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Author Topic: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917  (Read 3447 times)

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Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2017, 22:12:54 »
Commander Dacre was forced down on the water by engine trouble. The engine then recovered enough to allow him to taxi towards False Bay, where his torpedo hit a large tug. He then taxied out of the area and, without the weight of the torpedo, was able to get airborne again.

Almost certainly the only time a torpedo carrying sea/floatplane has launched its torpedo in anger while on the water.
Link to painting of the incident by Clifford R Fleming-Williams.
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/9617
C R Fleming-Williams (1880-1940) was comissioned into the Royal Naval Air Service in 1914 and retired from the RAF in 1922. He produced a number of paintings showing operations of the RNAS many of which are in the IWM.

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 14:00:30 »
Really interesting Herb Collector, thanks. Incidently, it must have been, probably, the only successful torpedo attack launched from water level - ever!

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2017, 22:08:16 »
Of the 910 Short 184's built, 40 were built at Eastchurch in three batches, 841 to 850, N1080 to N1099 and N1580 to N1589.

The world's first successful aerial torpedo attacks.

Three successful airborne torpedo attacks were made by the British during the First World War, all by Short 184's, all taking place during the Gallipoli campaign and by aircraft based on the seaplane carrier HMS Ben-My-Chree. Of these attacks two were made by an Eastchurch built aircraft.

At 04.55hrs on the 12th August 1915, Flight Commander Charles H K Edmonds set out in Short 184 No. 842 to attack a Turkish vessel that had been seen off Injeh Bay, on the north shore of the Sea of Marmora. From a height of about 15 feet he launched his torpedo at a range of 300 yards. The ship, of about 5,000 tons, was struck abreast the mainmast on the starboard side, the explosion sending a "column of water and large fragments of the ship almost as high as her masthead."
It was later established that the ship had been beached in shallow water after being torpedoed and shelled by HM Submarine E.14. Despite this it showed what could be done with an air launched torpedo.

Seven days later, on the 17th August, Flight Commander Edmonds, once again flying in No. 842, and Commander G B Dacre DSO, flying the Rochester built first Short 184 No. 184, set out to attack Turkish ships seen unloading at Ak Bashi Liman. Edmonds repeated his earlier success, hitting the middle ship of a group of three and setting it on fire.
Commander Dacre was forced down on the water by engine trouble. The engine then recovered enough to allow him to taxi towards False Bay, where his torpedo hit a large tug. He then taxied out of the area and, without the weight of the torpedo, was able to get airborne again.

The performance of the Short 184 was marginal in the heat of Gallipoli. To carry a torpedo, the 14 inch Mark X weighed 810 lb, the observer/gunner had to be left behind and petrol was restricted to just enough for a flight of three-quarters of an hour.

Photo Imperial War Museums. IWM (Q 68425)
Short Admiralty Type 184 two-seat reconnaissance/torpedo bomber seaplane.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2016, 23:15:19 »
Short Tractor Biplane S.45 Type.

Four aircraft built at Eastchurch. Two-seat trainer that could be fitted with wheels or floats.
Length 35ft 6ins (10.80m). Wingspan 42ft 0ins (12.90m).
Engine (S.45) 1 X 70hp Gnome 7-cylinder rotary. Max speed 60mph.

Serial No.5. Originally numbered T.5. Became No.5 by 2 September 1912. Cost 1184. Shorts construction No. S.45.
Delivered to Eastchurch Flying School 23 May 1912, first flight next day. The aircraft was fitted with floats to take part in the Royal Navy Review at Portsmouth 3 July 1912. The aircraft was damaged 13 July 1912 and returned to Shorts at Eastchurch. Here it was given a new cowling, a coaming around the cockpits, greater span on the upper wings and revised ailerons.
Fitted with wheels it took part in army manoeuvres in September 1912. Refitted with floats it served at Carlingnose Seaplane Station near Rosyth until it capsized 4 October 1913 and was deleted.

No.413 (Shorts c/n S.48)  was delivered as a landplane to the Central Flying School at Upavon in October 1912. It was damaged beyond repair in a landing accident 3 December 1912.

Nos 423 and 424 (S.49 and S.50) were delivered to the CFS in February 1913. They were transferred to the Admiralty in August 1914. It is uncertain if they entered service with the Royal Naval Air Service.

Photo shows No. 5/T.5 at Portsmouth for the Royal Review, July 1912. Aircraft fitted with single central float and airbags under each wing.




Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2016, 22:36:14 »
Short Bomber. Two-seat long-range bomber and reconnaissance aircraft.

The Short Bomber was a land-plane development of the Short 184 seaplane, the prototype making its first flight at Eastchurch in early 1916. To improve its lifting capacity its wingspan was increased by 12ft (3.65m). As built the prototype had a 225 hp Sunbeam engine. This was later replaced by a 250 hp Rolls-Royce engine. In production versions the fuselage was extended by 4ft 5ins (1.34m), the fin enlarged and the pilot and gunner swapped places, the gunner originally being in the front cockpit.

A total of 83 bombers were built by Shorts and four other companies for the Royal Naval Air Service. The 250 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle was the standard engine, except for the fifteen built by Sunbeam who used their own 240hp engine. In the summer of 1916 15 aircraft were transferred to the Royal Flying Corps for the planned attack on the Somme. Most of the type were deleted by the summer of 1917.

Production. Basic details of each aircraft can be found in Royal Navy Aircraft Serials and Units 1911 to 1919.

RNAS serial No. 3706. Shorts construction No. S.248. Prototype. Built Eastchurch. Served with the Gunnery School Flight at Eastchurch and the Handley Page Squadron at Manston. Deleted 22 January 1917.

9306-9355 (S. 249 - S. 298) 35 built at Eastchurch, 9341-9355 cancelled. Many of the aircraft served in 3 and 4 Wings RNAS in France, taking part in bombing raids. Nos. 9315, 9320, and 9325 were transferred to the RFC.

9356-9375. 15 built, 5 cancelled. Built by the Sunbeam Motor Car Co Ltd. Most of these aircraft were delivered to Eastchurch for acceptance flights and tests. They seem to have seen little action and all were deleted by 4 May 1917.

9476-9495. 20 built by Mann Egerton & Co Ltd. Most served with 3 Wing/7 Squadron RNAS in France.

9771-9780. 6 built, 4 cancelled. Built by George Parnell & Co Ltd. 2 served with 3 Wing/7 Squadron RNAS.

9831-9840. 6 built, 4 cancelled. Built by the Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing Co Ltd.

Short Bomber. Wingspan (production) 84ft (25.61m) Length 45ft (13.72m).
Endurance 6 hours. Armament 1 x 0.303 Lewis machine gun. 4 x 230lb (104kg) bombs or 8 x 112lb (51kg bombs.

Photos.
A. No. 3706. The prototype as originally built showing the short span two-bay wings and the precarious position of the gunner when firing the wing-mounted machine-gun.
 Bottom, production version.

B. No. 9315. One of the 35 production versions built at Eastchurch by Shorts. Accepted by the RNAS 10 August 1916. This aircraft was one of the 15 Short Bombers transferred to the RFC.

C. Photo Imperial War Museums.
IWM (Q 68932) Short Landplane Bomber two-seat long-range reconnaissance aircraft (serial number: 9340) and Port Victoria P.V.8 Eastchurch Kitten prototype fighter aircraft.
Built Eastchurch and accepted 20 December 1916. The aircraft was at the Testing Squadron Martlesham Heath 20 August 1917, and at the Grain Armament Dept November 1917 to May 1918.


Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2016, 23:03:55 »
Short Tractor Biplane Seaplane S.60.

Exhibited at the 1913 Aero Show at Olympia and sold to the Admiralty 11 February 1913 and given the serial number 42.
Similar to the S.41 but slightly smaller. Seating for three but normally flown as a two-seater. Engine 80HP Gnome rotary.
Delivered to Port Laing July 1913, S.60 spent the next year in Scotland, flying from Port Laing, Leven, Dysart, Broomfield and Dundee, usually piloted by Major R Gordon. RMLI, and fitted with either floats or wheels. The aircraft was attached to Blue Fleet for the 1914 fleet manoeuvres March-April 1914.
Reverting to wheels S.60 joined the Eastchurch (Mobile) Squadron at Skegness 23 August 1914, the unit returning to Eastchurch the next day. The squadron then moving to Ostende 27 August.
S.60 then joined the RNAS HQ Flight at Morbecque 21 September. A engine failure on take-off resulted in a collision with a tree, 28 September, pilot Commander Samson unhurt.
Deleted 14 November 1914.

Photo Imperial War Museums. IWM (Q 66799).
Note the number 42 under the lower wingtip. The photo is back to front.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 22:28:00 »
Short Tractor Monoplane.
Shorts construction No. S.42.
Designed by Horace Short and based on the Bleriot monoplane. The aircraft was built for Frank McClean. The machine was purchased by the Admiralty and numbered M2, becoming No.8 from 1 August 1912, the Royal Navy's first single seater.
Engine seven-cylinder 50 HP Gnome rotary. Wing span as first built 29ft 3ins. length 25ft.
Acceptance flight, with wheels, was at Eastchurch 24 February 1912, pilot Commander C R Samson RN. Fitted with floats it was one of the aircraft that took part in the Royal Navy Review at Weymouth in May. It was serviced by Shorts in October 1912 and fitted with 2ft longer wings. It had a landing accident 19 April 1913. The aircraft was repaired but deteriorated. Deleted June 1914.

Flight 1912 has a three page article on the S.42 with photos and a drawing.
http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1912/1912 - 0212.html Use left sidebar to view the two other pages.


Offline conan

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2016, 00:23:16 »
Another Short Brothers plane from the collection

To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2016, 22:50:51 »
Short Tractor Biplane Hydro Aeroplane S.41.

Admiralty serial H1. RNAS serial No.10 from 1 August 1912.

Delivered Eastchurch late March 1912 with wheeled undercarriage. Maiden flight 2 April, pilot Commander C R Samson.
Fitted with floats S.41 took part in the Royal Fleet Review at Weymouth, 8 May 1912. It took part in army manoeuvres in September (wheels). It was then operated (with floats) from a temporary seaplane base at Port Laing in Fife. It returned to Sheerness 16 October 1912 and was damaged 9 November.
It reverted to wheels in early 1913 and various modifications were made, including a gun mount and larger wings that could be folded. (September 1913), S.41 also took part in airborne wireless trials. From August 1914 it took part in patrols from Eastchurch. No. 2 Squadron RNAS, based at Eastchurch, acquired S.41 in March 1915. It remained at Eastchurch for an engine overhaul when 2 Wing (renamed 2 Sqn) departed for France 31 August. S.41 then underwent a near-total rebuild. It joined No.2 Wing at Imbros in the Aegean in late 1915. Probably lost in fire 4 November 1915.

Top wing span 40ft (12.19 metres) later larger wing 50ft (15.24 m).
Length 35ft (10.66 m) as landplane, 39ft (11.88) as seaplane.
Engine 100-hp Gnome. 140-hp Gnome from January 1914. 135-hp Canton-Unne from August 1915.

Top photo Short S.41 at Southsea, probably taken 4 July 1912.
Photo US Library of Congress LC-DIG-ggbain-12803.

Photo two Flight magazine. S.41 (right) on launching platform on board HMS Hibernia. Royal Fleet Review, May 1912.

Photo three Flight. Commander Samson flying in his naval hydro-aeroplane over the Kings yacht at Portland, May 1912.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2016, 22:11:37 »
Thanks for the correction Short Brothers.
Am looking forward to your new website  :)

Offline Short Brothers

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 15:19:46 »
Hi Herb Collector,
A great article and very useful. Many thanks.
I would however point out that TWO Short brothers set up the balloon making business in Battersea (arches 75 and 81) after they had bought second-hand balloons and given penny rides at flower shows (Chesterfield) and Galas (York) and fairgrounds. Oswald later said that their obsession with balloons started when they saw one, rising from the gas works, above the Coop building on Friar Gate, Derby. He was 7 and Eustace 12 years old.

Horace was busy on other matters. One workplace, as a teenager, was Chatham Dockyard. From Chatham he went before the mast to Australia to find Uncle William Short and spent 14 weeks with cannibals on the way. Then to Mexico where he managed the Panuco Silver Mine and developed hydraulic mining techniques. It was from here that Eustace begged him to come home when their father died in Derbyshire and left them in poverty. Horace followed weeks later after giving Eustace 500 to help out until his return. The boys bought a coal business in South Malden in London.

The Horace designed SHORT No.1 alone was built at Battersea for Frank McClean and was a failure as no light engine was available. It never achieved flight.
Shellness proved to be too restrictive due to the ditches and more space was needed and that forced a move to Eastchurch in 1910 as you say.

I hope that is helpful. Have a look at our new website due to come on stream in the next week and follow our 200 + supporters on Facebook.

cheers, Barrie Walker. SHORT BROTHERS COMMEMORATION SOCIETY.
                                   

Offline conan

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Re: Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 00:01:05 »
Here's one I don't think I've uploaded yet

To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Shorts Military Aircraft Production. Eastchurch 1911 to 1917
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 23:20:41 »
In November 1908 the three Short brothers, Horace, Eustace, and Oswald, set up as aeroplane manufactures at their Battersea Balloon Works. Each brother put in 200 and a licence was obtained to build six Wright Brothers aeroplanes.
Workshops were set up at Shellness in February 1909. In May 1910 the brothers moved to Eastchurch. Due to the fact that seaplanes had to be taken by lorry to Queenborought, Harty, or Sheerness to be launched the main factory was moved to Rochester. Work on the site there beginning in September 1913.
Horace refused to take part in seaplane production and remained at Eastchurch. When Horace died in April 1917 the Eastchurch works were transferred to Rochester.

Shorts military aircraft production at Eastchurch. 1911 to 1917.

Pusher - propeller at rear pushing aeroplane along.
Tractor - propeller (or more correctly airscrew) in front pulling aeroplane along.
Hydro - floatplane.
Royal Navy serial number first followed by Shorts construction number (S. )
Date is year aeroplane entered service.

1. (S.34) "Long Range" Pusher Biplane. 1911.

1. (S.86) S.38 Nacelle Type Pusher Biplane. 1913.
                Serial number passed on from deleted first aircraft.

2. (S.38) Short-Sommer Pusher Biplane. 1911.
                See http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=3203.0

3. (S.39) "Triple-twin" Tractor/pusher Biplane. 1911.
                See http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=18600.0

3. (S.78) S.38 Nacelle Type Pusher Biplane. 1913.
                Rebuilt S.39.

4. (S.47) "Triple-tractor" Tractor Biplane.1912.

5. (S.45) Tractor Biplane. 1912.
                 Could be operated with floats or wheels.

8. (S.42) Tractor Monoplane. 1912.
                 Could be operated with floats or wheels.

10. (S.41) Tractor Biplane Hydro Aeroplane. 1912.
                   Could be operated with floats or wheels.

12. (S.46) Twin-engined Trator/pusher Monoplane. 1912.

19. (S.54) Tractor Biplane Seaplane. 1912.

20 to 21. (S.56 to 57) Improved Type S-41 Tractor Biplane Seaplane. 1913.

28 (S.55) S.38 Nacelle Type Pusher Biplane. 1912.

34. (S.61) S.38 Nacelle Type Pusher Biplane. 1913.

42. (S.60) Tractor Biplane Seaplane Seaplane. 1913.

62 to 66. (S.62 to 66) (5) S.38 Nacelle Type Pusher Biplane. 1913.

74 to 77. (S.69 to 72) (4) Admiralty 74 Type Tractor Biplane Seaplane. 1914.

78 to 79. (S.73 to 74) Tractor Biplane Seaplane. 1914.

80. (S.79) Two-seat Pusher Biplane Seaplane. 1914.

81 to 82. (S.64 to 65) Admiralty 74 Type Folder Tractor Biplane Seaplane. 1913.
                First Shorts aircraft with folding wings.

119 to 122. (S.82 to 85) (4) Admiralty 81 Type Folder Tractor Biplane Seaplane. 1914.

126. (S.81) Gun-carrying Pusher Biplane Seaplane. 1914.
                     See http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=17327.msg166702#msg166702

135 to 136. (S.87 to 88) Admiralty 135 Type Folder Tractor Biplane Seaplane. 1914.
                      It is unclear if these two aircraft were built at Eastchurch or Rochester.

152. (S.89) "Sociable" (S.38 Nacelle Type) Tractor Seaplane.1914.

183. (S.128) Admiralty 74 Type Tractor Biplane Seaplane. 1914.

811 to 818. (S.108 to 115) (8) Type C Folder (Improved Admiralty 74 Type) Tractor Seaplane. 1914.

841 to 850. (S.129 to 138) (10) Admiralty 184 Type Tractor Biplane Seaplane. 1915.

904. (S.58) S.38 Nacelle Type Side-by-side School Pusher Biplane. 1914.

905. (S.80) Nile Pusher Biplane Seaplane. 1913.
         See http://kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=17397.0

3706 (S.248) Bomber Tractor Biplane. 1916.
          Landplane version of Admiralty Type 184.

9306 to 9340. (S.249 to 283) (34) Bomber Tractor Biplane. 1916.

N1080 to N1099. (S.314 to 333) (20) Admiralty 184 Type Tractor Biplane Seaplane. 1917.

N1580 to N1589. (S.389 to 398) (10) Admiralty 184 Tractor Biplane Seaplane. 1917.

How I wish for snappy names like Fury or Spitfire rather than the prosaic and descriptive :)
 Photos to follow.

 

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