This gallery, I hope, will become one of the best on SEAWINGS as this particular flying boat is one of my all time favorites, but, believe it or not, this pathetic bunch of images are the sum total in my archive, so please feel free to send in some more; and particularly in colour - please!! However, to start this gallery I have used one of my all-time best flying boat images - and the one that I use as my desktop on the laptop. I was lucky enough to correspond with the photographer, Ian Woodforth who very kindly granted permission to use this shot and told him that, as far as I was concerned, that was the all-time flying boat shot to take! And what I would have given to have been standing alongside him just to see that take-off - wow!! So, if anyone thinks they can better that, be my guest!! Send your images in via the e-mail link in Contact Seawings. Thanks.
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Neil Gaunt, Director of the scale model manufacturer and supplier 'Aircraft In Miniature Limited' here in the UK wrote to SEAWINGS recently regarding the Short Sandringham and his opportunity of taking a flight in one back in August 1976. 

Neil wrote: "We came to Britain from Rhodesia in 1976, and when I picked up my August copy of Aeroplane Monthly there was a small advert in the back saying 'fly in a Sunderland'. I phoned and booked two tickets at 15.00 each and the tickets arrived the next day. Anyway Marion (my wife) and I drove down to Poole Bay, Dorset overnight (we stopped and slept in the car in an unfinished service area on the M3 motorway on the way down), and were parked near the beach next morning. While Marion was cooking breakfast on our trust 'Gaz' camping stove, we heard a rumble in the sky and the Antilles Air Boats Sandringham landed.

They set up a table on the beach, and there was a dinghy to take the passengers to a launch, which in turn took you out to the Sandringham. When we boarded, we were greeted by Charles Blair, who was married to the actress Maureen O'Hara. He told us that they had a holiday home in Ireland, and that they had decided to fly over in the Sandringham and had got permission from the CAA to do three joyrides from Poole Bay.

We had about an hour to explore the aircraft, then we took off, flew down the Solent and over the Isle of Wight - flight time was 53 minutes airborne, then we landed, back to the beach and home. The best 30 we ever spent!"

Well, can you imagine doing that today?! Wow, what a treat and with Charles Blair as the Captain.....absolutely awesome! Neil and Marion were oh, so lucky and he has sent in the pictures below taken during their flight. My grateful thanks goes to Neil for thinking of us and if you want to see the model kits that Neil's company offers, click here to go to their website and enjoy a feast of multi-media aircraft kits.

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