Short Singapore

Short Singapore

Infobox Aircraft
name =S.19 Singapore
type =military flying boat
manufacturer =Short Brothers

caption =Singapore Mark III, K8565 ‘Q’.
designer =Short Brothers
first flight =15 June 1934
introduced =1935
retired =
status =
primary user =RAF
more users =RNZAF
produced =1934 - 1937
number built =37
unit cost =
variants with their own articles =

The Short S. 19 Singapore was an English multi-engined biplane flying boat built after World War I.

The Singapore name first appeared in the mid-1920s, on a one-off, twin-engined, record-breaking aircraft. The design was developed into two four-engined versions; the prototype Singapore II and production Singapore III. The latter became the Royal Air Force's main long-range maritime patrol flying boat of the 1930s and saw service against the Japanese with the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

Design and development

The first large all-metal flying boat called a Singapore was the Short S.5 Singapore I. This was a biplane design with single fin and rudder, originally powered by two Rolls-Royce Condor IIIA 650 hp engines. One aircraft was built and first flew at Rochester on 17 August 1926, piloted by Shorts' Chief Test Pilot, John Lankester Parker. The type did not enter production, but was used by Sir Alan Cobham for a survey flight around Africa. Registered "G-EBUP", it left Rochester on 17 November 1927 and arrived at the Cape on 30 March 1928, returning to Rochester on the 4 June 1928. It was displayed at Olympia in July 1929.

The Short S.12 Singapore II which followed was a development of the Singapore I with 4 engines, mounted in tractor/pusher pairs (push-pull configuration). The single example of this aircraft to be built was first flown in 1930, also by John Lankester Parker.

From the Singapore II came a design with 4 engines and triple fins. In 1933 the British Air Ministry ordered 4 flying boats based upon the Singapore II for trials with squadrons under specification R.3/33. These would be followed by a further production order to specification R.14/34. These aircraft, the Short S.19 Singapore III, had all-metal hulls and fabric-covered metal flying surfaces. They were powered by four 675 hp Rolls-Royce Kestrel IX mounted between the wings in two tandem push-pull pairs, similar to the Singapore IIs. The crew of 6 was located in a central cabin and fore, aft and midships open gun positions (Vickers machine gun or Lewis gun). A long range fuel tank could be carried externally on the dorsal hull. The first Singapore III flew on 15 June 1934. Although obsolescent by the time the first aircraft entered service with No. 210 Squadron RAF in January 1935, the type arrived just in time to benefit from the arms race of the late 1930s and 37 were built. Production terminated in June 1937.

Singapores proved surprisingly tough; after the type was retired by the RNZAF the "Kiwis" attempted to crush one with a bulldozer, only to see the dozer drive the length of the lower wing without making an impressionFact|date=February 2007.

Operational history

No. 230 Squadron RAF was the first squadron equipped with Singapore IIIs. It deployed to Alexandria in 1935. During 1937 the Singapores of No. 209 Squadron RAF and No. 210 Squadron moved from Malta to Algeria as part of an international effort to prevent gun running during the Spanish Civil War.

Replacement of the Singapore with the Short Sunderland was well underway by the outbreak of World War II, however 19 survivors saw limited service in secondary theatres, mainly in a training role. The last RAF unit operating the type was No. 205 Squadron RAF in, appropriately enough, Singapore which relinquished its aircraft in October 1941. Four 205 squadron aircraft found their way to No. 5 Squadron RNZAF in Fiji, for use against German raiders. When Japan attacked in December, the New Zealand aircraft found themselves in the front line. They accounted for a Japanese submarine and conducted several air sea rescues before being replaced by Consolidated Catalinas.


No Singapores are known to have survived.


;Short S.5 Singapore I: First design aircraft powered by two Rolls-Royce Condor IIIA engines, one aircraft built.

;Short S.12 Singapore II: A development of the Singapore I powered by 4 engines, single example built.

;Short S.19 Singapore III: A development of the Singapore II powered by 4 Rolls-Royce Kestrel IX engines and equipped with triple fins. 37 were built.


* Royal New Zealand Air Force
** No. 5 Squadron RNZAF [] ;UK
* Royal Air Force
** No. 203 Squadron RAF
** No. 205 Squadron RAF
** No. 209 Squadron RAF
** No. 210 Squadron RAF
** No. 228 Squadron RAF
** No. 230 Squadron RAF
** No. 240 Squadron RAF

pecifications (Singapore III to R.14/34)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
ref=Singapore:Shorts Last Biplane Boatcite journal
last =Green
first =W
authorlink =
coauthors =Swanborough, G
title =Singapore: Short's Last Biplane Boat
journal =Air Enthusiast
volume = 39
issue =
pages =43–50
publisher =Tri-Service Press
date = May-August 1989
url =
doi =
id =
accessdate =
payload main=
payload alt=
length main= 64 ft 2 in
length alt=19.56 m
span main=90 ft
span alt=27.43 m
span sweep= 5 degrees
height main=23 ft 7 in
height alt= 7.19 m
area main= 1,465 sq ft
area alt= 170.4 m²
empty weight main= 20,364 lb
empty weight alt= 9,237
loaded weight main= 28,160 lb
loaded weight alt= 12,773 kg
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main= 32,390 lb
max takeoff weight alt= 14,692 kg
more general=
engine (prop)=Rolls-Royce Kestrel VIII/IX
type of prop=piston (pusher/tractor configuration)
number of props=4
power main= 675 hp
power alt=418 kW
power original=
max speed main= 136 mph
max speed alt= 219 km/h
max speed more= (at 5,000 ft and normal weight)
cruise speed main= 123 mph
cruise speed alt= 198 km/h
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 1,000 micite web |title=British Aircraft of World War II |url=
range alt= 1,610 km
ceiling main= 15,000 ft
ceiling alt= 4,570 m
climb rate main= 700 ft/min
climb rate alt= 3.6 m/s
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=
* Endurance: 6 hours 15 minutes
*Guns: Three 0.303 in Lewis guns
*Bombs: Up to 1,100 lb bombs under wings.

ee also

related=Short Calcutta
similar aircraft=
* List of aircraft of the RAF
* List of seaplanes
see also=




* Green, William. "Warplanes of the Second World War, Volume five: Flying Boats". London: Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 1962. Fifth impression 1972. ISBN 0-356-01449-5.

External links

* [ British Aircraft Directory entry]
* [ British Aircraft of World War II]

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