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Short S25 Sunderland


Long-Range Maritime / Reconnaissance Flying Boat (1938)


Aviation / Aerospace

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Jump-to: Specifications

The British Short Sunderland became one the finest flying boat aircraft to serve in World War 2.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/07/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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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.

Specifications



Service Year
1938

Origin
United Kingdom national flag graphic
United Kingdom

Status
RETIRED
Not in Service.
Crew
9 to 11

Production
749
UNITS


Short Brothers - UK
National flag of Argentina National flag of Australia National flag of Canada National flag of France National flag of New Zealand National flag of Norway National flag of Portugal National flag of South Africa National flag of the United Kingdom National flag of Uruguay Argentina (commercial); Australia; Canada; France; New Zealand; Norway; Portugal; South Africa; United Kingdom; Uruguay (commercial)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Maritime / Navy
Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.
Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.


Length
85.3 ft
(26.00 m)
Width/Span
112.7 ft
(34.36 m)
Height
34.5 ft
(10.52 m)
Empty Wgt
36,901 lb
(16,738 kg)
MTOW
60,001 lb
(27,216 kg)
Wgt Diff
+23,100 lb
(+10,478 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Short S.25 Sunderland Mk V production variant)
Installed: 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engines developing 1,200 horsepower each.
Max Speed
217 mph
(349 kph | 188 kts)
Ceiling
17,864 ft
(5,445 m | 3 mi)
Range
2,961 mi
(4,765 km | 8,825 nm)
Rate-of-Climb
750 ft/min
(229 m/min)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Short S.25 Sunderland Mk V production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
STANDARD:
2 x 7.7mm forward-fixed firing machine guns
2 x 7.7mm machine guns in dorsal turret
2 x 7.7mm machine guns in bow turret
4 x 7.7mm machine guns in tail turret

Some models as many as 16 x 7.7mm machine guns, Some fielded with additional 2 x 12.7mm Browning heavy machine guns as well.

OPTIONAL:
Maximum bombload of 4,960 lb. Ordnance included bombs, depth charges and naval mines.


Supported Types


Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of a naval depth charge
Graphical image of a naval mine


(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0


Mk I - Initial Production Variant; 75 examples produced.
Mk II - Fitted with Pegasus radial engines and ASV.mk II radar system; 55 examples produced; redesigned planing bottom.
Mk IIIA - Fitted with ASV.Mk III radar; 407 examples produced.
Mk V - Final Production Variant; fitted with Pratt & Whitney radial piston engines and ASV.Mk VIc radar system; 143 examples produced.


General Assessment
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.
Overall Rating
The overall rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry.
38
Rating is out of a possible 100 points.
Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (217mph).

Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Short S.25 Sunderland Mk V operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
Max Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Design Balance
The 3 qualities we look at for a balanced aircraft design are altitude, speed, and range.
Aviation Era Span
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing era cross-over of this aircraft design.
Unit Production (749)
749
36183
44000
This entry's total production compared against the most-produced military and civilian aircraft types in history (Ilyushin IL-2 and Cessna 172, respectively).
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