Short Brothers Aviation Pioneers

1910 – 1915

Eastchurch: 1910 - 1915

Eastchurch 1914 - 1915

The transfer of the Shorts works from Eastchurch to Rochester began with the ‘Float Department’ about one week before the outbreak of World War 1 and the rest of the manufacturing workshops followed gradually.


At the outbreak of war Shorts had ready a twin-float seaplane complete with folding wings. These wings were a feature that allowed the use of aircraft from on-board ships. The plane was capable of carrying a 1000-pound bomb between its floats and the development was given the famous name ‘Sunbeam 225’ series


Known as the ‘two-two-five’ its name was derived from the Sunbeam engine which was 225 horsepower.

This 225 h.p. Sunbeam Short seaplane did more work around the coasts of Britain, in the Mediterranean and Indian Oceans that any other seaplane of the First World War.

It was built in the hundreds by a number of different companies:

  • Short Brothers at Rochester
  • Sage’s of Peterborough
  • Samuel White of Cowes, Isle of Wight
  • Beardmore’s on the Clyde
  • and others.