View Full Version : Short s16 Scion

6th Apr 2003, 05:46
Help with nose cone!

Short Scion, VH-UTV , first flight, 9th,March,1936.
last flight, 19th,September,1958.

Short Scion VH-UTV, constructed in Rochester, Kent is still very much with us and as Mark Twain was noted to have said, reports of her demise were greatly exaggerated. She now resides, in a somewhat lighter state than at any other time in her existence, in a shed at Kellyville but with all the same parts and embodiments are being slowly reunited with her character. VH-UTV was a very interesting aeroplane in that she started life as a Pobjoy powered aircraft in 1936 and finished up as a Gypsy Minor powered aircraft in 1958. This was one of the major changes to this much modified aeroplane but there were many other changes to her which caused various quandary to the airflow round her, dare I say it, corpulent self.

She started her working life with Guinea Airways in Adelaide, but it would seam that she went through two previous registrations to Robert Bryce(Pty) Ltd and to jointly J.P. Kellow and L.B.Richards of Whyalla, S.A. The engines fitted at this stage were Pobjoy Niagara 2 Serial Nos 2101 and 2102. Airscrews were serial 42298, and 42285. Two years later the starboard engine was changed after about 250 hours to serial 2018 and changed again to 2064 at 630 hours so it would seam that the starboard engine took some abuse during it’s life.

During this time most of the flights were between Parafield, Kingscote, King Island, Whyalla, Port Pierie and Essendon. Various small injuries were suffered over this time but it would appear from the log that she was a hard working and profitable aeroplane. During that sporting event known throughout history as World War 2 VH-UTV was not impressed into the R.A.A.F. due perhaps to the lack of watchmakers in the Air Force and their fear at having to maintain a Pobjoy radial engine.

In January 1945 Gypsy Minor engines were released from R.A.A.F. stores and a major reconstruction started. There were indeed differing stories about the success of this installation and it would seam that it was not completely trouble free. There was a differing forward profile fitted to nose cone and an increased height over the front cabin to accommodate radios. The thrust line may have been changed and there was probably little compensating balance to the tail carried out. At this stage Connallen airways purchased her and she dwelt in Alice Springs, Meekatharra and mainly in the West. This log book at that time , with the Gypsy Minor engines, shows many long and difficult flights mostly piloted by a Mr G.Beamish and a Mr J. Collins. The names in the logbook show , from the viewpoint of Sydney, a most romantic and exciting list of locations. I’m sure however the reality was quite different.

Around this time, in fact during 1946 there was a comment that VH-UTV had been damaged on a flight due to fuel starvation. During this flight, it was recalled in “Failure of Triumph”, the story of Connallen Airways that she had been involved in a gun running enterprise to Borneo. I would be very interested in any information about this event if anyone has any recollection of it.

We have had letters from some who had experience of UTV who would perhaps classify their experience with her during these times as “interesting” rather than full of ennui. She apparently stopped somewhere away from habitation with a Mr Alan Chase of the Chase Manhattan Bank aboard and it was said of her at this stage that you could always find were she had been by the trail of bolts and nuts on the ground under her flightpath. UTV also experienced a “Willy Willy” at Meekatharra and the story was that she was inverted, damaged, pulled upright by a tractor, brought back to the hanger and then the “Willy Willy” , or at least its cousin returned, and lifted the hanger roof to deposit it again on poor , much maligned by this stage UTV. Apparently there from this stage was a warp in her wing that Mr Stan Dogget could not fully compensate for and she continued to fly one wing low.

I have a picture of the nose cone but I cannot work out as yet haw to insert a picture inti this text though I know it can be done. I have an Al one which does not conform to the origional shape but what was this made out of? Was it as suggested papermache or bakalite or what?

Her last flight was in 1959 though a C/A was granted the following year it was not, it seams, utilized. This leaves UTV with us after being found at the “Chewing Gum Air Museum” with Mr Cliff Douglas. UTV had been bought from Alice Springs to a shed near Vineyard and then to Queensland. She is now back in Sydney were we have made some small progress with her here.

On receipt from Queensland we were without engines, any fabric cover, half an elevator and vertical compression oleos. This was not withstanding missing instruments, tailwheel and anything else you may care to mention. But as we started our Tri-centenial project it is amazing how things start to turn up. We received a full set of unused control surfaces from a gentleman who had stored them from 1950’ish with second hand compression oleos. The elevators we had were best described as mangled and this find was enough to enthuse us after a bit of depression with the magnitude of the project. Last year three engines mysteriously appeared, two Pobjoy Niagaras and a Pobjoy Cataract though as you may expect they are of variable condition.

Well we have a list as long as your arm of things I would like to acquire,

The main sup-division is into airframe parts and engine parts.


We do not have any instruments at all. They were probably recycled at sometime during the aeroplanes life though we do have serial numbers from the log

artificial horizon s\n 22157
directional gyro s\n 39560
turn & bank s\n 34886
rate of climb s\n 1217 r/n 23533
altimeter s\n 9505 r/n 24906
compass s\n 2202 r/n 974

engine instruments are
R.P.M. x 2
Oil Temperature x 2
Oil Press. x 2
suitable for a Pobjoy Niagara


7th Apr 2003, 19:15
I seem to recall that what was pointed out to me as a Short Scion resided in Sid Marshall's hangar at Bankstown during the 50s and 60s, maybe later, too. I wonder where that one is???

Good luck with the restoration!!

8th Apr 2003, 11:51
That Short Scion went to the UK, to the , I think, Strathallen Mus and on it's breakup was sold to the Ulster Folk and Transport Mus in the North of Ireland. I saw it a few years ago and a potentially flying aeroplane was reduced to a corroded frame and assorted parts as it was stored in an area close to salt water.

It is in terrible condition and it goes to show that mus s are not sometimes the best places to place such things.

Hap Hazard
13th Apr 2003, 06:50
Scion, just to side track the main topic here for a moment, but isnt the Ulster Folk Museum also in possesion of the only Short Nimbus glider(?)that has reportably been stored under a open lean-to! Not the best way to store a plywood aircraft, why dont the Irish look after aviation history properly?:confused:
Will keep my ear to the ground on the Scion parts.
Good luck with the restoration, look forward to seeing it complete one day!

20th Apr 2003, 10:36

The problem appears to be a political one in that the "Folk and Transport" Museam is dominated with people whose interests are not in aviation.

Apparantly they were offered a Sea Vixen at one time as the squadron it served with had the "Red Hand of Ulster" as it's squadron badge. However it was declined as it was thought that with this badge ot would attract the IRA to the collection and jepordize a jaunting car or two.

They were not prepared to paint out the badge untill a more favourable political situation or was it an excuse to avoid expanding the aviation side. Sea Vixens were maintained at Sydenham for a long time so there was a local connection.

29th Apr 2003, 06:36
Scion and Nimbus

I viewed these aircraft at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum about 4 or 5 years ago, The Scion is stored in a run down shed and is in a sad condition, the Nimbus was even worse one wing was smashed, with the rest of the glider stored outside under a leaky roof with moss on the fuselage if my memory serves me right.
As far as thier policy for displaying aircraft goes, I am told they will not display anything with red,white and blue on it, not politicly correct you know.

29th Apr 2003, 17:49
They also have a Short S44 Sealand flying boat but my perception was that they were doing a controled experiment on how long it would take to destroy to a pile of Al dust by leaving it beside Belfast lough .

It is quite scandalous.

29th Apr 2003, 21:08
Scion, I thought you were talking nonsense there, a Sealand in Ireland - but I am delighted that you are right! :ok:


I had thought the only suvivor was in the Yugoslavian Museum at Belgrade, but I see there is also one in India.

I sincerely hope this airframe can be properly restored and displayed - and it would be nice to see it flying.

Back to the Scion - I thought there was one - G-ACUX? - under restoration in the UK somewhere - anyone know? Saw a pic of the frame somewhere.



30th Apr 2003, 00:02
Is G-AEZF still at Southend somewhere ? Must be close to 50 years :ooh: since I last saw it, just a bare frame then.

30th Apr 2003, 00:04
Paper Tiger - G-AEZF, that's the one I mean, not G-ACUX.

30th Apr 2003, 02:36
I think 'EZF is at Redhill. Certianly was a few years ago.

Treaders: Your mention of the Ulster Sealand reminds me of its register companion G-AKLV, which Ralli Bros used to operate. Most of the standard reference books say this was scrapped at Rochester shortly after being shipped home from Pakistan in October 1957, but it wasn't. I recall its fuselage (at least) arriving by road at Portsmouth Airport one afternoon sometime in 1960/61-ish. It was stood on its gear alongside what was known as the 'Corporation Hangar' for some time, but I don't remember what happened to it, nor why it was there. Nice looking amphib, the Sealand, a close rival to the Mallard in the beauty stakes for me.

1st May 2003, 20:34
I guess that 'KLV was no doubt scrapped... would have been just the thing to have in the boathouse! Along with a Mallard, Super Cub, a Beaver and that de Chevigny Explorer thingy! Oh, and a Martin Mars... my boathouse, when I win the Lottey Extra is going to be HUGE...!

The Pakistan Air Force also had a few Sealands - wonder if there are any remains there. Doesn't appear to be one in their museum...