Short S.45 Seaford и Solent
Компания-разработчик первоначально присвоила обозначение Sunderland Mk IV более мощному и лучше вооруженному варианту самолета Sunderland, предназначенному для действий на Тихоокеанском ТВД. Ввиду внесенных конструктивных
изменений масса машины возросла до 34019 кг, а самолету присвоили обозначение S.45 Seaford.
Первый из двух прототипов, оснащенный двигателями Bristol Hercules XVII по 1680 л. с., облетали 30 августа 1944 года. После испытаний был подписан контракт на 30 самолетов, которые уже оснащались двигателями Bristol Hercules XIX мощностью 1720 л. с., однако до закрытия программы успели построить лишь шесть машин. Построенные самолеты были арендованы впоследствии компанией BOAC, которая переоборудовала их в гражданские транспортные самолеты под обозначением Solent.
После испытаний Seaford, проведенных в 1946 году, и отмены заказов британских ВВС на самолет, BOAC получила 12 гражданских машин под обозначением Solent 2, имевших экипаж из семи человек и пассажировместимость 34 человека (пассажирские салоны располагались на двух палубах, имелись ресторан, коктейль-бар и прогулочная площадка).
Самолеты использовались на маршруте Саутгемптон - Йоханнесбург, где совершали три рейса в неделю. Solent завоевали высокую популярность, и компания BOAC взяла в аренду у британских ВВС еще шесть Seaford, списанных в резерв, и переоборудовала их в 39-местные пассажирские Solent 3. Последние Solent компания BOAC сняла с эксплуатации в ноябре 1950 года.
Четыре новых самолета Solent были построены по заказу "Tasman Empire Airways" в 44-местном варианте, имевшем дальность полета 4828 км. Серийный выпуск Solent окончательно завершился в 1949 году, а на южнотихоокеанских маршрутах компании "Tasman Empire Airways Ltd" они использовались до 1960 года.
Western Aerospace Museum in June 2005 - the Solent dominates the aircraft park.
The Solent being loaded on to a barge at Richmond for the trip to Oakland.
Following the move by barge from Richmond, the Solent was placed on display at Oakland's North Field - November 1988.
Another view of Solent NJ203 parked at Oakland airport. Work is continuing on bringing the 40yr-old flying-boat back to airworthiness: there are tentative plans to use it for pleasure-flights around San Francisco Bay and even to Hawaii.
Resplendent in all-white RAF finish, NJ203 stands on its beaching gear at Oakland airport, California.
'Halcyon' squeezes through the gate onto Earhart Road, on her way to the WAM, November 10, 1990.
Последняя летающая лодка Solent компании TEAL, ZK-AMO, была передана в Новозеландский музей транспорта и технологий в Окленде, где она находится в экспозиции рядом с одним из последних Sunderland Mk 5 новозеландских ВВС.
The production Seaford I.
The Short Seaford General Reconnaissance Flying-boat (four Bristol Hercules 100 engines).
Seaford имел множество существенных отличий от Sunderland. Его можно отличить по высокому килю, большому форкилю и отсутствию хвостовой стрелковой турели. MJ201 - второй серийный самолет, в 1946 году взятый компанией BOAC для испытаний в качестве гражданского пассажирского самолета.
Aquila Airways’ Short S.45 Solent 3 G-ANAJ al Southampton in 1955. It began life as N1201, took up the temporary registration G-AGWU as a Seaford 1 in December 1945 until February 1946, and was later registered to Aquila in April 1954. Named City of Funchal, the Solent was destroyed in a gale at Santa Margherita, Italy, on September 26, 1956.
Solent G-AKNO taxying on the Thames near the Tower of London, May 1949, before the ceremony to name her 'City of London’.
Taxying out of Dar-es-Salaam harbour on October 30, 1949 is Short Solent 3 G-AHIL City of Salisbury. It was the occasion of the last flying-boat scheduled service out of Dar-es-Salaam. First registered to BOAC in June 1948 as a Solent 2, 'IL was converted to a Mk 3 the following year. BOAC withdrew the 'boat from use in September 1951 and it was scrapped at Hamworthy, Dorset in 1954.
Short S.45 Solent 3 G-AKNU, formerly NJ207, at Southampton on October 16, 1955, before departing on the last round trip on Aquila Airways’ Southampton-Genoa service. On the night of Friday, November 15,1957, the ’boat hit sloping ground near Shalcombe Hill, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, killing outright 45 of the 58 people aboard.
Short Solent 4 G-AOBL, Aotearoa, was sold to Portugal after the closure of Aquila in September 1958.
The Short Solent Commercial Flying-boat (four Bristol Hercules 637 engines).
Short S.45 Solent 3 G-AKNO, City of London, visited the Thames in May 1949 to mark the 30th anniversary of British air transport. G-AKNO was later sold to Trans Oceanic Airways Pty Ltd as VH-TOA, but sank off Malta during delivery in January 1951.
Photographed in berth 50 at Southampton recently. the Solent 4, G-AOBL, is now operated by Aquila Airways, who obtained it from Tasman Empire Airways. The name "Aotearoa" is retained.
Short Solent 4 G-AOBL Aotearoa II was sold in Portugal in October 1958 by previous owners Aquila Airways. Anton Le Noble’s photograph was taken at Lisbon in May 1971, not long before the aircraft was broken up.
Aquila Airways’ Solent 3 G-AKNU RMA Sydney at Capri on June 3, 1954, after inaugurating the airline’s service from Southampton via Marseilles.
Aquila Airways Short Solent G-AKNU "Sydney" at Capri after operating the inaugural service from Southampton on 3rd June 1954
Solent G-AKNP at Belfast, prior to the ferry flight to Australia. Note the TOA livery, while the name 'City of Cardiff' lingers.
An Aquila Solent 4 arrives at Southampton Water with British civilians evacuated from Suez, August 1956. The Solent 4 was powered by four 2,040 h.p. Bristol Hercules 733 engines.
TEAL’s Solent 4 ZK-AMM RMA Ararangi taxying to its moorings at Belfast before delivery.
Внизу: последний Solent 4 компании TEAL эксплуатировался до 1960 года - в последнее время он обслуживал только маршрут Фиджи - Таити. На снимке - ZK-AMO Aranui в районе Сувы, столицы Фиджи.
Short Solent flying-boat, G-AHIN, docked at Southampton in the last great days of BOAC’s post-war Empire routes.
The hull of Sea Eagle G-EBGR (wrongly marked G-EBGS) being handed over to John Brancker, at Hythe, by Victor Paine, half-brother of Hubert Scott-Paine, in September 1949. In the background is the Short Solent Somerset.
После того как в ноябре 1950 года компания BOAC прекратила эксплуатацию летающих лодок, самолеты Solent были проданы различным операторам, включая компанию "Aquila Airways", которая до 1957 года использовала их для полетов на Канарские острова. Изображенный Solent 3, G-AKNU, разбился 15 ноября 1957 года.
Trans Oceanic Airways Solent 3 VH-TOB Star of Papua had been BOAC’s G-AKNP Sutherland. It is seen at Rose Bay, Sydney.
Another view of TEAL’s Solent 4 ZK-AML.
Somerset' G-AHIO leaving Belfast Lough on delivery via Southampton, Marseilles, Bitter Lakes, Karachi, Calcutta, Singapore, Surabaya and Darwin, November 1951. This machine became VH-TOD and then N9945F.
The ill-fated Short Solent 3 G-ANKU, Sydney, ex NJ207, seen off Queen’s Island, Belfast, in December 1951.
Singer Grade Fields was among those aboard Short Solent G-ANAJ City of Funchal when it took off from Southampton bound for Capri on its proving flight on May 21, 1954.
Solent 3 G-AKNU seen taking off from Funchal. Photography courtesy of J. Arthur Dixon.
Short Solent 4 G-ANAJ City of Funchal, about to alight on Southampton Water. In September 1956 this aircraft was damaged beyond repair when it broke free from its moorings at Santa Margherita.
The third Solent 2, G-AHIN Seaforth, later Southampton, alighting on Belfast Lough. This view shows particularly well the planing bottom and steps.
One of the aircraft Aquila did not acquire from BOAC was Short Solent G-AHIY, Southsea, seen flying from Rochester on April 9, 1948, and photographed by Charles E, Brown.
Solent 3 G-AKNO Seaforth, converted for BOAC, goes through its paces over Belfast Lough.
BOAC’s Solent 3 G-AKNO, still named Seaforth, on test at Belfast with repositioned stabilising floats attached by four struts.
G-AHIR, BOAC’s Solent 2 Sark. It was withdrawn from use in May 1950 and was scrapped at Belfast two years later.
Capt Alcock sails past in stately majesty in the Short Solent G-AHIM Scarborough. This senior BOAC pilot was the brother of John Alcock of Vimy/Atlantic fame.
"Tasman Empire Airways" (TEAL) выявила склонность установленных на ее Sandringham моторов Twin Wasp к перегреванию и заменила эти самолеты на четыре новых Solent 4. ZK-AML стал первым из них и был назван в честь одной из первых купленных компанией летающих лодок семейства "Empire" - RMA Aotearoa II.
ZK-AML, TEAL’s Solent 4 RMA Aotearoa II. After it was launched at Belfast, ’ML was named by HRH Princess Elizabeth on May 26, 1949.
A First Officer’s view of Solent 3 G-AKNU’s starboard inner Bristol Hercules 637 radial engine, taken over Central France on the last Aquila round trip of the Southampton-Genoa service.
Short Solent N9946F Halcyon floating majestically across San Francisco Bay - without getting its feet wet - on August 12, 1987
N9946F in 'Sea Horse' finish, Hawaii, 1954.
Beached on the ramp at the former PanAm terminal area, N9946F at San Francisco International, December 1957.
The three Solents, beached at the old Ford plant in Richmond, California, circa 1973.
Short Solent 3 N9947F, ex NJ2O5 and BOAC’s G-AKNT Singapore was photographed by N. Scherrer at Richmond, California, in May 1972. It was sold to the USA in 1955 and delivered to South Pacific Air Lines in November of that year. Originally stored at Oakland, it is seen shortly before being broken up
BOAC Sandringhams and a Solent ready for scrapping at Hamworthy, Poole in the Fifties.
Aquila boats undergoing maintenance at Hamble. Solent 4 G-ANYI Awatere, complete with spinners, stands in front of Sunderland 3 G-AGER Hadfield.
Factory grouping around the last Solent 2 for BOAC, G-AHIY Southsea, 1948.
Short S.45 Solent 3 N9946F was originally built for the RAF as NJ203 and was purchased by BOAC, receiving its C of A on March 19, 1949. Registered G-AKNP and named City of Cardiff, the Solent remained with BOAC until January 1951 when it was sold to Trans-Oceanic Airways of Sydney, Australia, and registered VH-TOB. In June 1956 the Solent was sold to South Pacific Airlines but was acquired by the late Howard Hughes when an intended South Pacific service failed to materialise. Hughes was forced to move the boat from San Francisco to Oakland, California, where it kept company with two other derelict Solents. All three Solents were later sold to a local scrap dealer but N9946F was purchased by Preflite Oceanographic a couple of years ago and is currently under restoration to airworthy condition. The engines are in running order and the interior has remained untouched and is in perfect condition. It is now likely that the Solent will fly once more after spending 22 flightless years stranded high and dry out in the open.
The flight deck of BOAC Solent G-AHIT. The pitch and throttle levers are located at the pedestal position - engine starting and propeller feathering are in the roof.
The flight deck of sole surviving Solent 3 NJ203. Only one other Solent exists anywhere - Mk 4 ZK-AMO on static display at the Museum of Transport and Technology at Auckland, New Zealand.
The upper deck cabin of a BOAC Solent 3.
July 1990, Captain R C S 'Dick' Reid relaxes in his seat on the upper deck of the Californian Solent, on display at Oakland. Forty years earlier, he had been 'Master' of this same flying-boat, on its last scheduled flight from South Africa to the UK.
Part of the passenger cabin, with table laid for dinner.
The Solent's promenade desk.
NJ203's "1940s BOAC classical" cocktail bar, bedecked with Pacific murals and complete with swizzle-sticks in the glasses.
Two Short Solents once owned by Howard Hughes lying derelict at Richmond, USA. This and a third aircraft, now dismantled, were earmarked <...> him for service with his South Pacific Air Lines, a venture that came to nothing. <...>ans are afoot to restore the Solent in the foreground.
Short Solent 2 G-AHIL Salisbury was converted to a Solent 3 and renamed City of Salisbury in 1950. Photo shows the flying boat moored at Hamworth near Poole in Dorset, where it was photographed by G. C. Bailey.
Short Solent 2 G-AHIL Salisbury was converted to a Solent 3 and renamed City of Salisbury in 1950. By April 1958, when photo was taken, the tail unit had been removed and G-AHIL was soon to be no more.
Mr. Apostolo's interesting letter and Air Pictorial's registrations expert's comments are published below. This photograph shows the extensive damage to G-ANAJ.
Short Solent 4 G-ANYI is seen on the banks of the River Tagus at Lisbon, Portugal, in August 1971, when it was photographed by Anton Le Noble. Previously ZK-AMN Awatere of TEAL, this aircraft was sold to Aquila in 1955 and then to the Portuguese company ARTOP in September 1958. It remained beached on the Tagus until broken up in 1971.
This was the tragic scene on the Isle of Wight on the morning of November 16, 1957, Forty-three people died when Short Solent G-AKNU Sydney hit high ground at Shalcombe the evening before and was burned out.
KEITH WOODCOCK’S painting shows Aquila Airways’ Solent 3 RMA Sydney.