Short Flying Boats in New Zealand

This is the place to discuss particular Shorts Flying Boat types and post documents, photographs and other relevant information appertaining to these craft.

Re: Short Flying Boats in New Zealand

Postby MrWidgeon » Thu May 12, 2011 1:42 pm

For the sake of completion Peter, put them in.
In water flying attitude is everything
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Re: Short Flying Boats in New Zealand

Postby AlexNortonesq » Thu May 12, 2011 10:56 pm

I'm all or putting them in; however I'm not all that stressed about you going back and putting them in their proper place. Then I have to find it and compare what you'd already done to what was now there. Adding them at the end (out of sequence, yes) works fine for me. The pictures are the important part, not necessarily the order!
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Re: Short Flying Boats in New Zealand

Postby MrWidgeon » Fri May 13, 2011 7:42 am

Just do what I did with the Widgeon list, an addendum (or two) on the back end of the thread as needed.
The photos ARE the important part.
In water flying attitude is everything
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Re: Short Flying Boats in New Zealand

Postby flyernzl » Sun May 15, 2011 7:18 am

Chronologically, Sunderland NZ4106 is the next aircraft on the list. However, this aircraft did not arrive until well down the delivery schedule, being bought on charge at Hobsonville on 24May1954. Built by Blackburn at Dumbarton as Mk.V, it had served with the RAF as RN280 from February 1945.

NZ4106 joined 5Sdn as KN-G, later changed to KN-B. When the Sunderlands became a merged fleet, it carried the identifying code B.

NZ4106 as B, probably at Lauthala Bay

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During an overhaul at Mechanics Bay, someone seemed to have been interested in the tail section of this aircraft

At Mechanics Bay, late-1950s

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In early 1962, a second reduction in Sunderland tasking took place, and NZ4106 was removed from Lauthala Bay on 20th March and returned to Hobsonville, where it was removed from service as 'damaged' and stripped of parts. The aircraft was SOC on 2Oct1962 and moved to the non-operational side of Hobsonville to be scrapped.

At Hobsonville 22Oct1962

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The aircraft sat there for some months before being sold for scrap in January 1963.

Awaiting the scrapman, 17Jan1963

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Next: NZ4107
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Re: Short Flying Boats in New Zealand

Postby flyernzl » Sat May 21, 2011 9:03 pm

There is a hiatus while the desktop computer is having its innards ripped out and replaced.
Meanwhile I fiddle around in a despondent manner on the laptop.
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Re: Short Flying Boats in New Zealand

Postby flyernzl » Wed May 25, 2011 9:47 am

Update
Yes all of the clockwork inside the machine was broken. So basically I now have a whole new graphics computer inside the same box.
Everything in the wrong place, and all of the drivers need to be reloaded. One scanner out of three going so far.
My Lightroom catalogue seems to have disappeared, so while 20,000 digital photos (kept on a on a separate backup disc) are safe, I may be faced with the chore of re-cataloging the whole collection.
I think I am badly in need of strong drink.

Look on the bright side, at least with my sisters lad in the computer repair game I have saved myself megabucks with mates rates.
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Re: Short Flying Boats in New Zealand

Postby flyernzl » Thu May 26, 2011 11:49 am

Thanks, we now have the basics sorted so on with the story.

NZ4107 is the next Sunderland on the list. It was the last of the Mk5 Sunderlands to arrive in New Zealand, being bought on charge at Hobsonville on 22Sep1954. Built by Blackburn at Dumbarton as Mk.V, it had served with the RAF as VB883 from November 1945 before going to Shorts for upgrade work in November 1953.

NZ4107 joined 6Sdn as XX-C then XX-D, later transferring to 5Sdn as KN-F. When the Sunderlands became a merged fleet, it carried the identifying code D.

NZ4107 at an unknown location as XX-D

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As D, NZ4107 moored out at Hobsonville

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On the hard at Hobsonville

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NZ4107 on the takeoff run, location looks like Evans Bay

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The Auckland Harbour Bridge was opened for traffic in mid-1959, initially as a four-lane structure. These publicity photos were taken soon after that event.

NZ4107 in low pass over the bridge, taken from the north looking south

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This Sunderland was the last of the RNZAF boats to undergo a full refit, which took place at the TEAL workshops in 1964. It then seemed to become the aircraft of choice for publicity events.

NZ4107 at the opening of the Auckland International Airport 31Jan1966
Colin Hunter photo

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and some other views of NZ4107 airborne

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By the end of 1966, the 5Sdn Sunderland flight only had NZ4113, NZ4114 and NZ4107 remaining. NZ4107 was the final Sunderland to leave Lauthala Bay, departing on 2Apr1967 for a 9 hour flight to Hobsonville. The crew were Lofty Laing, Gary Wrathal, I. Bailey(nav), Noel Crump, Lew Wirth, Wally Plank, Eddy Brown and Murray Rutherford.
Although this was the last flight for NZ4107 and the last Sunderland flight for the RNZAF, there was no ceremony attached.

One of the crew on board at that time relates:
"I flew the last RNZAF Sunderland of 5 Sqn from Lauthala Bay Fiji to Hobsonville New Zealand on the 2 April 1967. Sadly on arrival at the Hobsonville sea base there was not a soul to welcome this final flight of the type which had served not only NZ so well but the South Pacific area in SAR and general support and communications. The Sqn had acquired five new Lockheed P3B aircraft the previous year and we were by then the forgotten element of the Sqn; I had the choice of converting onto the P3B or the C130 however the attitude of the Sqn with the final Sunderland flight made it a no brainer, I enjoyed three and a half years on the C130 before leaving the Airforce and starting a thirty year flying career with Air NZ. I'm now retired but I still reflect on those early flying boat days."

NZ4107 resting at Hobsonville 30Apr1967

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Struck off charge on 3May1967, NZ4107 was sold to Australian Aircraft Sales, Sydney & scrapped at Hobsonville soon afterwards.

Next: NZ4108 (the one that got away)
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Re: Short Flying Boats in New Zealand

Postby flyernzl » Sun May 29, 2011 1:32 pm

Sunderland ML814 was built by Shorts at Belfast as Mk.III and served with the RAF from March 1944. It was converted to MkV status in 1945, and returned to Belfast in 1953 to be rebuilt for the RNZAF as NZ4108.

NZ4108 arrived at Hobsonville at the conclusion of its delivery flight on 13Jun1953. It briefly served with 6Sdn at Hobsonville as XX-D before being transferred to Lauthala Bay with 5Sdn as KN-B in August. This aircraft then arrived back at Hobsonville in early 1956 for use by the MOCU.

As a result of the first reduction of the Sunderland fleet in August 1956, NZ4108 was placed in storage, engines removed, in Hobsonville's No.3 hangar along with NZ4109, '18 and '19.

Meanwhile Ansett airways had been operating the Short S.25 Sandringham 'Tasman' class VH-BRE (ex-TEAL ZK-AMD) on their Rose Bay - Lord Howe service. This aircraft was damaged beyond repair in a storm on the night of 3/4Jul1963 at Lord Howe leaving Ansett struggling to maintain the service with just one remaining serviceable flying boat. They therefore approached the New Zealand Government to buy one of the surplus military Sunderlands as a replacement.

NZ4108 was chosen as a suitable aircraft (or perhaps it just happened to be the one nearest the hangar door!) and was resurrected and fitted out at Hobsonville and Mechanics Bay for the ferry flight to Australia.

NZ4108 at Mechanics Bay 14Dec1963 with the military markings still partially visible and carrying the registration VH-BRF being prepared for departure

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NZ4108 as VH-BRF arriving at Rose Bay 18Dec1963

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The flight crew look happy to have arrived safely

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NZ4108 then underwent a conversion to civilian standards at Rose Bay

Ansett workshops, Rose Bay, 1964

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The results

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(Thanks to Bruce for those photographs of arrival and conversion work)

The renovated aircraft then worked alongside Sandringham VH-BRC (ex-ZK-AMH) in the scheduled Lord Howe Island service from October 1964 until finally replaced by land-based aircraft on the route in August 1974.

VH-BRF at Rose Bay November 1971

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Youtube video on the Ansett boats in 1974

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0Gqvz5V ... re=related

VH-BRF at Rose Bay and Lord Howe

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After the Lord Howe service ceased, the boat left Australia in September 1974, initially for Antilles Air Boats, Virgin Islands as N158J and then to the UK in 1979 where it became G-BJHS in 1981. Difficulties were experienced in gaining permission for commercial operations with this aircraft, as the civilian conversion work had not been carried out at the Short factory.
This was never resolved, and in September 1991 Kermit Weeks bought the aircraft for his historic collection. The aircraft was flown to the USA in 1993 and although now still extant registered as N814ML it is no longer airworthy.

Next: NZ4109
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Re: Short Flying Boats in New Zealand

Postby flyernzl » Mon May 30, 2011 10:52 am

Sunderland DP191 was built by Shorts at Windemere as a Mk.III. and served with the RAF from February 1943. After active service with the RAF it was returned to Belfast in 1953 to be rebuilt for the RNZAF as NZ4109.

NZ4109 arrived at Lauthala Bay at the conclusion of its delivery flight on 21Jul1953. It served with 5Sdn as KN-C from that time. In August 1955 it transported men and materials to Nukunono for the repair and rescue of Sunderland NZ4111 which had been damaged on a coral reef there on the 24th.

On the step for takeoff

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NZ4109 in formation with NZ4111

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NZ4109 airborne in a tropical setting, 1950s

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As a result of the first reduction of the Sunderland fleet in August 1956, NZ4109 was placed in storage late that year, engines removed, in Hobsonville's No.3 hangar along with NZ4108, '18 and '19.

The packed #3 hangar at Hobsonville, Morris Minors were optional.

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NZ4109 was less lucky than '08, by the early 1964 the three remaining stored Sunderlands were downgraded from stored reserve to parts salvage, and were parked outside in the weather alongside Solent ZK-AMO

The lineup, one Solent and three Sunderlands

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Outside storage at Hobsonville 22Nov1964

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Finally, by January 1965, the hulk was removed to the non-operational side of the airfield and sold for scrap.

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Next: NZ4110
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Re: Short Flying Boats in New Zealand

Postby flyernzl » Mon May 30, 2011 11:32 am

Sunderland PP129 was built by Shorts at Rochester as Mk.V. and served with the RAF from June 1945. After active service with the RAF it was returned to Belfast on 10Jun1952 to be rebuilt for the RNZAF as NZ4110.

NZ4110 arrived at Lauthala Bay at the conclusion of its delivery flight on 5Oct1953. It served with 5Sdn as KN-F from that time. In 1956 it was flown Hobsonville and placed in outside storage there, a victim of the first reduction of the Sunderland operational fleet.

NZ4110 in storage at Hobsonville. (Yes, photos of NZ4110 are hard to find!)

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Unlike the other Sunderlands stored at that time, in 1959 NZ4110 had its operational equipment removed and was parked alongside the No.5 hangar on the marine hard as an instructional airframe with the new serial INST183 as from 14Oct1959.

As INST183 on the hard at Hobsonville 8Jul1963

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With the eventual rundown of the Sunderland fleet, an instructional airframe was no longer required and INST183 was moved to the far side of the airfield in May 1964 and scrapped.

Awaiting the scrapman 13May1964

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Next: NZ4111- the great grey ghost of the Chathams
Last edited by flyernzl on Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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