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Proposed Sandringham Memorial model

Technical Information

Catalogue No: C0884
Category: Corporate/Business
Object Type: Model
Object Name: Proposed Sandringham Memorial model
Part No: None
Serial No: None
Manufacturer: Unknown
Division: Not Applicable
Year of Manufacture: circa 1996
Width (mm):
Height (mm):
Depth (mm):
Weight (g):
Location: Rack RAA11 [Main Store]



Short Brothers plc, usually referred to as Shorts or Short, is an aerospace company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Shorts was founded in 1908 in London and was the first company in the world to make production aircraft. Due to the company's success, and the increasing number of seaplanes being produced, larger premises with ready access to the sea were needed. In 1913 an 8.4 acre plot of land by the river Medway at Borstal, near Rochester, Kent, was purchased and the planning and construction work started. By early 1915, the first facility of what was to become known as the Seaplane Works was completed. During the 1920s and 1930s, flying boats were favoured for long-range civil aviation, because their operation did not rely on the existence of suitable airfields, which were not widespread at the time. Shorts work on seaplanes eventually culminated in the Short Sandringham and Short Seaford, both based on the Empire/Sunderland boats. These flying boats had enough range to operate as a transatlantic airliner, but largely served the post-war Empire (Commonwealth) market, in competition with 4-engined land planes such as modified Avro Lancasters, Avro Lancastrian and Avro York. During the early part of WWII 536 Stirlings were built at Rochester but the airfield was vulnerable to attack as it was indeed in August 1940 and production of land planes was moved to the Queens Island factory in Belfast. After the war the demand for aircraft diminished and especially the need for seaplanes and the Government decided to concentrate Shorts production in Belfast and on the 7th June 1946 the closure of the Shorts Medway Towns factories was announced in the national press.
For many years there was pressure to establish a memorial to Short Brothers on the Esplanade and this was one of the more grand proposals.
The Short S.25 Sandringham was a British civilian flying boat produced during the Second World War. A model of this aircraft can be seen through the windows of the Memorial model.
The given weight includes its 4.4m mains cable that provides power to the model's switchable, internal lighting. The role Rochester played in the History of Aviation is to be marked with a plaque dedicated to the founders and workers at the former Short's Factory on the Esplanade.

The Short Brothers Commemoration Society arranged for a Memorial plaque to be placed close to the Esplanade site and it was unveiled in late 2008.

The RAA contains a number of models of equipment and aircraft. The equipment models were used as a marketing aid and often to ensure that the production unit will fit in the space; this was particularly true for Head Up Displays. Such equipment models will have minimal or no functionality. Models might  just be used as weighted units or as cockpit lighting evaluation units. The HUD used on the YF-16 was of the correct weight and envelope but only mounted the Spin 'chute button (a feature only required for the early test flights). Many of these models were made by professional model makers from the original drawings and could be quite expensive; alternatively the real hardware would be used.

The aircraft models range from the simple small scale kits to quite large display items. The large model aircraft were often a marketing tool from places like Airbus or Boeing but may be found in Boardrooms or Reception areas wheras the small models may be given as a visitor handout. Those models made from kits have largely been brought in from home but are useful to illustrate the platform alongside the equipment. The large models will be hugely expensive.

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