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Short S.45 Solent / Seaford


For service in the Pacific the Air Ministry required a more powerful, more heavily armed flying boat than the Short Sunderland, and specification R.8/42 was met by a new Short design, known originally as the Sunderland IV but later renamed Seaford, with the company designation S.45.

Gross weight rose to 34000kg and a number of structural improvements were incorporated to compensate for this; these included a strengthened wing and enlarged horizontal tail surfaces. The hull was also modified, its beam being increased by 0.99m. Armament comprised two 12.7mm machine-guns in a Brockhouse turret in the bow, and two 7.7mm machine-guns in the nose decking. Two 20mm cannon were mounted in a Boeing B-17 dorsal turret, and the Martin tail turret contained a pair of 12.7mm guns, two more of which were located in beam positions. A bomb load could also be carried in a fashion similar to that of the Sunderland.
The first of two prototypes, powered by four 1253kW Bristol Hercules XVII engines, was flown on 30 August 1944 and 30 production aircraft, with 1283kW Hercules XIXs, were also ordered. Of these only six were completed.

In April and May 1946 No.201 Squadron carried out operational trials with the Seaford, in co-operation with the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Felixstowe, but the programme was cancelled and the completed machines were converted as 39-passenger aircraft for BOAC, acquiring the designation Solent 3. A seventh Solent 3 was a conversion of the second production Seaford, which had been evaluated by BOAC in 1946, leading to an order for 12 30-passenger Solent 2s which was delivered in 1948.

18 Solent were operated by BOAC as 30-passenger Solent 2s (12) and 34-passenger Solent 3s (6) before the company abandoned the use of flying-boats in 1950. Power for these was provided by Bristol Hercules 637 engines.

The was the civil version of the Seaford flying-boat, Four Solent 4s were operated by Tasman Empire Airways with Hercules 733 engines and accommodation for 42 day passengers.


Short S.45 Solent IV




S.45 Seaford
Engines: 4 x Bristol Hercules XIX, 1283kW / 1696 hp
Max take-off weight: 34000 kg / 74958 lb
Empty weight: 20400 kg / 44975 lb
Wingspan: 34.37 m / 112 ft 9 in
Length: 27.00 m / 88 ft 7 in
Wing area: 1486.939 sq.ft / 138.14 sq.m
Max. speed: 210 kt / 389 km/h / 242 mph
Range: 2694 nm / 4990 km / 3101 miles
Armament: 2 x 20mm cannon, 4 x 12.7mm + 2 x 7.7mm machine-guns

Solent 3
Engines: 4 x Bristol Hercules 637, 1260kW
Max take-off weight: 35650 kg / 78595 lb
Empty weight: 21860 kg / 48193 lb
Wingspan: 34.38 m / 113 ft 10 in
Length: 26.72 m / 88 ft 8 in
Height: 10.45 m / 34 ft 3 in
Wing area: 156.72 sq.m / 1686.92 sq ft
Max. speed: 430 km/h / 267 mph
Ceiling: 4725 m / 15500 ft
Range: 3540 km / 2200 miles

Solent IV
Engines: 4 x Bristol Hercules, 2040 hp
Cruise speed: 244 mph



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