The Short C-class flying boat was developed to fly on the air routes of the British Empire during the 1930s. It competed with the flying boats of other colonial powers on the world’s airways in this late colonial period.

The Short C-class (also known as ‘Empire’) flying boat was designed in the early 1930s to fly on the air routes of the British Empire.   (It was developed in parallel with the Short Sunderland flying boat.)

The first one flew on 3 July 1936 and 42 were built.

They were operated mainly by Imperial Airways (later BOAC) but small numbers were also owned by Qantas Empire Airways and Tasman Empire Airways (later Air New Zealand).

The empire air route to Australia was opened in mid 1938 but the advent of war reduced services in 1940 and brought them to a halt after a flying boat was shot down off Malaya in February 1942.

This model represents VH-ABD of Qantas Empire Airways in 1938. It was shot down by Japanese fighters in February 1942.

Welsh Models 1/144 kit. Completed in July 2013


MODEL: Short C-Class flying boat (Qantas Empire Airways, VH-ABD, 1938)

ROLE: Mid-range passenger and mail flying boat

TIME PERIOD: 1936-1945

ENGINES: four Bristol Pegasus radial engines of 696kW each

WING SPAN: 34.75m

LENGTH: 26.82m

GROSS WEIGHT: 18,370kg


RANGE: 1,220km

PAYLOAD: 24 day and 16 night passengers and 2,035kg of cargo


SCALE: 1/144

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