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Short Seaford

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The Seaford was to be an improved version of another Short aircraft, the Sunderland. With the end of the Second World War it would never enter operational service. They would instead be modified and re-named as the Short Solent and serve with the British Overseas Airways Corporation as passenger aircraft.

Quick Facts
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First flight
30th August 1944
Entered service
Total built

Front view
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Side view
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Rear view
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The Seaford had its roots in the Short Sunderland Mk IV which was designed around Specification R.8/42, issued in 1942, which called for a more reliable powerful and armed flying boat to operate in the Pacific theatre of war. However the new Sunderland variant was so different from its predecessors it became known as the Seaford. Other major changes to the aircraft included strengthen wings and an increase in length by 3ft 3in. The first of two ordered prototypes flew for the first time on the 30th August 1944 and was powered by four 1,680-hp Bristol Hercules XVIII engines.

An order for 40 Seafords was placed with four 1,720-hp Bristol Hercules XIX engines powering the aircraft. Top speed was 242 mph, range 3,100 miles with a service ceiling of 13,000 ft. Armament consisted of two 0.50-in machine guns located either side of the fuselage, two 0.50-in machine guns located in the rear, two 0.50-in machine guns located in the bow, two 0.303-in machine guns located in the nose, two 20mm cannons located in the dorsal turret and 2,000lb bombs.

The Short Seaford was then sent to No. 201 Squadron who, in conjunction with the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, during April and May 1946 carried out operational trials, although these would be cancelled and the eight Seafords already produced would be acquired by the British Overseas Airways Corporation and re-named Short Solent and converted into passenger aircraft.

Only ten aircraft were built and the type would not enter operational service.

Technical Details

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Top Speed Range Service Ceiling Armament
Seaford 242 mph 3,100 miles 13,000 ft six 0.50-in machine-guns
two 0.303-in machine-guns
two 20mm cannons
2,000lb bombs


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No known examples currently on public display in the UK.

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