YouTube – Short Sunderland
4 x 1,200 h.p. ea.
16- 7.7 + 2- 12.7 mm
85 ft. 3 in.
112 ft. 9 in.
The Short Sunderland started life as an enlarged civil aviation flying boat. It has been described as one of the finest sea planes ever produced. The aircraft was in RAF service from 1938 through 1959. During World War II, its 16 hour flight endurance made it an excellent convoy escort that proved a formidable adversary against enemy submarines.
Short Sunderland aircraft had a hull made from light weight anodized metal alloy. External rivets were flush to the aircraft’s skin to reduce drag. It had hydraulic machine gun turrets, the first for this type of aircraft. Sunderlands evolved through the years to have more powerful, supercharged engines, additional offensive and defensive armament, a redesigned hull for better water handling, and a surface scanning radar.
Three squadrons of Short Sunderland aircraft were operational at the outset of World War II. In addition to anti submarine warfare, they were used as coastal patrol aircraft and in search and rescue operations.
Although Sunderland flying boats participated in search and rescue operations, they weren’t particularly well suited to rescues in high seas. We are told that several sank during high sea rescue attempts, probably due to their light weight hull construction.
During World War II Short Sunderland aircraft sank a total of twelve enemy submarines; ten in the North Atlantic and two in the Mediterranean. However, their success was measured not in the number of enemy submarines sunk, but in the number of merchant vessels which completed their voyages unscathed due to their watchful patrols.
After World War II, Sunderlands participated in the Berlin Airlift ferrying supplies between the Elbe River and Lake Havel. Sunderland aircraft were again used for maritime patrol duties during the Korean War. They continued to serve with the Royal New Zealand Air Force into 1967.
A total of 739 Short Sunderland aircraft of all types were produced.
The Short Sunderland from Precision Cut Kits built from Dan Palmer plans has a wingspan of 113 in. and a length of 86 1/2 in. Power comes from .25 engines. All up weight is around 13 1/2 lbs.
Peter Angus has plans for the Short Sunderland. Wingspan is 61 in. and construction is mostly balsa. Peter recommends four Hextronic motors swinging 6 x 4 three blade props to motivate the approximately 6 lb. RC airplane.
Tony Nijhuis plans has a Short Sunderland. Its wingspan is 6 feet and total length is 4 1/2 feet. For power four 4-MAX motors are recommended to power the approximately 116 oz. model.