B/w photographs


with some illustrations

and cutaways.

256 pages.

H/B 29.95


The Story of the Short Empire Flying-Boats.

Phillip E. Sims

This is a story from a bygone age, recalling the most successful flying-boat airliner ever built. Designed to a specification for Imperial Airways, then Britain's national airline, it carried passengers and, more importantly, mail throughout the British Empire. In an age devoid of instant electronic communications but offering luxurious travel for the privileged few, every journey was an adventure, shared by passengers and crew.

Short Brothers built 42 Empire Flying-Boats at their factory in Rochester during the late 1930s. When compared with other aircraft of the era, they were extremely large, luxurious and, even by today's standards, offered passengers handsome catering, with ample space to relax during the many airborne hours. Imperial Airways were expanding their route network to the furthest outposts of the British Empire, whilst laying down the principles of scheduled airline operation. These were challenging times for all concerned: when long-distance flights were measured in days rather than hours.

This is the tale of the realisation of a dream and the efforts of those who made it possible. Alas the world moved on, at a pace accelerated by the Second World War, and the flying-boat was forced from the air routes. No more will Adventurous Empires grace the skies.

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