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Author Topic: Sea Plane and Flying Boat stations  (Read 1681 times)
grahame
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« on: June 17, 2021, 07:03:22 am »

The thread on ekranoplan proposals set me reading up about flying boat and seaplane stations in the UK (United Kingdom).

There were 12 Seaplane Stations along the south coast - World War I era - and there's a report which goes through them ((here)). And on Wikipedia a long list ((here)) including five still active.

There was an active flying boat terminal at Southampton with its own station - see  http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/s/southampton_flying_boat_terminal/ and  https://www.hampshireairfields.co.uk/airfields/sol.html
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2021, 07:34:08 am »

The thread on ekranoplan proposals set me reading up about flying boat and seaplane stations in the UK (United Kingdom).

There were 12 Seaplane Stations along the south coast - World War I era - and there's a report which goes through them ((here)). And on Wikipedia a long list ((here)) including five still active.

There was an active flying boat terminal at Southampton with its own station - see  http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/s/southampton_flying_boat_terminal/ and  https://www.hampshireairfields.co.uk/airfields/sol.html

My Father and Grandfather used to recall Sunderland Flying Boats operating out of Plymouth Sound.
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bradshaw
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2021, 08:07:24 am »

In the mid 1960s I travelled between Crewkerne and Portsmouth where I was at college. I have a recollection of seeing flying boats from the train on the River Itchen between St Denys and Woolston. I did wonder if this was part of the Supermarine works.
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broadgage
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2021, 09:00:01 am »

Sunderland flying boats played a small but important part in the Berlin Airlift, as may be seen in this documentary from the time.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nHdB1vJNsg

By landing on lakes, these machines did not take up scarce airport capacity.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
RichT54
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2021, 10:09:11 am »

I remember my dad telling me when he was in the army during WW2 and based somewhere on Dartmoor he would visit Plymouth and see the flying boats operating out of RAF (Royal Air Force) Mount Batten. I was actually based there (as a civilian) from the late 70s to mid 80s but of course the flying boats were long gone by then and it was just a base for the RAF Marine Branch's Rescue & Target Towing Launches.

There was a Sunderland Flying Boat moored in Southampton Water as recently as the early 90s. I did take some photos of it from Calshot but as they were on 35mm film I haven't found them yet.

Here is a video documenting its departure in 1993 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wo3UgbP-6Lo
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eightf48544
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2021, 04:39:24 pm »

Being pedantic the passenger flying boats were Solents not Suderlands which were the Costal Command military anti submarine version.

I remember the flying boat terminal in Southampton. It was favorite Sunday afternoon walk from the Royal pier to the Floating Bridge following the railway lines.
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REVUpminster
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2021, 06:38:49 pm »

Paris Singer had sea planes at Paignton and Preston Sands either side of the Redcliffe Hotel used for tourist flights.

Singer’s grand plans for the sea front were never implemented, and in February 1913 he sold Preston Green to the local council. He retained a small patch of land adjacent to Redcliffe on which he had earlier built an aircraft hangar for storing his two Avro seaplanes.
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RichT54
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2021, 09:08:32 pm »

I've been doing a little research into the history of RAF (Royal Air Force) Mount Batten and wondered if it made any use of the nearby Turnchapel Railway Station.

I came across this very interesting web page:

https://oldplymouth.uk/Royal%20Air%20Force,%20Mount%20Batten.htm

It includes a mention of Turnchapel Station:

Quote
Work commenced in October 1938 on constructing underground oil tanks adjacent to Turnchapel Railway Station for the use of the air station.  Messrs Wimpey of London were the contractors.  This was followed in January 1940 by the opening of a pipeline from Turnchapel Wharf to the tanks.

On the page about the station itself, it describes how the oil tanks were attacked during WW2 causing the station and signal box to be destroyed by fire.

https://www.oldplymouth.uk/Railways-Turnchapel%20Station.htm

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On November 27th 1940 both Turnchapel Station and Turnchapel Signal Box were destroyed by fire during an enemy attack on the adjacent Admiralty oil storage depot.  The ensuing blaze was potentially disastrous and three firemen were killed trying to keep the oil tanks as cool as possible to avoid a catastrophic explosion.  The fire was not put out until December 1st 1940, leaving twisted metal in place of rails and signals.  However, the railways were not daunted by such experiences and by December 16th services were back to normal, supported by new temporary buildings which in fact remained until the line's closure.

I also came across the following page:

http://www.cornwallrailwaysociety.org.uk/turnchapel-branch.html

This includes lots of photos and information about the branch, including a map (Copyright RM Web / Dave Adams) showing the area around Turnchapel Station. This indicates "Air Ministry Sidings (added 1939)" to the south of the station, which I assume were used to bring supplies and equipment for Mount Batten.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2021, 08:20:19 am »

There was a Sunderland Flying Boat moored in Southampton Water as recently as the early 90s. I did take some photos of it from Calshot but as they were on 35mm film I haven't found them yet.

What you saw may well have been the Short Sandringham (civil version of the Sunderland) which now resides in the Solent Aviation Museum in Southampton. Interesting aircraft - it has an extra seat fitted on the flight deck. This was installed by a previous owner for his wife........the actress Maureen O'Hara.
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RichT54
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2021, 09:06:34 am »

There was a Sunderland Flying Boat moored in Southampton Water as recently as the early 90s. I did take some photos of it from Calshot but as they were on 35mm film I haven't found them yet.

What you saw may well have been the Short Sandringham (civil version of the Sunderland) which now resides in the Solent Aviation Museum in Southampton. Interesting aircraft - it has an extra seat fitted on the flight deck. This was installed by a previous owner for his wife........the actress Maureen O'Hara.

I've realised that the reason I couldn't find any 35mm film photos of the aircraft was because I actually shot it on video instead using an 8mm analogue camcorder! The date was the 24/06/90. At present I can only view the footage through the small eyepiece of the camcorder, so I can't see any markings on the flying boat.

The Wikipedia article on the Short Sandringham https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Sandringham shows a photo of the aircraft "Spirit of Foynes" moored off Hythe Pier in 1989, which was the approximate location of the one I filmed from Calshot.

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Ex-Ansett Sandringham (RAF (Royal Air Force) Serial ML814 Short Sunderland MR5) c/n SH.974b. To RNZAF No.5 Squadron 1953 Fiji and became NZ4108. Hobsonville, New Zealand 1956–1963. Sold 1963 to Airlines of New South Wales. Converted to passenger configuration and registered VH-BRF and named Islander. To Antilles Air Boats, Virgin Island as N158J in 1974. To Edward Hulton in the UK (United Kingdom) in 1979 as G-BJHS Spirit of Foynes. Storm damaged and repaired. Sold to Kermit Weeks in 1992 and re-registered N158J. On display at the Fantasy of Flight museum in Polk City, Florida, USA with Kermit Weeks and registered as N814ML on 16 September 1993.

This was the aircraft that featured in the BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) news video I linked earlier.

I've seen the Sandringham at Solent Sky Museum. According to the following web page: http://www.aussieairliners.org/shortfb/vh-brc/vhbrc.html

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AIt arived at Calshot, England and beacher for storage - February 02, 1981

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Installed in the Hall of Aviation, Southampton - August 27 / 28, 1983

So it was already in the museum when I shot my video.

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