Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Short S184 (8359) - The Battle of Jutland

The picture below shows the only actual British aircraft to take part in the Battle of Jutland, the decisive naval battle that took place one hundred years ago today.
Short 184

This aircraft, a Short S184, is located at the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovil. From Wikipedia:

"A Short 184, aircraft number 8359, was the only British aircraft to take part in the Battle of Jutland. Flown by Flt Lt Frederick Rutland (who became known afterwards as "Rutland of Jutland") with Assistant Paymaster G. S. Trewin as observer, the aircraft was launched from HMS Engadine at about 3.08 p.m.: flying at about 90 feet (27 m) due to low visibility, they spotted four cruisers of the German fleet, reporting their presence back to the Engadine at about 3.30. The aircraft was presented to the Imperial War Museum in 1917, where it was damaged in a German air raid during the blitz. The unrestored forward section of the fuselage is now an exhibit in the Fleet Air Arm Museum." 

The reference to "damaged in a German air raid" during WWII is interesting. The fuselage is actually peppered with bullet holes, something that was only recently noticed during conservation efforts.

More details about the pilot from the Osprey Publishing website:

"Rutland received a well-deserved DSC for his gallantry, and was thereafter known as Rutland of Jutland. He left the Royal Navy in 1922, apparently becoming a consultant. Setting up shop at Honolulu, Rutland sold his expertise on aircraft carrier operations to the Imperial Japanese Navy. British intelligence, unamused by his enterprise, interned Rutland shortly after his return to Britain in October 1941."

TECHNICAL DETAILS
Role - Two seat reconnaissance, bombing and torpedo carrying seaplane
Manufacturers - Westland Aircraft Works, Yeovil
Power Plant - One Sunbeam 225hp/240hp or 260hp
Wingspan - 63ft 6.25ins
Length - 40ft 7.50ins
Height - 13ft 6ins
Weight - 5,363lbs loaded
Max Speed - 88.50mph at 2,000ft (Sunbeam 260)
Duration - 2.75 hours endurance

Armament - One free mounted Lewis machine gun aft, and provision for one 14in torpedo or various bombs up to a maximum of 520lb