View Full Version : Flying Boats

11th Oct 2008, 19:08
Where can I find examples of flying boats either in museums or elsewhere. I know about Southampton, Duxford and Hendon with their Sunderlands and Sandringham. Does anyone know where any others are on show or even slowly rotting away or - better still - flying.

Saab Dastard
11th Oct 2008, 19:34
I think that there's a Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina at RAF Cosford museum.


12th Oct 2008, 10:05
The Museum of Transport & Technolgy (MOTAT) in Auckland NZ has the last TEAL Solent IV and a P&W engined ex RNZAF Sunderland on display. Both acft are complete and are displayed effectively as they were when withdrawn from service. Check their website.

12th Oct 2008, 10:15
then there's Kermit Weeks' Sunderland in Florida, you can walk right in and through it...
Fantasy of Flight's Short Sunderland (http://www.fantasyofflight.com/aircraftpages/sunderland.htm)

12th Oct 2008, 10:46
In the USA there's also a Solent in a museum at Oakland (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=oakland&ie=UTF8&ll=37.733127,-122.2123&spn=0.001462,0.002342&t=h&z=19) and a Sikorsky VS-44 at the New England Air Museum (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=new+england+air+museum&jsv=131f&sll=41.947478,-72.691485&sspn=0.002749,0.004683&ie=UTF8&latlng=41946001,-72684843,5372085232033055607&ei=YdXxSO6HJYaW2gKrkvmgCA&cd=2#) at Bradley International Airport.

The Musee de l'Air at Le Bourget has Sunderland/Sandringham as well I believe.

12th Oct 2008, 11:44
There's a Dornier-24 at the Military Aviation Museum in Soesterberg, The Netherlands.

12th Oct 2008, 20:59
I know of a couple of Catalinas in New South Wales, The Powerhouse Museum Sydney has a static one while HARS at Wolongong have one that is being restored to an airworthy condition and to be a as close as possible to the 'Black Cats' of WW2.


12th Oct 2008, 22:25
Fairly recently there was a Catalina to be seen flying over Auckland. No more details in my head, I'm afraid.

13th Oct 2008, 00:34
There are two Martin Mars 'boats still in service in Canada.
YouTube - Martin Mars Waterbomber Performs for Crowd (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN5PY91sO7A)

13th Oct 2008, 01:55
Fairly recently there was a Catalina to be seen flying over Auckland. No more details in my head, I'm afraid

That would be this one (http://www.catalina.org.nz/introduction.htm).

Seacue, dunno how true it is but rumour has it that one of the Mars will be going to Kermit Weeks' museum in Florida.

13th Oct 2008, 03:14
And of course, Howard's "Spruce Goose" now in the wonderful Evergreen Museum in McMinnville, Oregon - You can wander thru much of the interior and wonder at the exterior as well.

13th Oct 2008, 05:32
There's a lovely shiny Martin Mariner at the Pima museum near Tuscon AZ plus some other great amphibians/sea planes/flying boats - not to mention all the other great stuff that has found a final home in th sun.

John Hill
13th Oct 2008, 07:43
I think there is a piece of the Saunders Roe Princess melted down in the door handles of my Mini.:bored:

The Solent at MOTAT is well worth a visit, still got the miniature bottles of Scotch and the best china set on the white table cloths!

13th Oct 2008, 09:44
Wow, thanks for all the replies, so far.

I'm mostly interested in Sunderlands/Sandringhams but also flying boats in general. You've certainly all given me food for thought - especially the thought of Mr Hughes' Hercules.

Does anybody know if the Le Bourget Sandringham is on display now or still mothballed?

Front Row
14th Oct 2008, 10:55

You will also find a Catalina at the Aviodrome in Holland. Follow this link Aviodrome (http://www.aviodrome.nl/) click on "sight seeing flights" and you might find something that tickles your fancy.......just need 14 other mates to join in !! :)

14th Oct 2008, 13:49
Understand that one example is (was) on display in India

Warbirds of India - [Naval Aviation Museum, Dabolim, Goa] (http://www.warbirdsofindia.com/wbgoanam01.html)

Also a second is under restoration in the UK (N Ireland)

Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/mus/uk/u-z/ulsterfolkmus.htm)

PZU - Out of Africa (retired)

14th Oct 2008, 14:47
Quatro Vientos museum Madrid has a number of flying boats, Catalina,
a three engined Dornier and a Canadair CL-215 and possibly more.

15th Oct 2008, 14:18
What happened to the Grumman Albatross' and Mullards that Chalks Airlines of Fort Lauderdale (Florida) used to operate ?

15th Oct 2008, 15:48
The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York, has a flying reproduction of the 1914 Curtiss America.- the very first flying boat


16th Oct 2008, 20:21
Rolling-Thunderbird :D

16th Oct 2008, 21:40
Here's a bit of information on the 'Vedette'. Note the airworthy example in the Western Canada Aviation Museum.

Canadian Vickers Vedette - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Vickers_Vedette)

16th Oct 2008, 23:58
There's also the Foynes Flying Boat Museum in Co. Limerick in Ireland, nearest airport Kerry. No actual working boats as such but a very faithful reconstruction of a Clipper from original Boeing plans.
Fly back in time at the Foynes Flying Boat Museum (http://www.flyingboatmuseum.com/)

1st May 2011, 17:57
A Marlin, 3 Catalinas, a Albatross and some smaller flying boats at The museum of Naval Aviation Pensacola Florida

National Naval Aviation Museum - Aircraft on Display (H-M) (http://www.navalaviationmuseum.org/getdoc/bf33d596-865a-4864-bbda-f0cfd2af31b3/Exhibits-(1)-(1)-(1).aspx)

14th May 2013, 17:50

Flying Boats of the Empire: Thursday 16th May 2013

This lecture will be given by Richard Knott, a highly acclaimed author and researcher on 20th century history and will discuss the turbulent history of the 42 Empire Flying Boats built by Short Brothers.

None exist now; the first was launched in 1936 and all but one was gone by 1947. Richardís talk, based on his recently published book of the same name, tells the story of these great flying boats. In the pre-war years, flying Imperial Airways in an Empire was travel as it should be; slow enough to savour the experience, an easy rhythm to the day, with languid descents for lunch, tea and dinner. There was however, a darker side; by May 1940, less than four years since the first launch on the River Medway, 11 Empires had been lost in a series of mishaps.

Richardís lecture will consider why the halcyon days of the flying boat were so short lived. Part of the story will touch on some figures from the past with flying boat connections: Churchill; the playwright, Terence Rattigan; Sir John Reith (who chaired both the BBC and Imperial Airways); Don Bennett (the wartime Pathfinder); and the doomed Duke of Kent.

All RAeS Lectures are free to attend and we welcome both Members and Non Members. To RSVP, please click the Register button under Key Details and log in to your profile or create a user account. Alternatively, send your name and contact details to [email protected] to reserve your place.

Royal Aeronautical Society | Event | Flying Boats of the Empire (http://aerosociety.com/Events/Event-List/674/Flying-Boats-of-the-Empire)

15th May 2013, 16:32
Hi, if you are in Brasil you can go to see Jahu, a Savoia Marchetti S55c.
I saw it in Parque Ibuerapera in Sao Paulo city in 1995 but now it is restored and to be found in Agua Vermelha in SP state.
Jahķ (Savoia-Marchetti S.55c) | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredfoto/5288114422/in/photostream/)

10th Aug 2013, 12:17

A pleasant (American produced) documentary showcasing the Martin Mars, the Saunders-Roe SR45 Princess and the Hughes H4 Hercules.

Enjoy! :ok:


27th Sep 2013, 20:06
Short Brothers SA6 Sealand G-AIVX as seen at RNAS Stretton on 25th July 1953 (Photo: RA Scholefield)

The Short Brothers SA.6 Sealand was a light commercial amphibian with accommodation for 5-7 passengers and was suitable for water access or runways. It could take off from and land on rivers, lakes and sheltered bays or prepared runways.

It was flown by either a single pilot or a pilot and navigator and saw service with the Indian Navy and was employed operationally in various other locations including Borneo, East Bengal, Norway and Venezuela.

Two variants were produced, the SA.6 Sealand I and the SB.7 Sealand III, an extended version with longer wings, a deeper rudder and strengthened hull.

Shorts employed the prototype, G-AIVX (above) for company use, often using it without the wing-floats and struts to increase the craft's payload.

My thanks (as always) to RA Scholefield for his permission to use images from his superb collection! :ok:

27th Sep 2013, 21:41


Last November the younger daught was cycling round France.
She was lucky enough to be given a guided tour of the restoration section of the Musee de L'Air. Even invited up into the wheelhouse of the stripped out Sandringham that was once VH-APG, with Sir Gordon Taylor's Pacific Cruisebird charter services out of Rose Bay, Sydney.

VH-APG Short S-25 Sunderland (http://www.aussieairliners.org/shortfb/vh-apg/vhapg.html)

John Hill
29th Sep 2013, 05:18

Take your regular airlines darn near to the end of the world then go just a few hundred kilometres further until you reach the Chatham Islands.

The aircraft is an RNZAF Short Sunderland, which provided an aviation lifeline to the island until it was holed by a rock while taking off from the Te Whanga Lagoon in 1959.

Chatham Islands: Reenacting air adventures - Travel - NZ Herald News (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=10691026)

7th Oct 2013, 16:22
Fantome/John Hill: Most interesting. :ok:

Of the Shorts Sealand (above) RA Scholefield says:

"It had been a lousy wet day for the Stretton Navy Air Show but towards the end of the afternoon the sun came out enabling me to take this shot.

By the way, the only extant UK example of the Shorts Sealand (G- AKLW ex Saudi Arabia) is displayed at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (http://www.nmni.com/uftm/Collections/Transport-(1)/Air) at Cultra Manor near Belfast."

Again, my sincere thanks to RA Scholefield for access to his wonderful photo collection.

More Sealand ..

Shorts S6 Sealand G-AKLV as seen at Farnborough Aerodrome in 1951 (Photo: NA Archives)

This craft was registered to Short Brothers from 1947 to 1952 whereupon it was purchased by the Ralli Brothers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralli_Brothers) who maintained ownership until 1960 when it was withdrawn from use.

7th Oct 2013, 20:49
Was it a Widgeon or similar the Duke of Westminster kept at valley in the 60s?

7th Oct 2013, 22:08
A couple of Indian Navy Sealands from the Indian Navy Fleet Requirements Unit at Cochin took part in the JET '57 exercise at Trincomalee (Ceylon) and were detached to RAF China Bay in October 1957 where I took these photos.

Lovely lines for an amphibian.




7th Oct 2013, 23:19
It was a Grumman Goose G-ASXG and he had it re-engined with PT-6 turboprops but I have an notion it was not an official McKinnon conversion...used Northolt for London ca. 1970(here approaching RWY08)
http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz20/A30yoyo/G-ASXG800_zps673b4987.jpg (http://s809.photobucket.com/user/A30yoyo/media/G-ASXG800_zps673b4987.jpg.html)

8th Oct 2013, 03:22
There's a couple of early Curtis flying boats at the Canadian Air & Space Museum (http://aviation.technomuses.ca/collections/artifacts/aircraft/by_name/) in Rockcliffe, Ontario (just east of Ottawa). They also have a Canso and used (?) to have two Canadian Vickers aircraft on display - one a wreck as pulled out of the crash site and one a modern replica.

The Naval Museum at Jeronimos (sp?) in Lisbon has an original Curtis and a floatplane that made the first Transatlantic crossing by flying from destroyer to destroyer. They also have what looks suspiciously like a Grumman Mallard.

If you're interested in modern flyingboats, don't forget that all Canadian Provinces operate the Canadair 215T/415 Waterbomber (not sure if any Cansos are still in operation) and there are similar squadrons in Europe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardier_415#Operators).

8th Oct 2013, 13:45
It was a Grumman Goose G-ASXG and he had it re-engined with PT-6 turboprops but I have an notion it was not an official McKinnon conversion..

G-ASXG was originally a G-21A. As far as I am aware it was converted its engine conversion was carried out by Marshall's of Cambridge in 1967/68 using a McKinnon kit. It was one of two conversions, the other in the USA, to the same specification that were known as Hybrids.

G-ASXG later went to Canada as C-FAWH and, in the 1980', was re-converted to rotary engines.

8th Oct 2013, 15:30
G-ASXG later went to Canada as C-FAWH and, in the 1980', was re-converted to rotary engines.

Or radials, even (Wasp Juniors, in fact).

8th Oct 2013, 19:06
Warmtoast/Yoyo: Some nice shots there! :ok:

Do you suppose the 'Grosvenor Goose' was switched back to radials in an effort to reclaim her authenticity as a 'classic' or was there a more practical reason?

9th Oct 2013, 04:19
Bombardier found out the hard way that removing the radials from a 215 - and their stabilising gyro effect - meant you had to add a lot of additional aerodynamic stability (the wing tip extensions & tail feathers on a 215T/415). Might be one reason for gong back to radials.

9th Oct 2013, 05:07
There is a full size replica of a Boeing 344 Flying Boat at the Foynes Museum in County Clare,the only one of its type in the world

10th Oct 2013, 19:25
if you really want to see one of the most important flying boats of all time, try to get to Pensacola Florida, USA and the US Navy aeronautical museum.

They have the original NC4. The first plane to cross the Atlantic. There is a good book about this famous flight, called: FIRST ACROSS.

A march was written for this event and is still played today. The crew(US NAVY and US Coast Guard) was treated like rock stars and got special medals from congress.

11th Oct 2013, 03:25
The Portuguese would beg to differ on the first across the pond - see my post above.

11th Oct 2013, 06:54
The Portuguese would beg to differ on the first across the pond - see my post above.So how exactly does 1922 (Cabral and Coutinho, Lisbon to Rio) beat 1919 (US Navy, Newfoundland to Lisbon) ?

joy ride
11th Oct 2013, 07:50
^ Not to mention Alcock and Brown's Non-Stop flight across the pond in 1919 in a WW1 Vickers Vimy. I believe they hit a wave or two on the way which could make their Vimy an honourary flying boat!

11th Oct 2013, 09:35
A bit more research reveals that the Portuguese have never actually made the "first Transatlantic crossing" claim.

The Fairey III that's in the Museu de Marinha in Lisbon was involved in the first successful crossing by air of the South Atlantic in 1922 by Navy officers Sacadura Cabral and Gago Coutinho, although the operation actually involved two aircraft "Lusit‚nia" and "Santa Cruz", each used at different stages of the flight.


11th Oct 2013, 11:52
Or radials, even (Wasp Juniors, in fact).

DaveReidUK: Quite right, in my dotage I have started confusing the words rotary and radial. I was looking through some notes I had made about the Goose the week before the thread started and found that I had made the same mistake.

Patricia 1
11th Oct 2013, 21:25
My father, Capt. Ken McCuaig, flew the Goose from Vancouver to the UK.

I didn't find the correct info about why the engines were converted back when back here in Canada. I had read somewhere that there were some problems with salt water. But Fred J. Knight is about to publish a book about the Goose and Widgeon and he said that wasn't the reason.
When researching for the book, I joined this forum and asked a few questions about the Goose after my father left in Jan. 1965 and so pleased to be back chatting about my favourite topic.

12th Oct 2013, 00:19
Abpic's varied selection of pics here
Air-Britain : G-ASXG (http://www.abpic.co.uk/search.php?q=G-ASXG&u=reg)

12th Oct 2013, 13:39
Glad they changed it back to piston engines - looks really odd with the turbo-props

20th Nov 2013, 01:40
Hey Savoia,
You aren't just an expert on helicopters, I see. Great video of the Mars. I was on board one of the very last flights in the Hawaii Mars while still operated by the U.S. Navy. In later years I worked for the Underwriter who insured MacMillan-Bloedel who owned them before Colson bought the flight operation out. I got to go out into the lake and climb around the old Hawaii Mars again.....what memories and how elegant and graceful they are. Thanks for posting the great video.

20th Nov 2013, 17:41
Hey Savoia,
You aren't just an expert on helicopters, I see. Great video of the Mars. I was on board one of the very last flights in the Hawaii Mars while still operated by the U.S. Navy. In later years I worked for the Underwriter who insured MacMillan-Bloedel who owned them before Colson bought the flight operation out. I got to go out into the lake and climb around the old Hawaii Mars again.....what memories and how elegant and graceful they are. Thanks for posting the great video.

Ciao Sillohed! :ok:

One might also say "not even an expert on helicopters"! :p

What a great privilege that must have been to fly aboard 'Hawaii' at such a time, fantastic!

This year has been devastating for the Mars .. I don't know the full story but some months back I heard that the flying boat base was going to be shutdown and that both aircraft would soon be sold or mothballed? Needless to say (if true) this news is very sad. :(

Martin JRM-3 Mars C-FLYK (with her sister ship) on Sproat Lake, Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada on 21st June 2003 (Photo: Andreas Barowski)

25th Nov 2013, 19:54
There must be a number of "water bomber" Canadair flying boats about. We watched them putting out a fire in Croatia a few years ago,
The fire had been burning on scrub land on a hill visible from Split airport, and had been burning for some hours. A couple of dumps from the flying boats had it out in no time. They were pickup water just off Split harbour.

26th Nov 2013, 03:58
Bombardier 415 - Amphibious and Firefighting Aircraft - Bombardier (http://www.bombardier.com/en/aerospace/amphibious-aircraft/bombardier-415.html)

Get out your cheque book and you can have a brand new one of your very own!
Great for watering the rose bushes, annoying the neighbour's labrador or putting out the BBQ.