The SHORT BROTHERS, Horace, Eustace and Oswald were true aviation pioneers and made many highly significant contributions to UK and later to world-wide aviation and yet the importance of their pioneering work and their innovations in the design and manufacture of early aircraft and the impact on modern aviation is not widely recognised.
The Brothers set up the worlds' first aeroplane factory at Shellbeach on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent in 1909 and started production with a licence from the Wright Brothers to build six Wright 'Flyers' and their own Short No.2 aeroplane.
The famous aviator and aeroplane manufacturer C.F. Fairey wrote of Horace Short....
"I joined Messrs Short Brothers. Here I had the privilege of working with the greatest engineer I have ever met, the late Mr. Horace Short."
J. Lankester Parker, one-time Chief Test Pilot and Company director, wrote of Oswald Short.....
"The contribution made by Oswald Short to the technical side of aviation is, I think, far greater than is generally realised and in my view he has never received the rightful tribute for his imaginative and practical work in this connection."
Oswald feared a lack of awareness of the important role Short Brothers played with their contributions to our aviation heritage. This fear is reflected in the present shocking state of their graves that are in such poor condition and unmarked in terms of their importance to our heritage. They are three national monuments.
Installing stainless steel plaques on each grave will give investigators the information and the help needed for them recognise the importance of these remarkable brothers, highlighting the enormous contribution they made to aviation heritage.
The main outcome of our Project would be the raising of awareness and provision of free access to information hitherto 'buried'. We will bring together the myriad strands of SHORT ‘stories’, bringing them together into a coherent SHORT STORY and so engage aviation heritage researchers, from school age to old age, with the materials and knowledge needed to place the Brothers in their true position in aviation history i.e. our great aviation heritage.
We have set up this website to give not only many details of the Short Brothers that are not too well known but include a geo-trail and an e-trail for online researchers as a development, soon. There will be an overlap of the two trails and they can be ‘picked’ for information. The website will be shared with our transport heritage site ‘partners’.
A DVD will contain recorded photographs and an oral history from former Short Brothers workers – ‘SHORTS BOYS’, and will accompany leaflets and information packs for libraries, heritage and information centres.
A special schools’ pack will be offered to all Kent schools and be available to others on request.
April, A TALK AND DISPLAY TO THE STIRLING AIRCRAFT SOCIETY WENT WELL AND A GREAT DAY WAS HAD BY ALL.
In July, Liz fulfilled a promise to give a couple of talks and put up a SHORT display that proved of interest to the public at Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome.
Planting of the two plaques at Hampstead Cemetery at about mid-day on September 29th 2017.
In 2018 talk and displsay to the AEG group of engineers at the Shuttelworth Collection.
Another aviation heritage group meeting at Portsmouth University during their winter programme.
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