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Making it's first flight on 30th June 1932 with Short's chief test pilot John Lankester Parker in the captain's seat and the designer Oswald Short as the co pilot this large aeroplane flew well, but as noted there was no way that the R.A.F. of the thirties could afford this. It was used later on by the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Felixstowe where it was eventually broken up in 1936.
Power plant 6 x 825 h.p Rolls Royce Buzzard
Span 120'0" Length 89'5" Height 30'4"
Empty weight 44,753 lb Loaded weight 70,000 lb
Max speed 150 mph Range 1,450 miles Service ceiling 13,000 ft
Armament 4 x .303" machine guns on Scarff rings with provision being made for a 37 mm cannon in the nose.
Basically a scaled-up version of the Calcutta, the Sarafand was the second largest airplane in the world when it was completed, only exceeded by the enormous Dornier DO-X. However, unlike the DO-X, the Sarafand flew very well and proved to be a completely practical aircraft. The only reason it didn't go into production was that it was too expensive for the depression-era RAF. It had a top speed of 153 mph and a range of over 1,400 miles, which was really pretty good in 1932, particularly for such a huge airplane.
Although the Sarafand never did go into production, the techniques used in it's design and construction enabled Shorts to build the highly-successful Empire flying boat airliners, as well as the Sunderland patrol bomber flying boats of WW-II.
A single aircraft built,as a transport it is the largest biblane ever built and the largest biplane flyingboat.
Further information is available at Seawings UK, the flyingboat reference site
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