VH-ABC. Short S-23C Empire Flying Boat. c/n S.849.


Was the twenty-eighth Empire boat to be completed and flown by Short Bros at Rochester, Kent

Order placed by Imperial Airways, London - September 2, 1935

Completed as a S-23 Empire Class boat having 920 h.p. Bristol Pegasus Xc engines

The standard fuel capacity was 650 gallons

It had an all-up weight of 40,500 lbs (18,380 kg) which was later increased to 53,000 lbs (24,200 kg)

The cruising speed was 164 m.p.h. with a standard range of 760 miles / 1,245 km

Entered onto the British Aircraft Register as G-AEUG (CofR 7681) - March 1, 1937

First flown as G-AEUG - January 1, 1938

Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA) Issued - January 8, 1938

Delivered to Imperial Airways, London - January 8, 1938

Aircraft named 'Coogee' (mist rising from the heart of the water)

Aircraft was earmarked for delivery to Qantas from outset but retained by Imperial to cover its Empire boat losses

Operated by Imperial Airways until delivered to Qantas Empire Airways - September 1938

Entered onto Australian Aircraft Register as VH-ABC (CofR 716) - September 26, 1938

Registered to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd, Brisbane

Due to the war emergency it was commandeered by the Royal Australian Air Force - June 8, 1940

Impressed by the R.A.A.F. as A18-12 - June 29, 1940

Assisted with the evacuation of Rabaul - January 1942

Aircraft was destroyed in a landing accident at Townsville during a test flight - February 27, 1942

The entire crew were killed




VH-ABC. Qantas Empire Airways - in the original livery at Southampton, July 1939.

VH-ABC. Qantas Empire Airways - in the original livery, location & date unknown.