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Short Type 310 / Type 320

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1916

Single-engine, single- or two-seat, two-bay biplane reconnaissance torpedo bomber seaplane

Short - Type 184 / Type 225 - 1915 - Великобритания<– –>Short - N.2B - 1917 - Великобритания

C.Barnes Short Aircraft since 1900 (Putnam)

Short 310 hp Seaplanes, 1916-19

   When the Short 184 failed to repeat its first operational success as a torpedo-plane, due mainly to insufficient power in reserve to cope with both a torpedo and ample fuel, particularly in hot weather, Capt Murray Sueter and Lieut Hyde Thomson realised that they would have to face the complication of twin engines or wait for a power unit giving at least 300 hp, preferably at a weight no greater than that of current 200 hp engines. Early experience with the Wight twin-fuselage torpedo seaplane had provided only double trouble with no advantage in performance, plus an unnecessarily large aircraft for the task. Nevertheless, a twin-engined prototype torpedo-seaplane with 225 hp Sunbeam engines was ordered from the Blackburn Aeroplane Co and Louis Coatalen was urged to press on with the development of a 300 hp Sunbeam engine in competition with the rapidly improving Rolls-Royce Eagle; all supplies of the latter were already earmarked for bombers (D.H.4 and Handley Page O/100) and for Curtiss and Porte flying-boats which had begun to prove their ability to fight off and destroy Zeppelins at long range. The Admiralty’s objectives of torpedoing the German and Austrian fleets in their respective anchorages at Wilhelmshaven and Pola had to yield priority to the urgent needs of the Western Front and North Sea battles, and consequently no Rolls-Royce Eagles could be spared for float seaplanes in 1916.
   Meanwhile, Horace and Oswald Short prepared two designs based on the new Sunbeam engine; the first was a cleaned-up and strengthened torpedo-seaplane of almost the same size as the Mann Egerton Type B, with a roomier fuselage, increased chord and gap and similar wing arrangement; the second was a patrol seaplane with the same fuselage and chassis as the first, but having equal-span three-bay wings analogous to Type 184. Two prototypes of each were ordered as a batch of four, the torpedo-planes (310 Type A) being S.299-300 (serials 8317-8318) and the patrol seaplanes (310 Type B) being S.311-312 (serials 8319-8320); the latter were alternatively known as ‘North Sea Scouts’. The Sunbeam engine, later named Cossack, was rated at 310 hp (normal) and 320 hp (maximum), but in production batches the normal rating was soon raised to 320 hp. Maximum priority was accorded to the torpedo version, once the engines were available, with a view to putting them to use in the Adriatic as soon as possible. General design features were similar to the 184’s, but the 18-in Mark IX torpedo (weighing 1,000 lb against the 810 lb of the 14-in Whitehead) was carried close under the belly of the fuselage. The rear cross-strut of the float chassis was made detachable to permit a clear passage when the torpedo was launched, and extra struts were provided to secure the inner faces of the floats while the cross-strut was removed. The engine installation was generally similar to that of the 260 hp Sunbeam in the 184, with the same block radiator above and an auxiliary radiator and oil cooler on the port side of the fuselage between the wings; in later production batches the main radiator was enlarged and the auxiliary unit deleted. At first the central exhaust manifold had a downswept stack, but this resulted in fumes in the cockpit and only after various vertical and lateral pipes had been tried was the final stack, upswept and canted to port, found satisfactory; for a time the prototypes had a parallel pair of pipes close together. The prototypes had four-bladed airscrews, but two-bladers were standard on production aircraft. The pilot occupied the rear cockpit, to obviate the need for ballast under a variety of loading conditions, and the front cockpit provided all the normal stowages and equipment for the observer, including W/T; in later batches there was also a Scarff ring mounted on struts level with the upper-wing trailing edge, which gave the observer a clear field of fire for a Lewis gun, but was a position of great exposure for which no alternative could be found; however, the observer could not be carried at the same time as a torpedo.
   The first prototype was ready for flight at Rochester in July 1916, and the second in August, both being first flown by Ronald Kemp. After acceptance, the two prototypes were urgently dispatched to the R.N.A.S. seaplane base at Otranto, where it was intended to station 12 of the type, but during early torpedo trials both seaplanes broke up in the air. At first it was thought that the rebound from suddenly releasing so great a weight might have been responsible for structural failure, but the defect was traced to the rear float attachment; this was redesigned with modified floats pitched farther apart and extra struts bracing the floats to the lower wings; the extra float struts were V-shaped welded tube assemblies which swung down when released for wing folding; a notice prominently painted on both sides of the fuselage read: ’Very Important: The Removable Rear Crossbar Must always be in Position Before the Wings are Folded’’, in this form the aircraft was designated the 310-A4. The second 310-B (S.312) was converted during construction into an additional 310-A4 in February 1917 and renumbered N1480. Production had already begun at Rochester with a batch of 30 (S.354-363, N1150-1159, and S.334-353, N1300-1319) for urgent delivery to Otranto and Malta, to be followed by batches of 24 (S.365-388, N1481-1504) and 20 (S.399-418, N1390-1409). Concurrently a contract was placed with Sunbeam for batches of 30 (N1360-1389) and 20 (N1690-1709) respectively; it seems that the final batches from Short Bros and Sunbeam were exchanged, probably to ease temporary supply difficulties. No later production was undertaken because official policy had changed in favour of deck-landing torpedo-planes, following successful trials after the second refit of H.M.S. Furious. On its first operation the 310-A4 was robbed of success by a sudden gale which wrecked all six of those detailed for a torpedo attack on the night of 3 September, 1917, against a flotilla of enemy submarines off Cattaro in the Adriatic. To conserve fuel, they were towed on rafts to Traste Bay, where they arrived successfully but were capsized by a sudden storm at 4 am, just at zero hour for take-off; so the opportunity passed, and no other chance presented itself within the capability of the aircraft for several months. Then, in January 1918, the German cruiser Goeben made a bolt for freedom through the Dardanelles but ran aground at Nagara Burnu; while stuck fast, she was repeatedly bombed without effect by the R.N.A.S., and two 310-A4s, with torpedoes, were hastily embarked on Manxman, but arrived too late to join in the attack, for after a week the Goeben’s crew refloated her and she escaped to shelter in the Bosphorus.
   To improve experience of torpedo launching, a series of trials were run at Calshot in February 1918, in which 40 torpedoes were launched by four 310-A4s; only three weapons were lost, and the lessons learned were put to use at the Torpedo School at Kalafrana, Malta. The majority of the 310-A4s in service were used in the long-range patrol role, when they had an endurance of six hours while carrying a crew of two and two 230-lb bombs. No submarine kill by a 310-A4 was ever confirmed, although a probable was scored by one from Kalafrana on a U-boat which attacked a French battleship off Malta on 8 February, 1918. The total number of 310-As built was 127, of which 50 remained in service with the R.A.F. at the Armistice; N1404 and N1409 were in use at Grain for experimental work in June 1918, and six, believed to be S.370-375 (N1485-1490), were supplied to the Imperial Japanese Navy for training and trials at the end of 1917.
   The 310-B, completed in September 1916, was not adopted for production, being not a sufficient improvement on the 184. Possibly if all the torpedo-seaplanes had been needed in their original role there would have been some justification for a structurally similar long-range Scout, but, with no niche to fill, the prototype S.311 (8319) was used in April 1917 only for air-firing trials at Grain of a 6-pounder Davis recoilless gun, arranged to fire upwards and forwards as an anti-Zeppelin weapon. It was mounted on a trammel across the rear cockpit, which also had a Lewis gun for self-defence; the pilot was in front as in the 184, which the 310-B closely resembled in layout, although it was bigger all round and its deeper fuselage gave better protection to the crew. For some reason, no doubt to improve the pilot’s view ahead as well as to avoid muzzle blast damage from the Davis gun, the top centre-section was left open and the radiator was separated laterally into two parallel blocks, with a clear space in the middle. The gun was a later model of that tested at Great Yarmouth in 1915 on Short pusher S.81 (726), but was still a single-shot type incapable of being reloaded in the air; in any case it could only be aimed at an angle to the flight path, so it was quite unsuitable for aerial use, even when directed downwards as an anti-submarine weapon.

Type 310-A4 - Span 75 ft (22-85 m); length 45 ft 9 in (13-9 in); area 810 sq ft (75-3 m2); empty weight 4,900 lb (2,222 kg); all-up weight 7,020 lb (3,185 kg); max speed 79 mph (127 km/h); duration 6 hr.
Type 310-B - Span 68 ft 6 in (20-85 m); area 800 sq ft (74-4 tn2); max speed 72 mph (116 km/h); all other data as for Type 310-A4.

F.Manson British Bomber Since 1914 (Putnam)

Short Type 310

   Despite the outstanding, if isolated success achieved by the torpedo-carrying Short 184s at the Dardanelles in August 1915, it was evident that in order for a single-engine aircraft to possess adequate performance while carrying the 1,100 lb 18in torpedo (particularly in hot climates) it was necessary to acquire an engine of more than 300 horsepower, itself weighing scarcely more than the existing 250hp engines. The new Rolls-Royce twelve-cylinder water-cooled powerplant, soon to be named the Eagle, was already approaching the 300hp rating, but production engines were being earmarked for the Handley Page O/100.
   At Sunbeam, however, Louis Coatalen was developing a 300hp engine, later named the Cossack, and it was for this engine that Horace and Oswald Short designed new seaplanes, the Type 310A (torpedo-carrier) and the 310B (patrol scout) * - the former being accorded the highest priority owing to increased enemy naval activity in the Mediterranean early in 1916.
* Confusion has existed for many years with regard to the correct designation of the Type 310, resulting from the various systems of referring to the Short seaplanes. The term Type 310 was adopted to identify aircraft powered by the 310hp Sunbeam engine, this being the initial normal power. The rating was soon raised to 320hp (maximum), and eventually came to be regarded as the 'normal' rating. Strictly speaking the aircraft with these more powerful engines should have been referred to as Type 320s, and often were. However, the designation was never sanctioned, and Short's own designation, the Type 310-A4, came to be officially adopted.
   In contrast to the earlier Type 184, which carried its torpedo beneath arched float cross-members, the Type 310A incorporated torpedo crutches on the fuselage underside, thereby ensuring that the torpedo was always carried clear of the water. To provide additional float rigidity, a detachable cross-member interconnected the rear ends of the floats when a torpedo was not carried, and extra fixed raked struts gave adequate float rigidity when carrying the torpedo, while allowing the weapon unrestricted fall when released. The front float cross-member was located forward of the torpedo in any case, and therefore remained fixed.
   When carrying a torpedo, the Short 310A was invariably flown as a singleseater, the pilot occupying the rear cockpit so as to maintain the aircraft cg within acceptable limits. These crew dispositions were regarded as unsatisfactory as, occupying the front cockpit, the observer was so beset by interplane struts and upper wing that, without a gun mounting, the aircraft was defenceless. To overcome this, later aircraft featured a Lewis gun with Scarff ring level with the upper wing trailing edge; to man the gun, the observer was obliged to stand on his seat with most of his body exposed to the slipstream but at least he possessed an excellent field of fire.
   Two prototype Type 310As and two 310Bs had been ordered, and the first two, Nos 8317 and 8318, were first flown by Ronald Kemp in July and August 1916 respectively. (Of the two 310Bs ordered, only No 8319 was completed as such, No 8320 being converted to become an additional Type 310A during manufacture.)
   Nos 8317 and 8318 were quickly despatched to RNAS Otranto in Italy for operational torpedo trials, but both aircraft broke up in the air following failures of their rear float attachment. This was rectified in production aircraft by moving the floats further apart, and an additional V-strut was added to brace the float to the lower wing on each side; these struts were disconnected and rotated downwards to allow the wings to be folded. With this modification in place, the aircraft was termed the 310-A4.
   A total of 127 Type 310-A4s was built by Short Bros and the Sunbeam Motor Car Company, all carrying N-prefix serial numbers. The first 54 production machines were shipped to Otranto and Malta during the spring of 1917.
   Their first operation, however, ended in failure before it even began, when six 310-A4s, having been towed on rafts to Traste Bay, were destroyed by a sudden storm which capsized all the craft moments before the aircraft were due to be disembarked for take off. Their task had been to attack with torpedoes a flotilla of enemy submarines, known to be off Cattaro in the Adriatic. No such target was ever again presented.
   The Mediterranean-based seaplanes were employed on long-range patrols, made possible by their six-hour endurance when carrying a pair of 230 lb bombs. No submarine kill by a 310-A4 was ever confirmed, although the pilot of a Kalafrana-based aircraft claimed to have 'probably destroyed' a submarine which had attacked a French warship off Malta on 8 February 1918.
   The production of torpedo-carrying seaplanes was ended by the Admiralty late in 1917 when it became evident from trials aboard HMS Furious that year that deck-landing aircraft could operate with greater flexibility a belief that persisted for the remainder of the aerial torpedo's history.
   Nevertheless, no fewer than fifty Short Type 310-A4s remained in service with the RAF at the Armistice.

   Type: Single-engine, single- or two-seat, two-bay biplane reconnaissance torpedo bomber seaplane.
   Manufacturers: Short Bros, Rochester, Rent; The Sunbeam Motor Car Co Ltd, Wolverhampton.
   Powerplant: One 310hp (later 320hp) Sunbeam Cossack twelve-cylinder, water-cooled, in-line engine.
   Dimensions: Span, 75ft 0in; length, 49ft 9in; height, 17ft 6in; wing area, 810 sq ft.
   Weights (320hp Cossack): Tare, 4,933 lb; all-up, 7,014 lb (with 18in torpedo).
   Performance (18in torpedo; Cossack): Max speed, 72.5 mph at sea level; climb to 2,000ft, 12 min; ceiling, 3,000ft; endurance, 2 hr.
   Armament: One Lewis gun with Scarff ring on wing centresection requiring observer to stand on front cockpit seat to fire gun. Bomb load either one 1,000 lb 18in Mk IX torpedo or two 230 lb bombs. (Flown as single-seater when carrying torpedo.)
   Prototypes: Two, Nos 8317 and 8318. No 8317 first flown at Rochester in July 1916, 8318 in August, both by Ronald Kemp.
   Production: Total of 125 Short 310As built (excluding prototypes): Short, 75 (N1150-N1159, NT300-N1319, M390-N1409 and N1480-N1504); Sunbeam, 50 (N1360-NT389 and N1690-NT709).
   Summary of Service: Short 310As served at RNAS Uembridge (equipping No 253 Sqn, RAF, after August 1918); at RNAS Otranto, Italy (equipping No 263 Sqn, RAF, after September 1918); at RNAS Mudros, Aegean (equipping No 266 Sqn, RAF, after August 1918); at RNAS Kalafrana, Malta (equipping No 268 Sqn. RAF, after August 1918); and at RNAS Killingholme.

P.Lewis British Bomber since 1914 (Putnam)

The feature of extensive upper wings’ overhang was perpetuated in another single-engine seaplane of 1916, the Short 320, which was intended to launch the 18 in. Mk. IX 1,000 lb. torpedo. Two prototypes - 8317 and 8318 - were built, and the 320 was ordered into production for the R.N.A.S., being fitted with the Sunbeam Cossack engine of either 310 h.p. or 320 h.p. The pilot was accommodated in the rear cockpit, a fact which accentuated the difficulty of the observer in using his Lewis gun to advantage. To enable him to do this, the bizarre expedient was resorted to of mounting a strut-supported Scarff ring in line with the upper centre-section, from which the unfortunate gunner was expected to fire his Lewis by climbing out of his seat to stand in the cockpit. In addition to acting as a torpedo-carrier, the Short 320 was employed on reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrol, its bomb capacity being two of 230 lb. each.

P.Lewis The British Fighter since 1912 (Putnam)

While other firms were engaged in producing the smaller type of fighting scout, Short Brothers constructed a relatively large two-seat, three-bay biplane seaplane, powered by the 310 h.p. Sunbeam Cossack, and known as the 310 Seaplane Type B, or North Sea Scout. The machine was designed mainly to carry the 5-pounder Davis recoilless gun and was equipped also with a Lewis gun, both weapons being installed in the rear cockpit, but the cancellation of the Davis gun’s development brought about the discontinuation of the Short North Sea Scout.

J.Bruce British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 (Putnam)

Short 320

  AS if to make a confusing system of aircraft nomenclature even more confusing, this Short seaplane was known by the numerical value of the horse-power of its engine. The power unit of most of the production machines was the Sunbeam Cossack of 320 h.p., but the early examples of the type had an earlier version of the engine which had a nominal output of 310 h.p. The Cossack was a water-cooled vee-twelve.
  The new seaplane first appeared in 1916; it had been designed to fulfil official requirements for a long-range seaplane capable of carrying an 18-inch torpedo weighing 1,000 lb. (This was the new Mark IX torpedo, which contained 170 lb of T.N.T.)
  The seaplane’s fuselage and tail-unit were typical of Short design, and a box-like radiator was perched on top of the engine. The wings were of unequal span and appeared to be similar to those of the modified Short 184 built by Mann, Egerton & Co., as the Mann, Egerton Type B; but the inversely tapered ailerons of the Short 320 had straight trailing edges, and the bracing of the upper-wing extensions was slightly different.
  The float undercarriage, although apparently conventional, had been specially designed to permit the carrying and dropping of the torpedo. On the Short 320 the missile was carried roughly midway between the level of the floats and the bottom of the fuselage; the rear cross-bar of the floats was designed to be removable to give a clear passage for the dropping torpedo. Production machines had additional vee-struts from the rear float attachment points to the undersides of the lower wings. On the Short 320s which were not equipped with torpedo crutches, extra tankage and bomb racks were fitted, and the machines were used for long-range reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrol duties.
  Rather oddly, the Short 320 was flown from the rear cockpit; it was, of course, flown without an observer when a torpedo was carried. Ordinarily the rearward position of the pilot would have meant that the observer had little hope of using a Lewis gun effectively, but the use of a somewhat desperate device gave the Short 320’s observer a reasonable field of fire. This consisted of a Scarff ring-mounting installed on a level with the centre-section; the ring-mounting was attached to the rear spar and was braced to the upper longerons of the fuselage by two struts. To fire the gun the observer was obliged to stand on the coaming of his cockpit.
  The Short 320 was built in some numbers by Short Brothers and by the Sunbeam Motor Car Company, but production was on a small scale in comparison with that of the Short 184. The type was issued to various seaplane stations at home and in the Mediterranean.
  In December, 1916, Commodore Murray F. Sueter, ever the protagonist of torpedo-carrying aircraft, submitted proposals for torpedo attacks on the German fleet at Wilhelmshaven and the Austrian fleet at Pola. The latter target held out greater chances of immediate success and was approved in January 1917; at the same time orders were placed for twenty-five Short 320s. In February the establishment of the R.N.A.S. Seaplane Station at Otranto was defined: it included twelve Short 320s.
  The first attempt to use the big Shorts against the enemy was begun on September and, 1917, but proved unsuccessful. The objectives were enemy submarines lying in the Straits of Kumbor off Cattaro. Six Short 320s were placed on special rafts and were towed by motor launches to a point 50 miles south of Traste Bay, where the Shorts were to take off for Cattaro: this was done because the torpedo-laden Shorts could not lift enough fuel for the complete return flight from their base. At 4 a.m. on September 3rd the seaplanes were ready to start when the wind suddenly and unexpectedly increased to gale force and the sea became too rough for the machines to take off. Two pilots made unsuccessful attempts to get their Shorts into the air, but the attack had to be abandoned. One of the seaplanes sank on the way back to Otranto, and all the others were damaged.
  The operation was never repeated, but it gave some indication of what could be done, and the Admiralty ultimately sanctioned an increase in the establishment of the R.N.A.S. bases at Otranto and Taranto.
  By the beginning of 1918, very few torpedo attacks had actually been made by aircraft, and it was felt that there was insufficient information available concerning the behaviour of torpedoes launched from aircraft. Experiments were therefore conducted at Calshot in February, 1918. Four Short 320s were used, and between them released forty torpedoes fitted with dummy heads. The results were regarded as excellent: only three of the forty torpedoes were lost.
  The Short 320 remained in service until the Armistice and for a short time thereafter. In 1919 the Imperial Japanese Navy had at least one machine of the type on its strength. It is known that N.1485 was sent to Japan.

  Manufacturers: Short Brothers, Rochester.
  Other Contractors: The Sunbeam Motor Car Co., Ltd., Wolverhampton.
  Power: 310 h.p. Sunbeam Cossack (maximum output 320 h.p. at 2,000 r.p.m.); 320 h.p. Sunbeam Cossack (maximum output 345 h.p. at 2,000 r.p.m.).
  Dimensions: Span: upper 75 ft, lower 46 ft 9 1/2 in. Length: 45 ft 9 in. Height: 17 ft 6 in. Chord: 7 ft. Gap: 7 ft 2 in. Stagger: 5 1/2 in. Dihedral: 3. Incidence: 3. Span of tail: 21 ft. Distance between float centres: 14 ft 3 in.
  Areas: Wings: upper 530 sq ft, lower 280 sq ft, total 810 sq ft. Ailerons: each 43-5 sq ft, total 87 sq ft. Tailplane: 75-5 sq ft. Elevators: 54-5 sq ft. Fin: 26 sq ft. Rudder: 26 sq ft.
  Armament: One Lewis machine-gun on elevated Scarff ring-mounting fitted above forward cockpit and level with the centre-section. One 18-inch Mark IX torpedo (1,000 lb) carried beneath the fuselage, or two 230-lb bombs.
  Service Use: R.N.A.S. Stations at Calshot, Felixstowe, Killingholme, Great Yarmouth and Isle of Grain. Mediterranean: R.N.A.S. 6th Wing, from bases at Otranto and Brindisi. R.N.A.S. Station, Calafrana, Malta, for anti-submarine patrols. Two Short 320s were used at the R.N.A.S. Torpedo School, Malta.
  Production and Allocation: Serial numbers indicate that at least 137 Short 320s were ordered. On October 31st, 1918, the R.A.F. had fifty machines of the type on charge. Seventeen were at home seaplane stations, two were at other home bases, one was en route to the Middle East, and thirty were in the Mediterranean.
Weights {lb) and Performance:
Engine 310 h.p. Sunbeam 320 h.p.Sunbeam
Load Torpedo Torpedo Fuel for 6 hours and two 230-lb bombs
Date of Trial Report April 13 th, 1917 September 6th, 1917 September 25th, 1917
Type of airscrew used on trial - R.1708 -
Weight empty 4,873 4,933 4,891
Military load 1,175 1,273 690
Crew 360 360 360
Fuel and oil 605 448 1,080
Weight loaded 7,013 7,014 7,021
Maximum speed (m.p.h.) at
1,200 ft - 72-5 -
2,000 ft 77 - 79
6,500 ft - - 7'-5
m. s. m. s. m. s.
Climb to
2,000 ft 11 50 12 00 8 35
6,500 ft - - - - 45 00
Service ceiling (feet) 3,500 3,000 5,500
Endurance (hours) 3 - 6

  Serial Numbers: 8317-8318: prototypes built by Short Brothers. N.1150-N.1159: built by Short. N. 1300-N.1319: built by Short. N.1360-N.1389: built by Sunbeam. N. 1390-1409: built by Short. N.1480-N.1504: built by Short. N.1690-N.1709: built by Sunbeam.
  Notes on Individual Machines: N.1383: R.N.A.S. Station, Killingholme. N.1485: sent to Japan. N.1491 and N.1493 were used at the R.N.A.S. Station, Calafrana, Malta.
  Costs: Airframe without engine, instruments and armament £3,589 7s.

Short 310 h.p. Seaplane, Type B: the North Sea Scout

  CONTEMPORARY with the prototypes of the torpedo-carrying seaplane which became known as the Short 320 was another machine, similarly powered by the 310 h.p. Sunbeam Cossack engine. To distinguish it from the first type, the other aircraft was known as the Short 310 h.p. Seaplane, Type B, a somewhat cumbersome designation which may have suggested that a name of some kind was needed. However that may be, the Type B seaplane was also called the North Sea Scout.
  Superficially the Type B resembled the Short 184, but it was in fact quite a different aeroplane. It was a three-bay biplane with wings of equal span, and the wings provided the principal distinguishing features of the type. Whereas the upper mainplane of the Short 184 had slight inverse taper which continued some way along the ailerons, the upper wing of the Type B was of constant chord, and its ailerons alone had an inverse taper on a straight trailing edge. The ailerons each had three control horns as opposed to the two which were fitted to the 184, and the centre-section of the Type B was not covered. The rear float attachment was made by a sturdy vee-strut, whereas the Short 184 had two single struts attached to opposite sides of each float. The fuselage of the Type B was deeper than that of the Short 184 and the pilot’s cockpit had a much closer coaming about it. The observer/gunner sat a short way farther aft. The aircraft’s principal weapon was a five-pounder Davis gun, but a Lewis gun was also provided for the seaplane’s own defence. The Davis gun could be mounted to fire upwards at an acute angle, indicating possible employment as an anti-airship machine; but its potentialities as an anti-submarine aircraft were considerable.
  Although such hopes were built upon the Davis gun and production of the weapon was begun, it fell from favour. With its demise most of the aircraft which had been armed with it lost their designed purpose. The Short North Sea Scout was one of these.

  Manufacturers: Short Brothers, Rochester.
  Power: 310 h.p. Sunbeam Cossack.
  Armament: One five-pounder Davis recoilless gun and one Lewis machine-gun, both fired by the observer.
  Serial Numbers: 8319-8320.

O.Thetford Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918 (Putnam)

Short 320

   The Short 320 was the last of a series of seaplanes widely used in the First World War for anti-submarine and naval reconnaissance. Powered by a 310hp or 320hp Sunbeam engine, over fifty Short 320s were in service with the RAF in October 1918. Nos 253, 263, 266 and 268 were still thus equipped until 1919. Last in service were the Short 320s of No 268 Squadron based at Kalafrana, Malta, until October that year. Span, 74ft 6in; length, 45ft 9in. Loaded weight, 7,014lb. Max speed, 80mph; climb, 140ft/min; service ceiling, 5,500ft.

O.Thetford British Naval Aircraft since 1912 (Putnam)

Short 320 Seaplane

   The Short 320 was the last of many types of Short seaplane to enter service during the First World War. It was also the largest, since it was designed to combine long range with weight-lifting capacity to carry the new Mk.IX 18-in torpedo of 1,000 lb.
   The designation of the Short 320 derived from its 320 hp Sunbeam Cossack engine, though the original version had a Sunbeam of only 310 hp. The prototypes (Nos.8317 and 8318) made their first flights in 1916 and were followed by 75 production aircraft from Shorts and 45 from Sunbeam. At this time the Admiralty was giving increasing attention to the claims of the Mediterranean, where U-boats based in the Adriatic called for more air patrols. As an immediate step, six Short 225s were transferred from Dundee air station to this theatre, and plans were finalised for attacks by torpedo-carrying seaplanes on the Austrian fleet at Pola. It was decided that the new Otranto base should have 12 Short 320s on its strength when these became available and two more were to be established at a torpedo school based in Malta.
   The first attack by the Italian-based Short 320s was launched on 2 September 1917, when six aircraft, carrying their 18-in torpedoes, were towed by motor launches to a point 50 miles south of Traste Bay, where they were to take off for a raid on submarines lying off Cattaro. The operation proved abortive; by a great misfortune it was robbed of success by gales and heavy seas which sprang up on 3 September.
   For some unexplained reason, no further attacks of this kind were made, though a series of experiments with torpedo drops at Calshot in February 1918 proved very successful. By 31 March 1918 the RNAS had received 110 Short 320s and when the war ended there were 50 still in service: 30 of these were in the Mediterranean. Thereafter, with more interest being shown in the carrier-borne landplane for torpedo work, the Short 320 soon disappeared from the scene. Some of the last remained with No.268 Squadron, which served at Malta until disbanded in October 1919.

   RNAS coastal air stations which, following the formation of the RAF, were designated No.229 Squadron (Great Yarmouth), No.240 Squadron (Calshot), No.248 Squadron (Hornsea). No.263 Squadron (Otranto), No.264 Squadron (Suda Bay), No.266 Squadron (Mudros), No.268 (Malta) and No.269 Squadron (Kalafrana).

   Description: Two-seat anti-submarine patrol or single-seat torpedo-carrying seaplane. Wooden structure, fabric covered.
   Manufacturers: Short Bros (serialled N1300-1319, N1390-1409 and N1480-1504) and Sunbeam (serialled N1360-1389, N1690-1696 and N1702-1709).
   Power Plant: One 310 hp or 320 hp Sunbeam Cossack.
   Dimensions: Span, 75 ft. Length, 45 ft 9 in. Height, 17 ft 6 in. Wing area, 810 sq ft.
   Weights (with torpedo): Empty, 4,933 lb. Loaded, 7,014 lb.
   Performance (with torpedo): Maximum speed, 72 1/2 mph at 1,200 ft. Climb, 12 min to 2,000 ft. Service ceiling, 3,000 ft.
   Armament: One free-mounted Lewis machine-gun above front cockpit level with wing. One 18-in torpedo or two 230 lb bombs below the fuselage.

H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)

Type 320. On this seaplane of 1916 the placing of the massive radiator immediately ahead of the pilot's windscreen, coupled with the presence of a float-bracing cross-tie directly beneath the torpedo-carrier, might have appeared to render the aircraft wholly useless for its intended purpose of dropping an 18-in Mk.IX torpedo. But although the radiator was immovable, and the pilot was committed to making the most of his field of view on either side, the cross-tie between the floats was removable. Before an intended raid by Short 320s on Durazzo harbour, the aircraft were towed out into the Adriatic by Naval launches, and volunteers from the launches swam out to the seaplanes and unbolted the ties. On occasions when the tie was to be removed, the floats were fitted with extra struts, which braced their inner faces.
   Although as torpedo-carriers these aircraft achieved no operational success, as had the Type 184, they were used for valuable trials at Calshot early in 1918.
   Mostly the Short 320s were used for patrol and bombing, without provision for the torpedo but carrying bombs and a Lewis gun. The bombs were carried in the customary Short fashion under the fuselage, typical loads being two 230-lb or four 112-lb. A standard installation of a Lewis gun was made. This look the form of a Scarff ring-mounting located behind a cut-out in the top wing, the base of the ring being braced to the fuselage by two struts. The observer gunner was in the front seat, and to use the Lewis gun he stood up in his cockpit, being thus exposed to the slipstream.

310-hp Seaplane, Type B. This was the designation applied to the 'North Sea Scout' type of Short seaplane, produced in 1916 as a 'Zeppelin fighter' to carry a 6-pdr Davis recoilless gun, in addition to a Lew is gun for its own defence. The big gun was shackled to a member across the rear cockpit, and fired upward and forward. Accordingly, the centre-section of the top wing was left open, and the radiator was made in two blocks instead of one. The Lewis gun mounting was apparently developed at Grain, where the aircraft was tested.

J.Bruce - British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 /Putnam/
The first prototype Short Type 310A, S.299, No 8317, carrying a torpedo at Rochester in July 1916. The figure on the extreme right ts Oswald Short.
J.Bruce - British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 /Putnam/
Production Short 320 with torpedo slung.
O.Thetford - Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918 /Putnam/
Short Type 310-A4, N1393, taxying with an 18in torpedo. The pilot's forward field of view must have been minimal.
The Short Brothers Company, established in November 1908, had enjoyed a long standing good relationship with the Admiralty's Air Department and especially with its visionary head. Murray F Sueter. Between 1912 and 1914, Shorts had developed a series of tractor-engined seaplanes, culminating in the first of the so-called Short 'Folders', of which the Admiralty had bought 25. Thus, at the outbreak of war in early August 1914, Shorts were already established as the leading supplier of naval seaplanes in Britain. These early seaplanes, one of which had been the first British aircraft to loft and drop a torpedo on 27 July 1914, were followed by the Short Admiralty Type 166 and other small run series precursors to the seemingly ubiquitously built and deployed, torpedo-carrying Short Admiralty Type 184 that emerged in the spring of 1915. More than 650 of these two seaters were to be produced by Shorts and 10 sub-contractors. Incidentally, the first Type 184s to be deployed served aboard HMS Ben-My-Cree from June 1915. Indeed, the Type 184 was the first ever aircraft to sink a ship by torpedo, on 17 August 1915, albeit that the ship in question was a tug boat attacked while the aircraft was taxiing in the Aegean Sea, where the high temperatures reduced performance considerably. Aware of this grave limitation, Sueter sought solutions via two routes, the first being to contract for the design of twin-engined types such as the Blackburn GP, while beseeching sympathetic engine suppliers to produce a power unit with sufficient output to make a single-engined torpedo-carrier a real possibility. In the case of Shorts, it was the emergence of an engine adequate to the task that did the trick, leading to their two-seat Short Admiralty Type 310, a more powerful development of the Type 184. First flown in July 1916 and powered by the 320hp Sunbeam Cossack, the Type 310 could carry a 1,000lb, 18 inch torpedo when cruising at around 68mph, while the top level speed at sea level, without torpedo was 79mph. Ironically, by the time the Type 310 was ready for service use its primary role had been given over to carrier-based landplane types, such as the Sopwith Cuckoo, with the result that the Short seaplane's mission was switched to over-water patrolling. Seen here is serial no N1303, the 14th Type 310 to be built by Shorts, who, incidentally, were to supply six of these machines to the Japanese Navy at the end of 1917.
O.Thetford - British Naval Aircraft since 1912 /Putnam/
Short Type 320 (N1498) built by Short Brothers.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
Production 310-A4 N1397 ready for launching at Rochester in January 1918.
F.Mason - British Bomber since 1914 /Putnam/
Short-built production Type 310-A4, N1397, showing the position of the observer's gun ring in the trailing edge of the upper wing. Note also the additional I-struts between the rear of the main floats and the wing beneath the inboard interplane struts. The beautifully executed inscription on the fuselage below the pilot's cockpit reads: 'Very Important: The Removable Rear Crossbar Must always be in Position Before the Wings are Folded'.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
Ronald Kemp in N1150 at Rochester in February 1917; note slender vertical exhaust stack.
P.Lewis - British Bomber since 1914 /Putnam/
Short 320 N1397.
View of a Type 310-A4 which well illustrates the wings' considerable overhang. Production aircraft reverted to two-blade propellers.
H.King - Armament of British Aircraft /Putnam/
На берегу гидросамолеты перемещали на колесных тележках, крепившихся на тросах под задней частью поплавков, т.е. у центра тяжести самолета, благодаря чему удерживать хвост руками над землей было достаточно легко
Short Type 320, showing installation of Scarff ring-mounting behind cut-out in top wing.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
N1152 being unfolded on the jetty at Rochester in February 1917, showing alternative position of slender exhaust stack.
J.Bruce - British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 /Putnam/
Production Short 320, long-range reconnaissance version
J.Bruce - British Aeroplanes 1914-1918 /Putnam/
The first and only 310-B (Short 310 h.p. Seaplane, Type B), S.311 (8319) at Rochester in September 1916.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
8319 about to take off for trials of 6-pounder Davis gun at Grain in April 1917.
P.Lewis - The British Fighter since 1912 /Putnam/
Short Type B North Sea Scout.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
A Short Seaplane (320 h.p. Sunbeam engine) in the Japanese Naval Air Service.
C.Barnes - Short Aircraft since 1900 /Putnam/
Short 310-A4
P.Lewis - British Bomber since 1914 /Putnam/
Short 320