими, что "Imperial Airways" заказала 28 машин. В то время британское правительство решило, что вся почта первого класса должна доставляться по воздуху, поэтому самолеты, назначенные для почтовых перевозок, получили название Empire или класс "C" ("C" - class). Первый S.23, названный "Canopus", вылетел из Рочестера в июле 1936 года и поступил в эксплуатацию в начале сентября.
Каждый последующий самолет поступал к заказчику с интервалом в две недели. Машины базировались в Хите и использовались на маршрутах "Imperial Airways" для полетов в Австралию, Дурбан, Египет, Малайю, Нью-Йорк, на Бермуды, а также в Восточную и Южную Африку. Базовая вместимость самолетов - 1361 кг почты и 24 пассажира днем или 16 пассажиров ночью, однако увеличение массы почты на 454 кг уменьшало число пассажиров до 17 человек. Трансатлантические полеты без полезной нагрузки, проведенные в 1937 году, показали, что S.23 не был экономически выгодным на всех расстояниях, что в итоге привело к созданию Short-Mayo Composite (описан отдельно).
Кроме того, были проведены испытания по дозаправке в воздухе с использованием самолета Armstrong Whitworth 23 в качестве танкера. Успех этих испытаний привел к заключению контракта с компанией сэра Алана Кобхема, "Flight Refuelling Ltd", которая с помощью четырех самолетов-заправщиков Handley Page Harrow совершила до начала войны 16 успешных трансатлантических перелетов с дозаправкой в воздухе. Еще три S.23 в 1938 году были поставлены "Qantas Empire Airways", которая до того получила три машины от "Imperial Airways". Несмотря на потерю восьми летающих лодок во время аварий за первые два года эксплуатации, S.23 вошли в число одних из наиболее успешных самолетов своем классе в предвоенный период.
Следом за S.23 появились лодки S.30, которые использовались для перевозки почты на трансатлантических маршрутах при обеспечении их заправкой от воздушных танкеров Harrow. Последним вариантом стал S.33 с двигателями Bristol Pegasus XC мощностью 920 л. с. Общее производство самолетов Empire составило 42 машины, включая 31 S.23, девять S.30 и две S.33 (постройка третьей S.33 была отменена).
Несколько S.23 в годы войны были реквизированы для службы в британских ВВС. Из них два были модифицированы в вариант S.23M - с бортовой РЛС для обнаружения надводных целей (ASV) и вооружением, состоявшим из двух турелей по четыре пулемета в каждой и шести глубинных бомб. Войну пережили 13 самолетов семейства Empire, они оснащались на тот момент двигателями Bristol Pegasus мощностью по 1010 л. с. Самолеты были переданы компании "QANTAS" и эксплуатировались до 1947 года.
Тип: пассажирская/почтовая летающая лодка
Силовая установка: четыре звездообразных ПД Bristol Pegasus XC мощностью по 920 л. с. (686 кВт)
Летные характеристики: макс. скорость 322 км/ч; практический потолок 6095 м; дальность 1223 км
Масса: пустого 10 659 кг; максимальная взлетная 18370 кг
Размеры: размах крыла 34,75 м; длина 26,82 м; высота 9,70 м; площадь крыла 139,35 м2
Flight, October 1938
British Commercial Aircraft
EIGHT new flying boats, modified versions of the four-engined Empire type which has contributed so largely to the initial success of the all-up Empire air mail scheme, are now coming through the Short works at Rochester. The first, Champion, is practically complete, and Cabot, which is scheduled for an Atlantic flight this autumn, is following close behind. The remainder of the boats should emerge at fortnightly intervals.
The new boats have been strengthened to carry increased loads in comparison with the standard Empire type, which has an all-up weight as a passenger carrier of 40,500 lb. Champion has the same power plant as the earlier boats - four Bristol Pegasus Xc radials - but will operate at a weight of 45,000 lb. Cabot and the rest are fitted with four Perseus XIIC sleeve-valve radials, and will fly at a weight of 53,000 lb. All these latter craft are designed for air refuelling.
It was lately announced that orders have been placed with the Short Company for several new landplanes of more than 31 tons gross weight. One machine will be built with a pressure cabin, and should cruise at about 250 m.p.h. for 3,000 miles.
New flying boats weighing about three-quarters as much again as the standard Empire type are also under construction. These machines will have four of the new Bristol Hercules two-row sleeve-valve engines.
The standard Empire boat, as now in operation, has a wing embodying a central girder built up of two spars of hiduminium extruded sections braced by tubes and connected by former ribs. The flaps are of the Gouge "dragless" type. The two-step hull has closely spaced rings and continuous stringers. Counter-sunk riveting is used throughout.
For daylight operation the boat carries a crew of five, twenty-four passengers, baggage, and a ton and a half of mail. Sixteen passengers can be accommodated by night, although the sleeper version is not in regular use.
Short Empire Flying Boat data are : - Span, 114ft.; length, 88ft.; wing area, 1,500 sq. ft.; weight, empty, 24,000 lb.; all-up weight 40,500 lb.; top speed, 200 m.p.h.; maximum cruising speed, 164 m.p.h.; minimum flying speed, 73 m.p.h.; absolute ceiling, 20,000ft.; take-off with full load, 21 sec.; and range, 810 miles.
Makers:- Short Bros. (Rochester and Bedford), Ltd., Rochester, Kent.
S.23 G-ADHL Canopus
Флагман компании "Imperial Airways" самолет S.23 "Canopus" вышел на авиалинию Александрия - Бриндизи 31 октября 1936 года. С 5 марта 1937 года летающие лодки класса "C" сменили на маршрутах компании самолеты аэродромного базирования и связали Великобританию с Австралией, Восточной Африкой, Египтом, Малайей и Южной Африкой.
Lankester Parker made the maiden flight of the first Short S.23 Empire Flying Boat, G-ADHL, on July 3, 1936, and later recalled that working on the company’s big flying-boats - the Empires and the military Sunderland - was the most rewarding experience of his 28-year Short Bros career.
FLEDGED: Canopus, the first of the Short Empire flying boats, took the air at Rochester for the first time last week-end, in the hands of Mr. Lankester Parker. This Flight photograph clearly shows the beautifully clean take-off.
THE SHORT EMPIRE FLYING-BOAT: fitted with four "Bristol" Pegasus engines. An all-metal high-wing cantilever monoplane flying-boat of high performance, with two-deck, two-step hull, and wing flaps. Provides accommodation for 24 passengers and baggage and 1 1/2 tons of mail. Maximum speed, 200 m.p.h. "Cambria" holds the record for the Trans-Atlantic flight - 10 1/2 hours.
3 июля 1936г.: первый полет в Рочестере, графство Кент, выполнила первая летающая лодка "Short Empire" - RMA Canopus (серия "С"), пилот Дж. Ланкестер Паркер. Первый рейс выполнен 30 октября, с началом ее эксплуатации на линии Александрия (Египет) - Бриндизи (Италия).
The Short "Empire" Commercial Flying-boat (four Bristol "Pegasus X" engines).
FOR CIVIL SERVICE: The Short Empire flying boat is powered with four of the new Pegasus Xc civil-rated radials, the official figures for which have just been made known. The international-rated power is 740 h.p. at 3,500 ft., and 910 h.p. is available for take-off with the De Havilland V.P. airscrew. Flaps for controllable cooling are incorporated in the long chord cowlings. This Flight photograph was taken during the second test flight at Rochester.
Canopus, the first of the Short Empire boats for Imperial Airways.
The Short Empire boat is fitted with four Bristol Pegasus Xc engines rated at 740 h.p. each and giving 910 h.p. for take-off.
HERALDING THE NEW ERA: The first of the Short Empire boats is now in the Mediterranean after being flown across France by capt. Bailey and Major Brackley. This Flight photograph shows Canopus from a somewhat unusual angle; the fully faired rear step and the forward sloping front step are noteworthy features of the hull.
The Empire boat (four 758/815 h.p. Pegasus X Cs).
The first Short Empire boat being refuelled on Lake Bracciana, near Rome.
C-class boat Canopus moored in Alexandria harbour. G-ADHL was scrapped at Hythe in 1947; it had been the first S.23 Empire flying-boat to fly.
ON the river Nile at Malakal, the terminal port for the Imperial Airways flying boats in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, large islands of floating papyrus (Cyperus Papyrus) and Um Soof (Vossia Procera) are encountered between May and September. This seasonal scourge is caused by the fact that the floods from the great lakes loosen the roots of the vegetation in the swampy areas farther south. Eventually, large sections break away from the main mass and drift slowly downstream, a menace to flying boats. The photograph shows Canopus safely moored with the floating islands drifting past.
G-ADHL Canopus - первая летающая лодка компании "Empire", оснащенная моторами Pegasus. Первый полет лодка выполнила в июле 1936 года, в BOAC ее передали в апреле 1940 года.
Short Empire Flying Boat Canopus being rolled out.
For the Empire air routes: The bird's-eye view gives a good idea of the rounded deck, the wing fillets and the trailing-edge flaps of the first of the new boats. The open door leads to the freight and mail hold.
One of the hinged platforms used for giving access to the Bristol Pegasus engine.
One of the beaching trolleys.
The Short "Empire" Commercial Flying-boat. Note the partly-extended Gouge wing-flaps.
The Short Empire boat Caledonia over New York after one of her experimental Atlantic trips last year.
"Caledonia" over New York
A flying boat of the Short Empire class; the acme of marine aircraft construction.
"Caledonia" - Imperial Airways Empire Flying Boat (4 Bristol Pegasus Engines) averaged 162 miles per hour between Botwood (Newfoundland) and Foynes (Ireland) on her return flight from New York to Southampton.
Imperial Airways Flying Boat "CALEDONIA" (manufactured by Short Bros. (Rochester & Bedford) Ltd. and fitted with Bristol "Pegasus" Engines)
A remarkable photograph of Caledonia taken just as she was about to "unstick" at the start of a radio test flight from Southampton Water shortly before leaving for Foynes, and, ultimately Newfoundland
On July 6th the Imperial Airways Empire flying boat "CALEDONIA" completed the first East to West commercial survey flight across the North Atlantic.
Two of the boats which made history last year - Caledonia and Clipper III - being hauled on to the slipway at Hythe (left). The former was commanded by Capt. Wilcockson and the latter by Capt. Gray on all the Atlantic trips.
Caledonia, the second Empire boat, and a Singapore.
The Short "Empire" Flying-boat "Caledonia" which was used, in company with the sister-ship "Cambria," on the experimental trans-Atlantic survey during 1937.
The Imperial Airways flying-boat Caledonia, like all the other craft in its class designed to operate on the great trunk routes of the British Empire, is equipped with controllable-pitch airscrews manufactured in England by the de Havilland Aircraft Co., Ltd.
The long-range Short boat, Caledonia, moored off Hythe, Southampton. After the necessary fuel consumption and other tests have been carried out this boat will be flown to Foynes for a series of experimental crossings to Botwood, Newfoundland.
ATLANTIC SURVEY: Caledonia taxies to her moorings at Horta, Azores, after her recent survey trip in command of Captain Powell.
CENTAURUS SETS OUT: Loading up at Hythe, Southampton, for the inaugural Empire service. Passengers are boarding the machine from one of Imperial Airways' new 37ft. 6in. tenders, supplied by the British Power Boat Company The photograph, incidentally, gives an interesting close-up of the flying boat's wing, with its flap.
The most advanced civil aircraft yet in service: the peerless Short Empire flying boat with four Bristol Pegasus XC engines.
A glorious photograph of Short S.23 Empire Flying Boat G-ADUT Centaurus arriving at Wellington Harbour, New Zealand, on New Year’s Eve, 1937.
Another Empire boat, G-ADUT "Centaurus" (c/n. S.811) was impressed as A18-10 on 21 st September 1939, and also issued to No. 11 Squadron. After a similar history to A18-11's, it was destroyed by enemy action at Broome, Western Australia, on 3rd March 1942
Гидропланы S-42 и S.23 в порту Окленда. 1937 г.
THE SOUTHERNMOST JUNCTION. - The "Centaurus" of Imperial Airways (Capt. Burgess) and the "Samoan Clipper" of Pan American Airways (Capt. Mustek) in Waitimata Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand, in January, 1938. The latter was lost with all hands near Pago Pago soon after this meeting.
CLEANLINESS: The entire lack of avoidable excrescences is obvious in this front view of the Short Centaurus, third of the Empire flying boats, some flying impressions of which appear on the following page. Centaurus will probably be on her way to the Mediterranean by the time this issue appears.
BERMUDA RIGGED. The hull of Cavalier, the Short Empire flying boat which will operate in conjunction with a machine of Pan-American Airways on the Bermuda - New York service, being hoisted, in what is said to be the world's largest packing case, aboard the S.S. Loch Katrine. The case follows the lines of the hull remarkably closely; if the bottom corners were "gouged" out the resemblance would be even more striking.
IN BERMUDA: This somewhat unusual picture shows how Cavalier's hull was towed from the naval dockyard to the Darren's Island base, where the machine is being assembled. The floats on either side are, of course, quite temporary affairs.
SUNSHINE SOMEWHERE: A heart-warming picture, in these chilly British March days, ot the Short Empire Boat Cavalier at the Bermuda Air Base for her experimental Bermuda to New York flights. Leaning from the cockpit is Capt. Armstrong, the commander, and in uniform is First Officer Richardson (second pilot); in mufti on top of the machine is Mr Bell. Short Bros., and Mr. Hayuen, of the A.I.D., is behind the flag mast.
One of the four "Bristol" Pegasus Xc engines fitted in "Cavalier".
BALTIMORE INAUGURATION: Some of the crowd of 30,000 lining the banks of the Patapsco river to watch the recent inauguration of the new Baltimore Airport for landplanes and marine aircraft. It replaces New York as the terminus of the Bermuda route; the Sikorsky S.42b Bermuda Clipper is seen being brought to the landing stage, and in the background is the Short Empire boat Cavalier.
BALTIMORE SEAPLANE STATION. - The populace turns out to see the "Cavalier," an Empire Boat of Imperial Airways, from Bermuda and a Sikorski "Clipper" of Pan American Airways. Baltimore is the American terminus during the Winter of the Bermuda-U.S.A. airline. In the Summer Port Washington, Long Island, New York, is used.
The Short Empire boat, demonstrating the use of the Gouge flaps which contribute in no small measure to its excellent performance.
Short Empire boat (four 740 h.p. Bristol Pegasus XCs)
ATLANTIC TERMINUS: Cavalier flies over the new land-sea air base at Baltimore. The seaplane jetty is in the lower right-hand corner of the picture with the airport site behind it.
LONG-RANGE EXPERIMENT: Following Caledonia's non-stop flight from Southampton to Alexandria, the second long-range Short boat, Cambria, made a circuit of Britain last Sunday. This photograph shows Cambria being moored off Hythe at the end of the flight, with the liner Westernland in the background.
Seen at Rochester, Kent, where it was built, Short C-class "Empire" flying-boat G-ADUV "Cambria" made a proving flight down the African route in May 1937. Imperial Airways services with the type started the next month
Caledonia and Cambria, the two Imperial Airways Empire Flying Boats, powered by 4 Bristol Pegasus engines have now both made the double crossing of the Atlantic to scheduled time.
REFUELLING EXPERIMENT: For some time experiments have been going on at Ford aerodrome under Sir Alan Cobham's direction. In this photograph the Short Cambria is being refuelled by the A.W.23 used for the work.
SPLICING THE MAINBRACE: One of the new Shell refuelling tenders ministering to the Empire boat Cambria during a demonstration at Southampton last week These tenders carry 2,500 gallons of spirit and 200 of oil, and deliver the former at 120 gall./min. Twenty-one are under construction, by Dunstans, of Doncaster, Rowhedge Ironworks, of Colchester, and Thornycrofts. Others are being built for use along the routes.
Pre-war shot of Short S.23 Empire flying-boat G-ADUW Castor, which flew the first leg of the journey, with an Imperial Airways boarding launch alongside.
Castor moored in the Solent shortly before the war.
Castor on dry land. The surrealistic piece of mechanism is the beaching gear, with its buoys.
Short S.23 Empire Boat Cassiopeia on the tarmac in front of the hangar at Hythe.
This view from the Airport Officer's office shows Cassiopeia nearest.
CYGNUS plays the lead - an attractive "still" from Paul Rotha's documentary film, The Future's in the Air, now being completed by the Strand Film Co. The picture deals with our Empire airways.
The Sikorsky is seen from under the wing of an Empire flying boat, Courtier.
WINGS ON THE WATER AT MARSEILLE. - The Imperial Airways "Empire" boat, "Coriolanus," on the Etang de Berre at Marignane. This was on the mid-day halt between Southampton and Rome, and the passengers are in the airport restaurant. Behind is the Loire Long-range Commercial Flying-boat (four 720 h.p. Hispano-Suiza motors) the "Bretagne".
A rare photograph of G-AETV Coriolanus being refuelled from the demasted pearling lugger Gerardo at Broome during the fortnight of shuttle services to Tjilatjap. Trapped in Australia, Coriolanus was transferred to the Australian register as VH-ABG in August 1942, and became the only Empire flying-boat to survive the war in Australia. It was finally retired in January 1948, the last airworthy Empire Flying Boat anywhere in the world.
INCIDENTS at Hatfield last Tuesday: Mr. J. Lankester Parker is demonstrating the Short Empire boat Calpurnia.
Too well known even to require naming, an example of the Short Empire boat is shown here with the Gouge flaps partly depressed. The first of the eight new high-payload versions of the same machine should be coming out of the Rochester works very shortly. A modified version of the Empire boat forms the lower component of the Short-Mayo Composite Aircraft.
Somebody wanted to know if Calpurnia had been well greased underneath - just in case.
Empire Boat Calpurnia secured to a mooring buoy. This aircraft crashed in Iraq in November 1938, the year these photographs were taken.
Short S.23 Empire Boat Ceres, taxiing out from Hythe before takeoff.
BASRAH'S NEW AIRPORT (MARGIL). - The combined marine and land Airport at Basra, Iraq, the water-front on the River Tigris, with S.23 G-AETV Coriolanus moored outside the terminal building.
G-AETY Clio, одна из летающих лодок S.23, переданных Береговому командованию ВВС Великобритании. С установленным оборонительным вооружением и РЛС лодка состояла на вооружении 201-й эскадрильи, пока не разбилась в 1941 году.
Short S.23 Empire Flying Boat G-AETZ (c/n S.842), named Circe, has its port outer Bristol Pegasus engine run up at Imperial Airways’ maintenance base at Hythe before the war. The aircraft made its first flight on August 16, 1937, and operated its first commercial service the following month. By November 1941 it had been put into camouflage.
Photographs of Circe are comparatively rare; this example, taken at an unidentified location before the flying-boat’s adoption of camouflage, shows a mooring rope being thrown to the Radio Officer, who is standing in the bow mooring hatch. The aircraft’s captain would supervise the mooring process from the cockpit above.
Empire debarkation: The new pontoon gangway at Berth 10, New Dock, Southampton.
Passengers coming ashore at the Imperial Airways terminal at Southampton in April 1938.
NOT RIVALS YET: The Short Circe taxying past the new liner Capetown Castle, which will shortly make her maiden voyage. Five days against fourteen to the Cape!
Another image of Circe in happier times - G-AETZ taxies away from Southampton’s Berth 108 at the start of a pre-war Empire Air Mail Scheme voyage to Australia or South Africa. Behind, the Union-Castle Line’s RMMV Capetown Castle also readies for another, much slower, journey to South Africa.
A poor-quality but rare photograph of Circe at the Qantas flying-boat base at Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria, taken in 1940 during the Horseshoe Route period. Control launch C.A.1 is moored alongside the door, with Shell refuelling vessel Renown beside the flying-boat’s starboard bow.
In camouflage with fin flashes and red, white and blue identification stripes beneath the registration, Circe awaits its next voyage at the Qantas terminal at Rose Bay, Sydney, in November 1941. Unarmed and carrying civilians, the Empires were still targets for Japanese fighters, as the loss of Corio on January 30, 1942, proved.
Short S.23 G-AEUA Calypso (later the RAAF’s A18-10), and Corio at 108 Berth at Southampton Docks in 1938. Both aircraft have been docked in Braby Pontoons, which allowed the passengers to walk to their aircraft and made freight-loading a much easier process than back in Australia, where the facilities were somewhat cruder.
Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee, seemingly quiet, but a centre of the present troubles.
Short S.23 C-class Empire flying-boats VH-ABA "Carpentaria" (ex G-AFBJ, transferred to Qantas in November 1937) and G-AEUA "Calypso” off Hythe, 21st June 1938
Short C-Class flying-boat A18-11 (c/n. S.843, ex-G-AEUA "Calypso"). Impressed by the R.A.A.F. on 21 st September 1939, it served with No. 11 Squadron until 18th November 1941 when it was transferred to No. 20 Squadron. Later, on 12th February 1942, it was taken over by No. 33 Squadron, and on 8th August 1942 crashed into the Torres Strait off the Fly River, Papua
FAR EASTERN SURVEY: The Short Cordelia, which has recently returned from a survey of the new boat route as far as Singapore, swings at her moorings in Kallang Basin. Singapore airport is in the background and the personnel to be seen are, from the left, First Officer Stone, Capt. Egglesfield and Radio Operator Coster.
FAR EASTERN SURVEY: Another attractive picture of Cordelia in preparation for refuelling at Singapore. The tropical uniforms seen in this picture make a European winter appear to be particularly hard.
Attempting to catch up with the Americans, Britain developed the Short C-Class flying boats (shown), but had to resort to air-to-air refuelling to achieve non-stop flights from Eire to Newfoundland.
A surprisingly small crowd watches the first Short Empire Flying Boat to be beached at Rose Bay as G-AEUE Cameronian is towed up the newly-completed slipway in the eastern suburb of Sydney on January 25, 1939. With its opening, Rose Bay became the only slipway suitable for beaching Empire ’boats east of Singapore.
Short S.23 G-AEUF (c/n S.848), named Corinthian, left Tjilatjap a few minutes ahead of Circe on February 28, 1942. Although it survived that day, it was destroyed in an accident while alighting at Darwin three weeks later.
The first two Empire 'boat deliveries for QEA - VH-ABA Carpentaria and VH-ABB Coolangatta - had their Australian registrations applied at the factory and were probably never repainted with their British registrations. However, the third delivery, G-AEUG Coogee, seen here at moorings on the Shaft al-Arab at Basra during this period, is clearly marked with its British registration.
THE COMPOSITE INFLUENCE - or just a photographic coincidence. Two Short boats, Qantas Empire Airways’ Coogee and Imperial Airways’ Corsair, riding at anchor in choppy water in Rose Bay, Sydney.
Short S.23 Empire VH-ABD, named Corio, in service with Qantas Empire Airways at Karumba, Queensland, circa 1938. The brainchild of Arthur Gouge, the Empire represented a quantum leap in flying-boat design, offering previously unheard-of levels of comfort for passengers and crew alike.
Corio on the step while in service with QEA before the war. In January 1942 the aircraft would be attacked by Japanese Navy Mitsubishi Zeroes during a flight from Darwin to Koepang on Timor.
Corio on final approach along the Norman River to alight at Karumba in Queensland, before the war. August 1938 saw the inauguration of Stage 3 of the Empire Air Mail Scheme with the departure of service SW1 (‘‘Sydney Westbound”), which brought Australia into the Scheme.
More surrealism: The curious objects depending from the bow hatch of Cooront; (a Qantas boat) are drogues, or sea-anchors, hung out to dry.
A derrick, for which fittings are provided on the engine nacelles, assists in the servicing of the Pegasus Xc engines and D.H. airscrews. Note the oil-draining funnels on the staging.
The first of the Qantas Empire flying-boats to be used over the Singapore-Brisbane section of the Empire Air Mail Scheme, VH-ABA Carpentaria, arrives at Southampton from the Short factory at Rochester on December 5, 1937. Within days the aircraft had departed Southampton for Karachi, and on to Australia to enter service.
ACHIEVEMENT. - The Qantas Empire Airways Flying-boat, "Coolangatta," in front of Singapore Airport on its way out to Australia. On the left is the Royal Singapore Flying Club Building. Qantas Empire Airways, Ltd. is the product of a wedding of Queensland and Northern Territories Air Service Ltd. and Imperial Airways - a fine piece of diplomacy. Without Imperial Airways there would have been no need for the Singapore Airport for years to come. And Imperial Airways was, beyond dispute, created by Mr. George Woods Humphery.
The Short Bros factory at Rochester, Kent, photographed in November 1937 by Australian Civil Aviation Branch (CAB) aeronautical engineer R.S. "Russell" Robinson. Having its final touches applied in the centre of the photo is Qantas Empire Flying Boat VH-ABB Coolangatta, with an early production Sunderland Mk I to the left.
Qantas Empire Airways’ VH-ABF Cooee is hauled ashore at the Singapore land and marine airport at Kallang in the early days of the war. Although the slipway at Rose Bay was completed in January 1939, there was still no other location to beach an Empire ’boat along the 4,692 miles (7,550km) between Singapore and Sydney.
OFFICIALLY READY. The terminal building and hotel of the Basra land-water airport at Margil, with a K.L.M. Douglas D.C.3 on the tarmac and an Imperial Airways Short Empire boat at her moorings in the Shatt-al-Arab River
Dabai, a refuelling halt on the Persian Gulf. The rest-house is in the form of a fort ten miles away, at Sharjah.
Singapore, with its £210,000 base for landplanes and flying boats. It has a fine slipway and extensive servicing facilities.
The view from an Imperial Airways C-class flying-boat, showing one of the four Bristol Pegasus radial engines.
SURVEY FLIGHT: A striking study from the Empire boat, Centaurus, passing Mount Egmont, New Zealand, during her recent survey trip to the Dominion.
Off into the sunrise: The early rising day after day is not really so bad. After take-off, passengers usually have a sleep before breakfast.
When the hangar at Rose Bay was completed in late 1939, maintenance could at last be performed indoors out of the weather. Here the starboard inner Pegasus of one of the six original Qantas-owned ’boats is changed at Rose Bay. Note the work platform slung from fold-out sections of the wing leading edge; “health and safety” was rather different in those days!
Although most of the heavy maintenance on the Empire ’boats, including the Australian examples, was initially completed in England, it was sometimes necessary to undertake work in Australia. Here the port outer Pegasus of an Empire 'boat is changed at Rose Bay in late 1938. The new engine has been floated out to the flying-boat on a raft and the aircraft’s own derrick has been rigged to lift it into the nacelle.
Tail wheels - and a nice line in nether garments.
S.30 G-AFCU Cabot
G-AFCU Cabot сфотографирована в начале отрыва от водной поверхности. Это одна из улучшенных S.30, выполнившая первый полет в декабре 1938 года. В декабре 1939 года лодку передали британским ВВС, а в мае 1940 года она была уничтожена в норвежском Бодё.
TWENTY-TON TAKE OFF: Last Friday Cabot, the first of the improved “C ” class Short boats left the Medway on a full-load take-off - carrying a thousand pounds more than Caledonia on any of the Atlantic crossings. In due course Cabot will be refuelled in the air from 46,000 lb. to an all-up weight of 53,000 lb.
Short S.30 Empire Flying Boat Cabot.
Handley Page Harrow G-AFRL and Short S.30 G-AFCU Cabot demonstrate flight refuelling over Southampton.
Attempting to catch up with the Americans, Britain developed the Short C-Class flying boats, but had to resort to air-to-air refuelling to achieve non-stop flights from Eire to Newfoundland.
В июле 1939 года, еще до начала полетов между Саутгемптоном и Монреалем, в районе Саутгемптона отрабатывались дозаправки от самолета Handley Page Harrow.
S.30 имели большую взлетную массу и оснащались двигателями Bristol Perseus XIIC мощностью по 890 л. с. Имея вдвое большую дальность, чем S.23, они с успехом применялись на регулярных трансатлантических почтовых перевозках. "Connemara" (G-AFCW) был четвертым самолетом в серии.
The Short Empire Modified "C" Class Flying-boat (four Bristol Pegasus engines).
В полете S.30 авиакомпании Tasman Empire Airways
24 ноября 1939г.: неэффективность авиакомпании "Imperial Airways" привела к ее слиянию с "British Airways" и созданию объединенной компании "British Overseas Airways Corporation" (BOAC). BOAC начала свои полеты 24 ноября на летающих лодках Empire.
Short S.30 Cathay, which flew the second leg, at Hythe before being camouflaged.
View of Short S.30 C-class Cathay in flight.
G-AFCY Captain Cook
In April 1940 Garden and copilot Christopher Griffiths delivered the 37th Short Empire flying-boat from Southampton to Auckland. Registered as ZK-AMC and named Awarua (“two rivers”), the aircraft went on to fly more than a million miles in TEAL service before being broken up in Auckland in August 1948.
S.33 G-AFPZ Clifton
Following Britain’s isolation in 1940, Qantas began to develop its own overhaul capability, although most were performed by BOAC in Durban until that, too, was cut off in 1942. Seen here is G-AFPZ Clifton, operated by BOAC (formed in November 1939 with the merger of IAL and British Airways), in the hangar at Rose Bay circa 1941.
The frame in way of rear spar is shown on the left. Note the straight sides and small beam-depth ratio. On the right, a view inside the hull of boat No. I, looking aft.
A view of the cantilever tail
On the stocks. A view in the Rochester works, showing hulls 1 to 5.
The engine nacelles for boat No. 1 nearly completed, with others in jigs. The details of the wing construction are somewhat similar to those tried out in the Short Scion.
Interior of the hull of a Short Bros. "Empire" flying boat under construction.
The "box " section wing spar of one of the first boats in course of construction.
Even this excellent view of activity in the Short works does not do justice to the impressive scene, for it does not include the row of nine towering hulls packed side by side for plating. Incidentally, when a completed boat is moved out on to the slipway there is a clearance of about six inches between the tail and the lintel.
Cylindrical petrol and oil tanks. Note the baffle plates, and the numerous tie rods which brace the tank ends.
The great flaps of the Empire boat are operated by this little Rotax electric motor. Note also in this view the wing construction and tanks.
More than thirty-six hundred horse-power is delivered for take-off to the finely pitched blades of the D.H. variable-pitch airscrews. It is provided by four of these Bristol Pegasus Xc radials.