The Stirling put in a reasonable performance as a bomber. It wasn't a resounding success, but it wasn't an abject failure, either.
It performed plenty of useful secondary roles afterwards, confirming its airworthiness.
Chris Marco, e-mail, 06.09.2012 14:43
It's a shame none exist. I design Model aircraft and am trying to locate information on the Short Sterling landing gear, such as a drawing is difficult. If anyone has an isometric of the landing gear mechanism I would appreciate a copy.
Klaatu83, e-mail, 18.06.2012 01:31
The Stirling has come in for a great deal of criticism over the years, especially in comparison with the later Lancaster and Halifax bombers. However, most of the faults that have been found with the Sterling were directly attributable to the British Air Ministry specification around which it was designed, rather than to the designers and manufacturers. For example, the reason the Lancaster and Halifax had larger bomb bays was that the Air Ministry insisted that they be designed to carry a pair of torpedoes internally, a stipulation they did not make when ordering the earlier Stirling. The Stirling specification only called for the carriage of bombs of up to 2,000 pounds, which it did. Likewise, the Air Ministry also insisted that the Stirling's wings be short enough to fit into existing hangers, a condition which they did not make with the later bombers. It was also the Air Ministry that insisted that the angle of attack of the Stirling's wings be increased to 3 degrees, which was why the landing gear ended up so long and awkward. essentially, Shorts gave the Air Ministry exactly the airplane they asked for.
Stephen Gash, e-mail, 13.03.2011 21:47
If keeping the wingspan short was so essential then one wonders why they didn't try folding wingtips. I read somewhere that the Halifax originally had slats, but the Air Ministry wanted balloon cable-cutters along the leading edge! The history of aircraft procurement in Britain is lamentable.
Ben Beekman, e-mail, 07.02.2011 22:49
I had some comments on this aircraft but mistakenly put them on the Short S.31 (half-scale model) page instead. Sorry.
Barry, 07.01.2011 17:08
Isn't it strange or just typical that by the time the Lancaster and Halifax entered service the hangars were large enough. One wonders what these numpties use for brain cells, and what is particularly galling is that their ilk are still in control today.
Anyway because of the design this heavy bomber could not carry any bomb larger than 2000lb! It was extremely difficult to take off and land needing the flight engineer's help with the throttles, in other words an aeroplane that could not take off single handedly. It's service ceiling was limited and Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris could not wait to get shot of them. However, it is said that once they were in the sky they were a joy to fly.
jules, e-mail, 10.12.2010 12:59
Congrats to Short for bringing this heavy on-line so quick. Shame about the weak undercarriage and low ceiling but it had a remarkable turning ability which saved many crews lives when evading attack and searchlights
martin smith, e-mail, 15.08.2010 16:51
The then hangers were 120` openings,it was just a bad design for a land based aircraft.
Barrett, e-mail, 28.07.2009 18:05
They were probably trying to fit as many bombs as possible in the fuselage and max out hangar space. Not a performance-oriented philosophy lol
leo rudnicki, e-mail, 24.04.2009 03:12
The wingspan was kept under 100 ft to fit standard RAF hangars, standard Air Ministry muddleheaded thinking, but why was the fuselage so much longer (17 ft) than Lanc/Halifax? A shorter fuselage would have precluded the need for the ridiculous undercarriage and the need for oxygen in a parked aircraft. This Short was too long.
EMBER, e-mail, 23.12.2007 00:24
STIRLING'S LANDING GEAR WERE VERY TALL. THIS GAVE THE PLANE A 30-DEGREE UP ON THE GROUND, THIS WAS FOR SHORT TAKE-OFF, BUT THE GEAR RETRACKTORS WERE NOT SUTIBLE FOR LIFTING THIS HEAVY LOAD.
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