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Short Sunderland Flying Boat Military Aircraft

When in 1937 the RAF had a requirement for a Flying Boat Patrol Bomber Short Brothers designed the Short S.25 Sunderland based on their excellent "Empire flying boat" Airliner. The Short S.25 Sunderland first flew in October 1937 and entered RAF Costal Command service in 1938. The Short Sunderland had excellent range and during WW2 proved it's self able to successfully attack and destroy U-Boats and put up a spirited defence against Enemy aircraft resulting in it gaining the nickname "flying porcupine" as the impression given to attacking pilots was that there were guns pointing every where and there were no obvious blind spots to attack.

Short Sunderland  Flying Boat


The Short Sunderland flying boat served with the RAF from mainland Britain until the end of February 1957 when the were replaced by the land based Avro Shackleton, surviving Sunderlands were then sent to the Far East where they served until 1959. The RAF was not the only user of the Sunderland, it also flew with the RAAF, RCAF, French Navy, RNZAF, RNoAF, Portuguese Navy and the SAAF. A total of 749 Short Sunderland's had been produced when the last was rolled off the production line in June 1946, the last Sunderland to remain in Military service was finally retired in 1967 after having given over 20 years of continuous reliable service.

Short Sunderland III Armament:

  • Machine Guns: Sixteen 0.303 inch (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns
  • Machine Guns: Twin Browning 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) machine guns
  • Munitions: Bombs, mines and depth charges carried internally on bomb racks which can be winched out underneath the wings
Inside Short Sunderland rear fuselage
Short Sunderland III Specifications:
  • Crew: 811 (two pilots, radio operator, navigator, engineer, bomb-aimer and up to five gunners)
  • Length: 85 ft 4 in (26.0 m)
  • Wingspan: 112 ft 9 in (34.39 m)
  • Height: 32 ft 10 in (10 m)
  • Empty weight: 34,500 lb (15,663 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 58,000 lb (26,332 kg)
  • Engines: Four 1,065 hp (794 kW) Bristol Pegasus XVIII nine-cylinder radial engines (Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasps on the Mk 5)
  • Maximum speed: 210 mph (336 km/h) at 6,500 ft
  • Cruise speed: 178 mph (285 km/h) at 5,000 ft
  • Stall speed: 78 mph (125 km/h)
  • Range: 1,780 mi (2,848 km)
  • Service ceiling: 16,000 ft (4,880 m)
 Short Sunderland under-wing retractable bomb rack

Under-Wing Bomb-Racks

Short Sunderland  Flying Boat Military Aircraft

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