Short Brothers Aviation Pioneers

1917 – 1947

Rochester: 1917 - 1947

Rochester 1919 - 1924

Oswald never lost faith in the future of aviation and focussed his attention to the development of design and innovative manufacture of aircraft. He foresaw and championed the use of stressed metal-skinned aircraft.

‘SHORT SWALLOW’ (Silver Streak) Flew on 20 August 1920 and was bought by The Air Ministry. Herer it is about to be delivered by John Lankester Parker to Farnborough on 1st February 1921

The metal chosen, due to its’ lightness and strength, was Duralumin and what followed was an entire industry change from fabric to metal frames and skins.

The Short Swallow was just such an aircraft. It was a land based biplane and in the absence of any Air Ministry interest was built as a private venture by Shorts.

Oswald must be given the credit for the production of the first all-metal skinned British aircraft.

In 1924 Shorts began the production of metal floats for seaplanes and these became the industry standard and were used by other manufacturers. Progress to metal hulls on flying boats soon followed.

The SHORT ‘Cockle’ Moored on the Medway with the Seaplane Works in the background

A large testing tank was built at Rochester and many new models made use of it.