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Short Seaford Aircraft Information

Short Seaford


National origin: United Kingdom
Manufacturer: Short Brothers
First flight: 1944
Primary users: Royal Air Force British Overseas Airways Corporation
Number built: 8
Developed from: Short Sunderland
Variants: Short Solent

The Short Seaford was a development of the Short Sunderland flying boat for a longer ranged maritime patrol bomber for RAF Coastal Command.

Initially developed as the "Sunderland Mark IV" the S.45 proved to be so different that it was given a different name.

Design and development

The Sunderland Mark IV was an outgrowth of a 1942 Air Ministry specification, R.8/42 which called for a generally improved Sunderland with more powerful Bristol Hercules engines, better defensive armament and other enhancements, intended for service in the Pacific.

Relative to the Sunderland Mark III, the Mark IV had a stronger wing with heavier gauge material, bigger tailplanes and a longer fuselage with some changes in form. The armament was greatly improved, consisting of two fixed forward-firing .303 inch (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns in the nose, a Brockhouse nose turret with twin .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, twin 20 mm Hispano cannon mounted in a Bristol B.17 dorsal turret, twin .50 in (12.7 mm) guns in a Glenn-Martin tail turret and another .50 in (12.7 mm) machine gun in a hand-held position on each side of the fuselage.

Two prototypes and thirty production aircraft were ordered as the Sunderland Mark IV. The first prototype flew on 30 October 1944, but the changes were so substantial that the new aircraft was given the name Seaford. Thirty production examples were ordered but the first of these flew in April 1945, well after the introduction of the Sunderland Mark V, and too late to see combat in Europe. The prototypes were powered by Hercules XVII engines of 1,680 hp (1,253 kW), but production aircraft used 1,720 hp (1,283 kW) Hercules XIXs. Only six production Seafords were completed and never got beyond operational trials with the RAF.

The Sunderland was developed, via the Short Sandringham, into the Short Solent. The second production Seaford was loaned to BOAC in 1946 for evaluation as a civil airliner. BOAC liked it and 12 Seafords then being laid down were completed as Solent Mark IIs. Most of the RAF Seafords were rebuilt as Solent Mark IIIs.


United Kingdom

British Overseas Airways Corporation
Royal Air Force
No. 201 Squadron RAF

Specifications (S.45 Seaford)

Data from War Planes of the Second World War:Volume Five Flying Boats

General characteristics

Crew: 8 - 11 (two pilots, radio operator, navigator, engineer, bomb-aimer, three to five gunners)
Length: 88 ft 6 in (27.00 m)
Wingspan: 112 ft 9 in (34.39 m)
Height: 37 ft 3 in (11.36 m)
Wing area: 1,687 sq ft (156.8 m)
Empty weight: 45,000 lb (20,455 kg)
Loaded weight: 75,000 lb (34,090 kg)
Powerplant: 4x Bristol Hercules XIX radial engines, 1,720 hp (1,283 kW) each


Maximum speed: 242 mph (210 knots, 389 km/h) at 500 ft (150 m)
Cruise speed: 155 mph (138 knots, 250 km/h)
Range: 3,100 mi (2,696 nmi, 4,991 km)
Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4,268 m)
Rate of climb: 880 ft/min (4.5 m/s)
Climb to 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 18 min


Guns: 6 x .50 in Browning machine guns (two each in nose and tail turrets and two beam guns), 2 x 20 mm Hispano cannon in dorsal turret and 2 x fixed .303 in Browning machine gun
Bombs: 4,960 lb (2,250 kg) of bombs and depth charges


J203 RAF Short Sunderland IV/Seaford I S-45 NJ203. 1947 Converted to Short Solent 3 by Short Bros Belfast. 1949 BOAC G-AKNP “City of Cardiff". 1951 Trans Oceanic Airways of Australia as VH-TOB "Star of Papua". 1953 South Pacific Air Lines as N9946F "Isle of Tahiti". Last flew 1958. 1958 Howard Hughes - Hughes Tool Company. Since 1990 On display at the Oakland Aviation Museum.

Barnes, C.H. Shorts Aircraft since 1900. London:Putnam, 1967.
Green, William. War Planes of the Second World War: Volume Five Flying Boats. London:Macdonald, 1968. ISBN 0 356 01449 5.
London, Peter. British Flying Boats. Stroud, UK:Sutton Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-7509-2695-3.

Short Seaford Pictures

Living Warbirds: The best warbirds DVD series.

Source: WikiPedia

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