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Short Type 166 Aircraft Information

Short Type 166

Type 166

National origin: United Kingdom
Manufacturer: Short Brothers
First flight: 1916
Primary user: Royal Naval Air Service
Number built: 26

The Short Type 166 was a British two-seat reconnaissance, bombing and torpedo carrying folder seaplane designed by Short Brothers.


The Short Type 166 was designed as a 'folder' aircraft to operate from the Ark Royal as a torpedo-bomber. Six aircraft, known within Shorts as the Type A, were originally ordered before the outbreak of World War I and assigned the Admiralty serial numbers 161 to 166. As was normal at the time, the type was designated the Admiralty Type 166 after the naval serial number of the last aircraft in the batch. Sometimes the aircraft are referred to as the Short S.90 (S.90 was the manufacturer's serial number of the first aircraft, naval serial 161).

Similar to the earlier Short Type 136 but slightly larger, the 166 was designed from the start as a torpedo carrier, although it was never used in this rxle.


The Type 166 was a two-bay biplane with twin wooden pontoon floats, with a water rudder fitted to the tail float and a stabilizing float mounted near the wing-tip under each lower wing. The 166 was powered by a nose-mounted 200hp (149kW) Salmson engine.

A follow-on order for 20 aircraft were built by Westland Aircraft at their Yeovil factory. The Westland built aircraft did not have provision for a torpedo but could carry three 112lb bombs and were fitted to carry radio equipment. There was also a Lewis gun, which was operated by the observer in the rear cockpit.


United Kingdom

Royal Naval Air Service


Data from Westland History,Barnes & James

General characteristics

Crew: 2
Length: 40 ft 7 in (12.38 m)
Wingspan: 57 ft 3 in (17.45 m)
Height: 14 ft 0 in (4.29 m)
Wing area: 575 ft (53.5 m)
Empty weight: 3,500 lb (1,589 kg)
Gross weight: 4580 lb (2080 kg)
Powerplant: 1 x Salmson twin row radial, 200 hp (149 kW)


Maximum speed: 65 mph (105 km/h)
Endurance: 4 hours

Barnes C.H. & James D.N (1989). Shorts Aircraft since 1900. London: Putnam. pp. 560. ISBN 0-85177-819-4.
Bruce, J.M. (1957). British Aeroplanes 1914-18. London: Putnam.
Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions.
Flight International 1956

Short Type 166 Pictures

Living Warbirds: The best warbirds DVD series.

Source: WikiPedia

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