In 1926, following the fitting of a new design of metal hull to an otherwise standard ‘F’ Class flying boat, the Singapore 1, a completely ‘new’ aircraft emerged.
This new design was used to develop the civilian Calcutta flying boat that provided an extremely high standard of passenger comfort having amenities such as a wash basin, a proper lavatory, a buffet and cooking facilities.
A military version was also developed and was known as the Rangoon to be used for patrol duties with the Royal Air Force Londoners were treated to a close-up view of Britain’s latest commercial flying boat when in 1928 John Lankester Parker, Shorts Chief Test Pilot, with Oswald Short on board, put a Calcutta down on the River Thames at Westminster for the Members of Parliament to inspect.
The luxurious interior of the passenger version
Winston Churchill and John Lankester Parker in the cockpit with Oswald Short raising a finger