The Short S.17 Kent was a luxury biplane flying boat that first flew on 24 February 1931. With a capacity for three crew and 16 passengers, they saw service with Britain’s Imperial Airways.
Three aircraft were built, named Scipio, Sylvanus and Satyrus and internally they were referred to as the Scipio class flying boat. They were used on the Mediterranean stages of the routes to India and beyond.
Short Kent Video
Following on from the last video about the Boeing 747-300, this time we head to England to look at the Short S.17 Kent flying boat. This video runs for two minutes and shows various images of the aircraft, along with some statistics and plans. There is a newsreel from 34 seconds for just over a minute, showing the plane in action.
It certainly seems to be pretty loud and it is great that there is video of it. With a cruising speed of 169km/h (105mph or 91 knots) flying would have been quite a leisurely experience. That, coupled with a range of 720km (450 miles) meant flights would not have been particularly long either.
A Look At The Cabin
There are a few photos available of the cabin of one of the Kent flying boats, the Satyrus, which seem to have been taken at the same time. From my count, you get to see most of the 16 seats.
A steward provided meals on board and there is even a library. A wind driven generator provided power for the electric lighting and for the wireless apparatus, as shown here.
It sure looks like thought and care was given to keeping people comfortable. That certainly hasn’t changed at all these days, at least in the premium cabins!
The three Short S.17 Kent flying boats met different fates. Sylvanus was destroyed by fire at Brindisi on 9 November 1935 and Scipio flipped over and sank in Mirabelle Harbour in Crete with the loss of two lives on 22 August 1936.
Satyrus was retired in June of 1938, ending service for the type. The aircraft was scrapped, meaning there are none of these planes left in the world.
Did you know about the Short Kent flying boat? What did you think of the pictures and video? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image from the Library of Congress.
Cabin pictures from the Library of Congress, here, here, and here.
Poster detail via Flickr.
Wow. So many of those old flying boats looked so similar it’s hard to tell if I’ve seen a photo of that one or not. So I’ll put as a maybe since the name sounds vaguely familiar. But the guy standing up in the third photo looks very familiar for some reason. De ja vu from a past life maybe???
Hahaha maybe it was you! 🙂 What amazes me is all these flying boats with production runs of such a few units. They must have been so cheap to build back then. I mean, they’re not particularly large but even so. You wouldn’t see that today.
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