VH-ABF. Short S-23C Empire Flying Boat. c/n S.878.


 

Was the thirty-first Empire boat completed and flown by Short Bros at Rochester, Kent

Order placed by Imperial Airways, London - June 22, 1937

Completed as a S-23 Empire Class boat with 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-AFBL (CofR 8072) - August 26, 1937

First flown as G-AFBL - March 28, 1938

Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA) Issued - March 30, 1938

Delivered to Imperial Airways, London - March 30, 1938

Aircraft named 'Cooee'

Earmarked for delivery to Qantas Empire Airways from outset

Sold to Qantas Empire Airways - April 20, 1938

Departed Southampton on delivery flight to Australia - April 2, 1938

Arrived Brisbane at conclusion of delivery flight - May 3, 1938

Entered onto Australian Aircraft Register as VH-ABF (CofR 705) - May 20, 1938

Registered to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd

Operated inaugural Sydney - Southampton service (Captain P. Lynch Blosse) - July 5, 1938

Flew U. K. - West Africa - Congo - Durban route (Captain F. J. Bailey) - April 1940

Aircraft was isolated in the western sector of Horseshoe Route - February 1942

G-AFPZ 'Clifton' had been isolated in Australia when Horseshoe Route was cut during World War II

Ownership transferred to British Airways in exchange for G-AFPZ - July 13, 1942

Entered onto U.K. Aircraft Register as G-AFBL - July 13, 1942

Cancelled from Australian Aircraft Register - August 11, 1942

Withdrawn from use by British Airways - February 2, 1947

Broken up for scrap at Hythe, southampton - 1947

Aircraft had flown a total of 14,307 hours

 


 

VH-ABF. Qantas Empire Airways - in the original livery at Rochester, April 1938.

VH-ABF. Qantas Empire Airways - in the original livery at Rose Bay, Sydney, April 1938.

VH-ABF. Qantas Empire Airways - in the original livery at Rose Bay, Sydney, April 1938.

VH-ABF. Qantas Empire Airways - in the original livery at Rose Bay, Sydney, November 1938.

VH-ABF. Qantas Empire Airways - in the original livery at Rose Bay, Sydney, date unknown.

VH-ABF. Qantas Empire Airways - in the original livery at Rose Bay, Sydney, date unknown.

VH-ABF. Qantas Empire Airways - in the original livery, location and date unknown.

VH-ABF. Qantas Empire Airways - the interior of the rear cabin at Rose Bay, Sydney, date unknown.
A route map depicting the route flown from Sydney to Southampton by the Empire Boats.