The Short Sandringham flying boat is a passenger conversion of the Short Sunderland used during World War 2. Powered by four Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp engines, it had a range of 3,928 kilometres or 2,440 miles.

Fifty aircraft were converted, with the first taking to the sky in January 1943. Major operators included BOAC, TEAL, Qantas and Ansett Flying Boat Services, who feature in the film below.

Short Sandringham Video

Following on from last week’s video about the Boeing 747-400ER, this time we look at the Short Sandringham flying boat. This video is called “Last Regular Flying Boat Service in Australia” and lasts for 20 minutes. Every second of it is worth watching.

There is a wealth of footage here, much of it in colour, as the last services took place in 1974. With air-to-air shots, cockpit views, plus interviews with pilots and others, it is a real time capsule that makes you feel like you’re there.

Especially striking is some of the camera work. They have really taken the time to get some utterly fabulous and unique shots, which have to be seen to be believed. The pilot talking about some of the hazards of the operation is very interesting too.

There are some great black and white newsreel clips of the original Short Empire flying boats in the 1930s to whet your appetite in the beginning. It really is a well put together presentation.

Overall Thoughts

Ansett Flying Boat Services operated their last passenger services between Rose Bay in Sydney and Lord Howe Island in 1974. After that, the Short Sandringham was consigned to the history books.

Today you can find two of the ex-Ansett flying boats in museums. One is in Florida in the United States and the other is in Southampton. It is a shame none of them stayed in Australia.

Have you ever flown aboard one of the Short Sandringham flying boats? What did you think of the video? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Ian Woodforth via