Short S.16 Scion II Floatplane G-AEZF
The Short Scion aircraft were designed by Short Brothers in 1933 as a small twin-engine, 4- to 6-seat passenger transport. 22 were built (1 prototype, 6 Mk I and 15 Mk II) and saw service in the UK, Australia and Palestine. The prototype flew on the scheduled service between Rochester to Southend for its first year.
G-AEZF was the last of six completed under licence by Pobjoy's at Rochester in 1937 and was a floatplane. It was purchased by Elders Colonial Airways for service in Sierra Leone. However, records show that it was never shipped and languished in the hangar at Airport Works, Rochester until it was damaged by bombing in 1940. It was converted to a landplane and impressed to the war effort, suffering further damage and repair. After the war, it returned to civilian use and flew occasionally until 1953.
After decommissioning, the aircraft was dumped behind a hangar at Southend and left to rot. In the mid 1990's, a local preservation team attempted to do some work to restore it; it was later moved to Redhill. The remnants, comprising the fuselage frame, cockpit subframe, most of the port wing and half of the spar box of the starboard wing were purchased by MAPSL and brought to Rochester Airport on June 13, 2013. The restoration to museum standard has been continuing ever since, thanks to a substantial grant from The Rochester Bridge Trust and will become the flagship of MAPSL, Rochester Airport and Medway.
UPDATE ON THE PROGRESS OF THE SHORT SCION.
Now beginning to look like a real aeroplane, work is progressing on the fuselage and the wings of this unique aircraft. At the rear end of the fuselage a re-constructed fin is now in place whilst at the other end the cockpit has a temporary frame of thin plywood. This is in place in order to determine the correct profile for the cockpit frame. MAPSL has been successful in acquiring a Pobjoy engine which will be arriving in the workshop within the next few weeks.
Work is also on-going on the starboard wing. The rear spar has been completed with the salvaged bracing tubes at the inboard end and replacement bracing tubes at the outboard end riveted in place. With certain parts missing or beyond restoration, much has had to be manufactured from new, something that is very time consuming. However it appears that the work is on schedule and it is hoped that by the end of 2016 the restoration will have reached the halfway stage.
Visitors are welcome to view the progress on the Scion.
Scion II G-AEZF arrived at Rochester Airport on a low loader in June 2013 after being in storage for many years at Redhill Airport. The aircraft is the subject of a long term restoration by MAPSL to static condition and will eventually be sited on the airport as the flagship of the society.
The aircraft served in its civilian role in Africa for many years before being returned to the UK and converted to a land-based aircraft at Shorts on Rochester Airport. It served with No. 24 EFTS during wartime after which it flew regular flights between Rochester and Southend. It ended its flying days when it became an exhibit with the Historic Aircraft Society at Southend eventually falling into disrepair and then being moved to Redhill.
Once restored, G-AEZF will be a visible reminder of a great aircraft manufacturing company that for many years was the pride of Medway.
Our Scion Floatplane built at Rochester Airport by Short Brothers is being restored thanks to the Rochester Bridge Trust. ,The Trust, one of the old charities in the country, has awarded MAPSL team of volunteers a substantial grant to allow the continued restoration of this iconic aircraft.