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Short S38 Sturgeon

Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Target Tug Aircraft

Short S38 Sturgeon

Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Target Tug Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Short Sturgeon began as a war-time torpedo bomber but saw a bulk of its service days as a target tug for the British Royal Navy.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United Kingdom
YEAR: 1950
STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Short Brothers - UK
PRODUCTION: 28
OPERATORS: United Kingdom (retired)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Short S39 Sturgeon TT.3 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2
LENGTH: 44.95 feet (13.7 meters)
WIDTH: 59.81 feet (18.23 meters)
HEIGHT: 132.55 feet (40.4 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 16,976 pounds (7,700 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 21,716 pounds (9,850 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Rolls-Royce Merlin 140 V12 liquid-cooled inline piston engines developing 2,080 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 367 miles-per-hour (590 kilometers-per-hour; 319 knots)
CEILING: 35,105 feet (10,700 meters; 6.65 miles)




ARMAMENT



None. Bomber that would have carried torpedoes was cancelled with the end of World War 2.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• Sturgeon S.1 - Original torpedo bomber form cancelled with end of war; two prototypes completed.
• Sturgeon TT.2 - Target Tug form; 23 examples completed; two prototypes.
• Sturgeon TT.3 (SB.9) - Refined TT.2 target tug form; five converted from TT.2 models.
• SB.3 - Proposed anti-submarine warfare platform; two prototypes completed; never adopted.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Short S38 Sturgeon Twin-Seat, Twin-Engine Target Tug Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 6/4/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Short S.38 Sturgeon was born through a World War 2 (1939-1945) British naval requirement under Specification S.6/43 for a carrier-based, high-speed torpedo bomber intended for service in the Pacific Theater. However, with the end of the war in August of 1945, the requirement was no longer pressing which forced an evolution of the design into Specification S.11/43. A prototype by Short Brothers was first flown on June 7th, 1946 and the Sturgeon (Short Brothers S.38) was adopted by the Fleet Air Arm across 28 examples. Despite its original torpedo bomber design, the type eventually served a bulk of its career as a useful target tug - a rather inglorious role for any military aircraft.

Outwardly, the original Sturgeon offering utilized a conventional twin-engined configuration with a centralized fuselage tapered at both ends. The cockpit was fitted well-forward in the design at the main wing spar. The wings were high-mounted along the fuselage sides with each mounting a leading edge engine nacelle. The nacelles protruded well-forward to block some of the vision out of the cockpit though providing clear views of the engines for the pilot in the event of trouble. The empennage included a single vertical tail fin and the requisite horizontal planes. Power (for the TT.3 tug) was through 2 x Rolls-Royce Merlin 140 series, V12 liquid-cooled inline piston engines developing 2,080 horsepower each. This provided the airframe with a maximum speed of 366 miles per hour, a cruise speed of 312 miles per hour and a service ceiling of 35,200 feet.

There proved a few notable variants in the Sturgeon production line leading with the Sturgeon S.1. This was the carrier-based strike platform which saw its original 30-strong order cancelled with the end of the war (two-prototypes completed with a third representing the modified TT.2). The initial target tug form to then emerge was the Sturgeon TT.2 which appeared as two prototypes leading to 23 production forms following - really the definitive Sturgeon production form. The tug models differed from the original torpedo bomber design in their elongated, revised nose assemblies. The TT.3 was nothing more than a refined target tug platform of which five appeared from existing TT.2 frames. SB.3 proved a short-lived prototype for an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) platform which sported a noticeable chin fairing housing specialized equipment for the role. Two prototypes were ordered and the original airframe flew on August 12th, 1950. The type was never adopted.

The Sturgeon operated with the Fleet Air Arm branch of the Royal Navy through groups 703 NAS, 728 NAS and 771 NAS.




MEDIA







General Assessment (BETA)
Firepower  
Performance  
Survivability  
Versatility  
Impact  


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)
18
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
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (367mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
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Pie graph section
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
28
28

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.