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Short Scylla Aircraft Information

Short Scylla

L.17 Scylla

Manufacturer: Short Brothers
First flight: 26 March 1934
Retired: 1940
Primary user: Imperial Airways
Produced: Rochester
Number built: 2
Developed from: Short Kent

The Short L.17 Scylla was a British 4-engined 39-seat biplane luxury airliner designed and built by Short Brothers at the request of Imperial Airways to supplement the Handley Page H.P.42's already in service after Handley Page quoted an excessive price for the aircraft.

Imperial Airways used the Scylla for scheduled flights between London and various European cities such as Paris. Two aircraft were built, the Scylla (G-ACJJ) and the Syrinx (G-ACJK). Both served with the airline until its merger into BOAC in 1939, and both were finally taken out of service the following year.

Design and development

The Scylla was a land-based development of the Short Kent (S.17) flying boat, essentially using the Kent's aerostructure above a redesigned fuselage. It was a large, all-metal biplane (wingspan of 113 ft, 34,44 m) powered originally by four Bristol Jupiter XFBM radial engines mounted on vertical struts between the upper and lower planes. The square-section braced-framed fuselage was mounted below the lower wing. The tail unit comprised a single vertical fin and a horizontal tailplane mounted on the fin at approximately one quarter height. The Scylla was originally fitted with a Flettner trimming aerofoil to ease the forces on the rudder controls; an experimental servo tab on the rudder was tested on G-ACJJ Scylla for a time. Experience gained with the latter possibly contributed to a later patent application submitted jointly by Shorts and Dudley Lloyd Parkes on 7 August 1936.

The forward undercarriage comprised one fixed wheel on each side, mounted on 3 diagonally braced struts, one to the upper and two to the lower edge of the fuselage; there was a single tailwheel. Ailerons were fitted to both upper and lower wings.

The engine nacelles were designed to receive Bristol Jupiter, Pegasus or Perseus engines without modification, a far-sighted and sensible provision, which later enabled e.g. the two inboard Jupiters of G-ACJK Syrinx readily to be replaced with Perseus IIL sleeve valve engines, to test their performance in airline conditions. When Syrinx was re-built (after it had been severely damaged when blown over by sidewinds while taxiing at Brussels airport), it was fitted with four Pegasus XC engines.


United Kingdom

Imperial Airways


Data from Barnes and James, p.278

General characteristics

Crew: 4
Capacity: 39
Length: 83 ft 10 in ft (25.5 m)
Wingspan: 113 ft (34.44 m)
Height: 31 ft 7 in (9.6 m)
Wing area: 2,615 ft (243 sq.m)
Empty weight: 22,650 lb (10,290 kg)
Loaded weight: 33,500 lb (15,200 kg)
Powerplant: 4x Bristol Jupiter XFBM air-cooled radial, 555 hp (414 kW) each


Maximum speed: 137 mph (220 km/h)

The two L.17 aircraft, G-ACJJ Scylla and G-ACJK Syrinx, had at different times three different engine configurations between them:

Related development

Short Kent

Barnes C.H. & James D.N (1989). Shorts Aircraft since 1900. London: Putnam. p. 278. ISBN 0-85177-819-4.
Cassidy, Brian (2004). "Flying Empires: Short ‘C’ class Empire flying boats" (PDF). Queens Parade Press. Retrieved 2007-01-15.
Gunston, Bill (editor) (1980). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Propeller Airliners. London: Phoebus. ISBN 0 7112 0062 9.
" Short Scylla". Retrieved 2007-01-18.
"Short L17 Scylla". Imperial Airways project. Retrieved 2007-01-24.

Short Scylla Pictures

Living Warbirds: The best warbirds DVD series.

Source: WikiPedia

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