Short Scylla / L.17
Short - Scylla / L.17 - 1934 - Великобритания
Страна: Великобритания
Год: 1934

Short S.17 Kent и L.17 Scylla
Flight, April 1934

Short S.17 Kent и L.17 Scylla

   Компанией "Imperial Airways" в начале 1933 года был заказан сухопутный вариант, построены два самолета. Их обозначили L.17, машины совершили первые полеты в марте и мае 1934 года. Чуть позднее их назвали "Scylla" и "Syrinx". Самолеты оснащались четырьмя двигателями XFBM мощностью 595 л. с., вмещали 39 пассажиров и имели автопилоты. Позднее один самолет использовался для испытания двигателей Perseus IIL, а после повреждения и восстановления - в испытании двигателей Pegasus XC мощностью 660 л.с. Оба самолета были выведены из эксплуатации в 1940 году.

Flight, April 1934

4 Bristol "Jupiter" XF BM Engines

   SINCE the earliest days of flying the name of Short Brothers has been chiefly associated with marine aircraft, and of recent years such flying boats as the "Calcutta," the "Scipio," the "Rangoon," the "Singapore" and the R6/28 have made the name Short a household word where marine aircraft are discussed. When it was announced, about a year ago, that Imperial Airways had placed an order with Short Brothers for two landplanes, there was some little surprise that this old seaplane firm should thus suddenly enter the landplane market. The surprise was caused not by any doubt that Short Brothers could produce an excellent landplane - no one ever doubted that - but by the change of type. Actually, if the subject is examined a little more closely, the change is not nearly as great as might at first be supposed. Imperial Airways, Ltd., have for several years been operating flying boats of the Short "Scipio" class over the Mediterranean section of the England-Egypt air route, and these boats have given quite remarkably good service. From the very beginning they promised well in that not a single modification of any importance was necessary when the first "Kent" (as the class was then called) was launched, and subsequent experience has done nothing to mar that early promise. We doubt if ever before any aircraft has been put on a service and given so much satisfaction and so little trouble as have the three Short boats of the "Kent" class.
   When Imperial Airways came to place an order for large landplanes, it was not unnatural that they should turn to Short Brothers, among others. And when Short Brothers said that they could produce landplane fuselages to fit the superstructure of the "Kents," there was very good reason for adopting this scheme. From the point of view of the operating company, the fact that wings and engine installations, etc., were interchangeable was a great asset in that the number of spares was considerably reduced. From the maker's (and operator's) point of view, the use of an identical superstructure meant that jigs and tools were already in existence, so that manufacturing costs were correspondingly reduced. The logical outcome of these considerations was the "Scylla," as the first of the new machines is called.
   Misfortunes of various sorts have delayed the completion of the "Scylla" until now. When work was begun it was realised that the Short factory at Rochester would not afford space for the final erection of the superstructure on the fuselage, and it was decided to erect the machine finally at the Rochester aerodrome. No hangar was in existence at the time, and estimates indicated that the first machine should be ready for erection before the hangar on the new aerodrome could be finished. As it would obviously be impracticable to build the hangar and erect the machine at the same time, it was decided to erect the machine in the open, and only the concrete floor of the hangar was laid down beforehand. Then, as not infrequently happens, delays occurred in completing the aeroplane, and when the large components, fuselage and wings, were transported to the aerodrome the weather was so bad, with rain and gales, that the work was seriously interfered with, and often had to be stopped altogether. We think a word of praise is due to those Short workers who did the erecting under such difficulties. A cold and miserable job they had, but Mr. Bibby, the works manager, has the heaven-sent gift of inspiring loyalty and willingness, and the work went forward in spite of all obstacles. We have referred to the difficulties encountered because, unless they are known, the delay in delivery might be ascribed to technical "snags," which would be unfair to Mr. Gouge and his assistants.
   Early last week the "Scylla" was finished, and Mr. Lankester Parker was able to make a first test flight, with the machine "light." All was found in order except such minor matters as nearly always require adjustment, and whenever the weather has permitted, Parker has been flying the machine, with gradually increasing loads. When we visited Rochester aerodrome last week, Parker took the "Scylla" up at a gross weight of 30,000 lb., and by the time this article appears a flight will doubtless have been made at the full gross weight of 33,500 lb.


   An unusual feature of the layout of the "Scylla" is the large proportion of the fuselage space which is occupied by cabins, etc. A glance at the accommodation plan will show that only the, stern quarter or so of the total fuselage length is empty. This wide distribution of the load will necessitate careful trimming, and to facilitate this a special luggage compartment is provided between the two lavatories on the starboard side. This compartment is intended to be used for trimming the machine with various loads. If the machine trims tail down, luggage will be transferred from the main luggage hold behind the cabin to the forward luggage compartment.
   In the extreme nose of the fuselage is the pilots' cabin. This cabin is entirely covered in, but sliding side windows and roof hatches are fitted. Side-by-side seating and dual controls are provided and the instrument board is particularly complete, including in addition to the Smith's instruments a Sperry gyro compass, artificial horizon and a drift indicator, and indirect lighting.
   Behind the pilots' seats is the wireless installation, which includes a Marconi type A.D.41A/42A set and direction-finding gear. The aerial is led out through the floor of the fuselage.
   Immediately aft of the pilots' compartment is the forward cabin, which has seating accommodation for ten passengers. As in the after cabin, the seats are arranged facing each other, six on one side and four on the other. There are large tables between the seats, and a clear gangway down the middle. The decorations are pleasing, and there is an air of spaciousness rarely found on an aeroplane. Plenty of room everywhere is the feeling one has on entering the cabin, and this applies to head room, leg room and elbow room. The forward cabin has been specially set aside for those passengers who wish to smoke.
   The space forward of the wing spar bulkhead frames has been set aside for lavatories, luggage compartment and buffet. As already mentioned, the luggage compartment on the starboard side is used for trimming purposes. On the port side is the buffet, which is provided with every facility for serving meals, the equipment, including an ice chest, fruit racks, wine case, sink, cupboards, etc. If deemed necessary, two stewards will have room enough for their simultaneous duties in attending to the requirements of passengers.
   The after cabin is arranged in a manner similar to that adopted for the forward cabin, but is larger and seats 29 passengers. The windows are large, and in dull weather extra lighting is provided by dome lights in the roof. Pendant lamps are provided over each table. Above the windows are racks for light parcels.
   For heating the cabins muffs are fitted around the exhaust tail pipes, the hot air being led to light aluminium ducts situated at floor level, at the sides of the fuselage. The amount of hot air entering can be regulated by means of circular diaphragm shutters. Fresh air ducts are fitted above the tables, and air is exhausted from the cabins by venturi type exhausters.
   Experience is not yet available concerning the absence of noise in the cabins of the "Scylla," but as the "Scipio" class flying boats are remarkable for their quietness, there is reason to expect the cabins of the "Scylla" to be well above the average standard in this respect also.
   Access to the cabins is by two doors, both on the port side. The main entrance is at the back, behind the after cabin, and as the rear portion of the fuselage is low over the ground when the tail is down, it is possible to step straight in, although normally low steps will probably be used. The front door is situated just aft of the pilots' cockpit, and gives access to a vestibule from which another door leads into the smokers' compartment. When the machine is standing with its tail on the ground, this door is rather high in the air, and fairly tall steps will be necessary. This door is also the one which will be used by the crew in getting into and out of the machine.
   At the moment it is not known where and how Imperial Airways, Ltd., propose to use the "Scylla" and the sister plane the "Syrinx." The full petrol capacity is, as previously mentioned, 625 gallons. This is, of course, far in excess of the requirements of a short journey like that from London to Paris. It is of interest to point out that when the full quantity of petrol is carried, and due allowance is made for its weight and the weight of oil and a crew of four, the pay load (i.e., for 600 miles' range) is approximately 5,250 lb. It would appear that this will not permit of the machine carrying the full complement of 39 passengers if these are all of the normally-assumed average weight, as the 5,250 lb. of pay load corresponds to 39 persons at an average weight of about 135 lb. It is, of course, possible that a certificate of airworthiness may be obtained for a greater gross weight than 33,500 lb., in which case the full complement of full-weight passengers could be carried. On the other hand, the experience of Imperial Airways, Ltd., may be that for stages of 600 miles the machine will never be full, in which case full load may come inside the present gross weight figure.
   We on FLIGHT have long made it a practice to give, as a structural "Figure of Merit," the ratio of gross weight to tare weight of aircraft. For the Short "Scylla" the value is 1.48, which is somewhat below the average and indicates that the structure is rather heavy. It is always desirable, if a fair comparison is to be made, to specify what is included in the term "tare weight." In the case of the "Scylla" the expression includes very elaborate cabin furnishings, and this fact may partly account for the somewhat great weight. Another thing which may have played a part in putting up the empty weight is the necessity of designing the undercarriage for an existing wing arrangement.
   It is possible, although without knowing all the data it is impossible to express a definite opinion, that the use of metal covering for the fuselage has worked out rather heavier than would a fabric-covered structure. Altogether there may be many reasons for the slightly heavy tare weight of the machine. The subject is one of interest mainly to aircraft engineers, and the "Scylla" as she stands is certainly capable of useful work on air lines.
Scylla having the wheel chocks removed before leaving Croydon on its inaugural flight to Le Bourget on May 16, 1934. Note the Civil Air Ensign.
Кабина L.17 имела ширину 3,4 м, что обеспечивало новый уровень комфорта во время путешествия (включая систему вентиляции свежим воздухом).
An early picture of Scylla taken at Croydon. Note the height of the tailplane from the ground.
Close-up detail of the four 550 h.p. Bristol Jupiter XFBM radial engines of the Short L.17 Scylla G-ACJJ. Interestingly, G-ACJJ does not have Imperial Airways London painted beneath the two forward windows. An additional window seems to have been added just forward of the A in the registration letters, normally a recognition feature of the second L.17, Syrinx, after its rebuild.
TOWERING: With tail on the ground, the height of the "Scylla" is just under 30 ft. The engines are Bristol "Jupiters," series XF BM.
In the Scylla the superstructure of the Scipio was applied to a landplane fuselage. The engines are four Jupiters.
NEAR THE MEDWAY: The Short "Scylla" looks at her home.
Scylla photographed during an early test flight from Rochester. The fuselage registration is still incomplete. The aircraft's first flight was made on March 26, 1934 with John Lankester Parker at the controls.
30,000 LB. IN THE AIR: The Short "Scylla" (four Bristol "Jupiter") making a test flight with nearly full load, piloted by Mr. Lankester Parker. This and the other aerial views of the machine were secured from a "Fox Moth" belonging to Gravesend Aviation, Ltd., and piloted by Mr. P. H. Smith.
Scylla photographed during an early test flight from Rochester. The fuselage registration is still incomplete. The aircraft's first flight was made on March 26, 1934 with John Lankester Parker at the controls.
SEEING FOR THEMSELVES: Last week members of the Parliamentary Air Committee paid a visit to the Filton Works of the Bristol Aeroplane Company, flying down in the Short "Syrinx" (shown arriving). On the left, Mr. Herbert Thomas, of the Bristol Company, is welcoming members of the party.
Short S.17L, G-ACJJ, Scylla, landing at Croydon.
WELL AWAY: The Short "Scylla" taking off at a weight of 30,000 lb. The take-off time was 11 sec.
REFUELLING: An impressive picture of the two largest types in European passenger service - the Handley-Page "Heracles" and the Short "Scylla' - on the tarmac at Croydon.
ENSIGN, the first of the imposing new class for Imperial Airways, arrived at Croydon last week. That worthy veteran Scylla can be glimpsed in the background.
Scylla and Syrinx together at Le Bourget. In this view both aircraft have Jupiter engines.
Both Short L.17s, G-ACJJ 'Scylla' and G-ACJK 'Syrinx' on the famed ramp at Croydon.
The two ugly ducklings together at Croydon with Syrinx in the foreground.
Syrinx at Croydon after being rebuilt with Pegasus XC engines and rectangular cabin windows.
This view of the rebuilt Syrinx emphasizes its height. Note the engineer standing between the two inner engines.
"I wouldn’t swear to it captain, but it looks like Croydon to me"
This is one of the Imperial Airways machines, all of which are fitted with Marconi Wireless equipment.
TWENTY-ONE: Scylla was chartered by Mr. Leslie Irvin, of parachute fame (seen on the left), to fly his daughter's twenty-first birthday party guests to Paris last week.
The golden age of airline flying - or was it? This glamorous group beside a Short Scylla bound for Paris may think so, but was Imperial Airways’ fleet fit for purpose?
DROPPING THE PILOT: Capt. A. B. H. Youell leaves the good ship Scylla via the new pilot's gangway.
Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Fokker on the tarmac at Croydon.
London’s Terminal : British Airways, imperial Airways and K.L.M. on the tarmac at Croydon.
Croydon scene just before the war. In this view are the A.W.27s Ettrick, Elysian, Elsinore, Eddystone and Explorer, the D.H.91s Frobisher and Falcon, the H.P.45 Horatius and the Short L.17 Syrinx. Just visible in the background is a Junkers-Ju 90.
Imperial Airways airliners grounded at Croydon during the last month of peace had to stand in the open. Behind G-ADSX Ettrick can be seen G-ADSZ Elysian and G-ADST Elsinore.
CHRISTMAS RUSH: A tarmac impression at Croydon on December 24. Beneath the port wing of the Swissair Douglas can be seen an Air France Wibault, an H.P. 42, Scylla and Syrinx, while behind the Douglas is a Railway Air Services' D.H.86.
THE MODERN TOUCH: An attractive view, taken from beneath Syrinx's fuselage by a Flight photographer, of the re-named Avatar (now Ava, for diplomatic reasons), one of Imperial's two new high-speed Avro charter monoplanes.
British Oxygen Company's portable tyre-inflation cylinder ''topping-up'' one of Syrinx's tyres. Incidentally, nitrogen is coming into favour for tyre inflation, and the B.O.C. claim many advantages for it.
Short L.17 Scylla being assembled at Rochester aerodrome in March 1934. Erection had been hampered for several weeks by extreme cold and high winds.
OUT IN THE OPEN: Erecting the Short "Scylla" at the new aerodrome, Rochester, where no hangars have yet been built. The work of building the hangar and erecting the machine are proceeding simultaneously. The men holding the Dunlop wheel give an idea of the size of the "Scylla," which is the first of a batch of machines being built for Imperial Airways, Ltd.
TAKING SHAPE: The Short "Scylla" (four Bristol "Jupiters") being erected in the open at the Rochester aerodrome. The boisterous weather during the last week or two has interfered greatly with the work, but it is expected that the machine will make its first flight this week.
The two Short L.17 fuselages at an advanced stage of construction at the Seaplane Works beside the Medway at Rochester, on August 25, 1933.
MASTER PILOT: An impressive view of the pilot's cabin of the Short Scylla, with Capt. O. P. Jones at the controls. The next stage will, perhaps, involve a "bridge" ror the captain.
The view forward from the aft cabin of Syrinx after its rebuild, showing C-class flyingboat style of interior. The cabin width was over 11ft.
Looking forward from the aft cabin of Scylla, the three-abreast seating on the starboard side of the midship cabin can be seen.
COMFORT: A view in the rear cabin of the "Scylla." The mean width of the cabin is just under 11 ft.
WIRELESS ON THE "SCYLLA": Marconi medium-wave telegraph-telephone set Type A.D. 41A/42A to be fitted in the new Imperial Airways "Scylla" class aircraft.
Short L.17 G-ACJJ Scylla, at Drem, Scotland after it was blown over in a gale on September 14, 1940. It had been requisitioned by the RAF in March. One of two 39-passenger airliners built for Imperial Airways in 1933-34, it was powered by four 595 h.p. Bristol Jupiter engines. The L.17s were used on European services.
A classic Imperial Airways poster of the 1930s, in which elegant travellers arrive at their exotic destination aboard a gleaming flag-flying four-engined Short Scylla.
THE SHORT "SCYLLA": Sir Eric Geddes, in his speech at the Annual General Meeting of Imperial Airways, referred to the new air liners now under construction. The accompanying sketch, from Imperial Airways Gazette, gives a general idea of the appearance of this new machine, which will be equipped with four engines of the total horse-power of 2,220, and will accommodate 39 passengers and a crew of four.
KEITH WOODCOCK'S painting depicts Short L.17 G-ACJJ Scylla in Imperial Airways livery.
WING DETAILS: Duralumin spars and ribs, with steel fittings, are used in the Short "Scylla."
THE TIP OF A MAIN SPAR: Instead of the corrugated section the tip becomes a plain box section.
WING ATTACHMENTS: These two sketches show the details of the fittings by means of which rear and front lower spars are secured to the top of the fuselage. The front spar fitting also takes the undercarriage leg.
NO WASTE OF SPACE: By utilising a large proportion of the fuselage the cabins are roomy and with plenty of leg room.
Short "Scylla" 4 Bristol "Jupiter" X F.B.M. Engines