STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Short Brothers - UK
OPERATORS: Argentina (commercial); Australia; Canada; France; New Zealand; Norway; Portugal; South Africa; United Kingdom; Uruguay (commercial)
LENGTH: 85.30 feet (26 meters)
WIDTH: 112.73 feet (34.36 meters)
HEIGHT: 34.51 feet (10.52 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 36,901 pounds (16,738 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 60,001 pounds (27,216 kilograms)
ENGINE: 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engines developing 1,200 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 217 miles-per-hour (349 kilometers-per-hour; 188 knots)
RANGE: 2,961 miles (4,765 kilometers; 2,573 nautical miles)
CEILING: 17,864 feet (5,445 meters; 3.38 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 750 feet-per-minute (229 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Short S25 Sunderland Long-Range Maritime / Reconnaissance Flying Boat.
Entry last updated on 6/7/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Short Sunderland was the premiere flying boat of British military aviators during World War 2 (1939-1945). Oft-regarded as one of the best flying boats of the conflict, the Sunderland played up to some inherent design strengths including a potent defensive armament scheme and excellent operational range. Both of these qualities played a large part in countering the lethal presence of marauding German U-boat attack submarines through infested waters in and around Allied interests. It was through these head-on engagements with the enemy that the Sunderland series would become famous for.
Designed from the airliner transport Short C-class "Empire" model, the Short Sunderland became the militarized version of the same flying boat. Fitted with four engines the aircraft became an integral part of Search and Rescue (SAR) missions, maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare throughout the course of the war. Crew accommodations amounted to 10 personnel including pilots and machine gunners as well as systems and missions specialists as needed.
Standard armament consisted of 2 x bow-mounted 7.7mm fixed, forward-firing machine guns, 2 x machines in a bow turret, 2 x 7.7mm machine guns in a dorsal turret and 4 x 7.7mm machine guns in a rear tail turret. This defensive array allowed the Sunderland to repel enemy fighters when she herself was attacked and she proved quite the capable aircraft for such work. Her network of machine guns earned her the nickname of "Porcupine" from German pilots. However, it was in her ordnance-carrying capacity that the Sunderland would truly shine. She could be outfitted with naval mines, depth charges and conventional drop bombs - enemy submarines being her primary targets. The aircraft series was so feared by German U-boat crews, in fact, that they worked hard to avoid direct entanglements with Sunderlands whenever possible.
Short Sunderlands gained a mighty reputation for their capabilities - most often remembered for their anti-submarine role - but equally respected for their search and rescue capabilities. In the end, nearly 750 examples were produced in four distinct marks - Mk I, Mk II, Mk IIIA and, the most potent form, the Mk V with its Pratt & Whitney radial piston engines - and each varied in powerplants and radar installed through the course of the war. Operational groups based from England could reach out across Greece and Crete airspace as well as other areas in the operating radius. A multitude of British squadrons fielded this versatile flying boat and most were often seen accompanying advancing Allied convoys at sea - a testament to its effectiveness in large scale operations. Additional operators included Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and South Africa.
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General Assessment (BETA)
Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
MF Power Rating (BETA)
The MF Power Rating takes into account over sixty individual factors related to this aircraft entry. The rating is out of 100 total possible points.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (217mph).
Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Short S.25 Sunderland Mk V's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units