Flying from Australia to England

 Many Australians would be surprised to learn that Sydney International Airport, now known as Kingsford Smith International Airport, was originally located at Rose Bay !

 Travelling to the United Kingdom in the 1930s involved two choices :  Weeks by ship, or days via Flying Boat, aboard (the then) Qantas Empire Airways (QEA). The journey to the UK took up to 6 weeks by ship, fine if one had plenty of time to spare.

 The same journey to Southampton took just 9 days via the “luxurious” Short C Class Flying Boats, the only drawback being the cost, around the same as a suburban house in Sydney !!!

 Despite the high cost, travelling aboard a Flying Boat to England via Singapore, where British Imperial Airlines (later British Airways) took over for the final leg to Southampton, was extremely popular.  A quote from Qantas founder Hudson Fysh sums it up nicely :

 “Getting up out of his chair, a passenger could walk about and, if he had been seated in the main cabin, stroll along to the smoking cabin for a smoke, stopping on the way at the promenade deck with its high handrail and windows at eye level to gaze at the world of cloud and sky outside.”

Sadly the service was cut short by WWII, when all of the QEA Flying Boats were impressed into wartime operations, many being destroyed by Japanese attacks.

Posters for Qantas Empire Airways (QEA) Short C Class Flying Boat Services to England, linking up with British Imperial Airways (later British Airways).

Cutaway illustration of the Short C Class Flying Boat. Highlights included a Promenade Deck, Spacious Comfort and, rather ironically in this day and age, a Smoking Room !

The Qantas Short C Class Flying Boat

Pan Am Boeing 314 Flying Boat Replica, built for and on display at the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, Limerick Ireland. Originally asked to produce a small scale model, the creator of this amazing replica decided to make his model Full Size, including all Interior details. Foynes was the centre of the water based aviation world from 1937 to 1945 ! Pan Am Clippers flew from Foynes to New York. In the Winter of 1943, one of the Clippers was forced to return to Foynes due to bad weather, and the restaurant and coffee shop ordered to open up for the tired and no doubt cold passengers. Chef Joe Sheriden decided to put Irish Whisky in their coffee to warm them up, and the now famous Irish Coffee was born !