Short Empire

From Our Contribution

Short Empire
Short Empire.jpg
Short Empire on Brisbane River
Short Empire 2.jpg
Short Empire "Caledonia"
Role Flying boat passenger & mail carriage
Designer Arthur Gouge
Manufacturer Short Brothers
Produced 1936 - 1940
Number built 42
Primary users RAAF; RAF; Qantas; BOAC
In service 1936


The Short Empire flying boat was a relatively clean-looking high-wing monoplane, powered by an arrangement of four wing-mounted Bristol Pegasus Xc radial engines which drove de Havilland built variable-pitch propellers. The hull had adopted a radically new shape. The 5.2 m deep hull accommodated a total of two decks, the upper deck forming a lengthy compartment divided into sections to accommodate 1,400 kg of freight and mail along with a storage space . The flying crew was seated in a spacious cockpit, the captain and co-pilot were seated side-by-side while the radio operator sat behind the captain, facing rearwards. The radio operator was furnished with Marconi-built shock-proof radio sets for receiving and transmitting across the radio spectrum. While designed as civil aircraft, examples of the type would not only see military service but be specifically refitted for this purpose.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 4 - 2 pilots, navigator, wireless operator
  • Length: 26.82m
  • Wingspan: 34.75m
  • Height: 9.70m
  • Empty weight:10,659 kg
  • Max takeoff weight: 18,370 kg
  • Powerplant: 4 x Bristol Pegasus VC radial engines
  • Maximum speed: 320 km/h
  • Range: 1,220 km
  • Service ceiling: 6,100 m
  • Armament
  • Guns:
  • Bombs:

Crew members

Ground crew

No. 11 Squadron RAAF