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View Poll Results: Which was the best of these 2 seaplanes?

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  • Short Sunderland "Flying Porcupine"

    34 56.67%
  • Consolidated PBY Catalina

    26 43.33%
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Thread: Sea Planes

  1. #1
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    Sea Planes

    In your own opinion, what was the best seaplane out of these 2 in WWII?

  2. #2
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    SHORT SUNDERLAND A SEAPLANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    It's a flying boat mate! From a webfooter...........

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by John Cooper


    SHORT SUNDERLAND A SEAPLANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    It's a flying boat mate! From a webfooter...........
    So the Cat wins then...

  4. #4
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    A flying boat floats on its hull. A seaplane on floats. That's what I always understood it. Both of these are flying boats and in my opinion equal in their qualities. The Cat had the greater range but the Sunderland was rugged and could carry enormous loads. I recently read than one picked up 80 from a shipwreck!
    mmitch.

  5. #5
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    The problem with all these "Which is the best..." polls are that nobody ever goes on to define 'best'

    Best is not a quality, it is a measure.

    So, which is the best seaplane (sic) to be flying if a JU88 shoots-out two of your engines?

    is considerably different answer to

    Which is the best seaplane to be flying if you need to land on a hard runway?

    See the problem?

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

  6. #6
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    Hmm.

    Polls are fun, but the scope needs thinking about.

    This just smells of the old 'which is better mine or yours' being US vs UK.

    Answer is, of course, both were excellent in their own fields. The Cat, as an amphibian, was more flexible and being a US type, postwar had a wider career.

    The Sunderland wasn't dusty however. And one Sunderland did land very well (considering!) on Angle Aerodrome. I've a pic at home somewhere. There was a big hole in the hull, so a land landing made sense.


    Best W.W.II 4 engined flying boat is generally held to be the Japanese Emily flying boat.

    Cheers

    Pic from: http://home.st.net.au/~dunn/japraid.htm
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    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  7. #7
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    Nice pic.

    So the trees fold down before take-off a la Thunderbird Island?

  8. #8
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    I wish. I'd love to see one of those birsds fly, but that's it. Only complete survivor. Tokyo, IIRC.
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Ray Jade
    Nice pic.

    So the trees fold down before take-off a la Thunderbird Island?
    haha note retractable swimming pool too.

  10. #10
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    This is a difficult poll to vote.

    As Moggy says, these two planes are both great. But they are much to different to compare. So they are both the best for me.

  11. #11
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    Couldn't really vote on this one! Germany were no slouches at sea planes/flying boats. There were other Americans as well.

    Here is a South African Sunderland at Pietermaritzburg July 14, 1949. No. 3 & 4 are feathered and to get the audience to appreciate this the "Captain" flies his boat across the public. (Not unusually in those days! He missed the petrol/gas pump)

    Best regards
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    Last edited by atc pal; 22nd April 2004 at 19:29.
    If everything is as clear as a bell, and everything is going exactly as planned, you're about to be surprised.

  12. #12
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    And a New Zealand one at Wellington 1959 running the keel along the runway. (Both are from an "A*r*plane M. Special" 1975.)
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    Last edited by atc pal; 22nd April 2004 at 19:39.
    If everything is as clear as a bell, and everything is going exactly as planned, you're about to be surprised.

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by atc pal
    And a New Zealand one at Wellington 1959 running the keel along the runway. (Both are from an "A*r*plane M. Special" 1975.)
    Coo - was that deliberate or accidental?

    Flood.

  14. #14
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    And here is the Catalina on a farewell flight in the Spring of 1974. (Avnoe Flying School). This is the aircraft now at Cosford. If you pass Denmark, there is a fully restored, down to the dinghy, PBY6 at Elsinore in The Danish Flying Museum.
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    If everything is as clear as a bell, and everything is going exactly as planned, you're about to be surprised.

  15. #15
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    That airshow where the Sunderland "ran" across the runway was when a Vulcan landed short of the runway and damaged it's undercart. I have a pic of it somewhere.
    ....We only borrow for a while, we don't keep....

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by atc pal
    And a New Zealand one at Wellington 1959 running the keel along the runway. (Both are from an "A*r*plane M. Special" 1975.)
    How thick is the hull of a Sunderland? Surely it would be holed and sink???

  17. #17
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    Just Googled this:

    NZ4113 n/a r MR.5 Previously PP124... This was the aircraft who's keel scraped along the runway during the official opening of Rongotai on 25 October 1959 after a downdraught forced the aircraft lower than intended. The aircraft returned to Hobsonville where it was immediately beached for repairs...
    from http://www.adf-serials.com/nz-serials/nz4101.shtml

  18. #18
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    Very, very thin. However most flying boats are keel, rib and stressed skin construction. The Sunderland had a keel, which is what was being worn off here. Just about do-able, but NOT in the manual!
    James K

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  19. #19
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    From the Australian War Memorial, here's a pic of the Sunderland that DID land on Angle Aerodrome (grass)
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    James K

    Looking and thinking...
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  20. #20
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    I was going to state that the Sunderland scraping was not deliberate but that link AJ proves it
    ....We only borrow for a while, we don't keep....

  21. #21
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    Here's the caption.

    ID Number: 045299

    Summary: ANGLE AIRFIELD NEAR PEMBROKE DOCK, WALES. 1943-05-29. SUNDERLAND T9114-E OF NO 461 SQUADRON RAAF, AFTER LANDING. THE AIRCRAFT HAD LANDED IN THE BAY OF BISCAY TO RESCUE SIXTEEN SURVIVORS OF TWO AIRCRAFT WHICH HAD CRASHED INTO THE BAY. THE SURVIVORS WERE TRANSFERRED TO THE FRENCH DESTROYER 'LA COMBATTANTE' AND THE SUNDERLAND'S HULL WAS HOLED ON THE SUBSEQUENT TAKEOFF CAUSING THE CAPTAIN, 400841 PILOT OFFICER G. O. SINGLETON, TO DECIDE TO LAND ON AN AIRFIELD RATHER THAN ALIGHT ON WATER AT HIS HOME BASE. THE LANDING WAS EFFECTED WITH LITTLE FURTHER DAMAGE TO THE AIRCRAFT

    It really was an amazing story, well retold by Ivan Southall (the Australian novellist) who served with 461 RAAF.

    The AWM website is an amazing resource, with a huge searcheable database. Obviously biassed to the antipodean services, it has a lot more that you'd expect. (Looked for Tiffie stuff Snapper?) Advert over. Oh: www.awm.gov.au

    Cheers
    Last edited by JDK; 22nd April 2004 at 22:14.
    James K

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    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  22. #22
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    Back to the earlier tiff:

    "Flying-Boat: A seaplane wherin the main body or hull provides water support" - Chambers Air & Space Dictionary. (And those space terms waste a lot of space -hem- in that book y'know.)

    Rather like the fact that A Hawk is a Hawk, and a Kestrel or a Gos are also Hawks. (These are the BIRDS), so not all hawks are called hawk, but all hawks are hawks. Get me to explain cricket sometime eh?

    Cheers
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  23. #23
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    That RNZAF Sunderland incident was much more serious than it looked. Last year I met the guy who was Flight Engineer onboard at the time. He said that the scrape had done serious damage to the structure and they thought they may all need to bail out and lose the Sundy. But the pilot decided to risk a water landing after the crew had done their best with an in-flight makeshift repair. He said that luckily they had one of the most experienced Sunderland pilots in the sqn flying it, and the landing at Hobby was rather tricky but handled with enormous skill. He added that they were very lucky to get away with it all in one piece.

    I dare say the Wellington airport people must have wondered what they'd got themselves in for when they had two serious incidents during their opening. The Vulcan actually crashed killing all on board when it was on its way home to Britain. Every day is a thrill ride at that airport, which is one of the gustiest in the world, and it has a very short runway with sea at both ends, so great fun to fly in and out of, which I've done often.

    James, to add a little to your confusion, our Skyhawks when ugraded were renamed Kahu Skyhawks, Kahu is the Maori word for hawk. So the Skyhawks are hawks but Skyhawks are not Hawks.

  24. #24
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    Oh no.
    And you guys play cricket too (unlike the Poms )
    James K

    Looking and thinking...
    Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

  25. #25
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  26. #26
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    I was obviously totally wrong! So has deleted my "deliberate" post.

    Best regards
    If everything is as clear as a bell, and everything is going exactly as planned, you're about to be surprised.

  27. #27
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    PBY for me but I am biased and will be seeing 1 complete one and a 'kit form' one over the weekend

  28. #28
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    To be honest, I like both equally.
    The Sunderland for it's size and load carry versatility and the PBY (5) for it's amphibious versatility (plus I've been up in one )
    ....We only borrow for a while, we don't keep....

  29. #29
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    "The Vulcan actually crashed killing all on board when it was on its way home to Britain."

    IIRC, AVM Sir Harry Broadhurst had a close call in a Vulcan on a flight back from NZ.He was flying as an 'observer' in the aircraft and the co-pilot asked if he would like to swap seats for the night landing at Heathrow.The aircraft undershot into open fields and the pilot and Broadhurst ejected and were the only survivors. Broadhurst would almost certainly have been killed if he hadn't been sitting in the co-pilot's ejector seat.
    Was this the same aircraft/incident that Dave mentions??
    "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease." Sergei Sikorsky

  30. #30
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    Made it even 8 apiece. Hope sunderland gets it.

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