ZK-AMQ. Short S-45 Solent Mk III Flying Boat. c/n SH.1296.


Built by Short Brothers and Harland Seaplane Works, Rochester Kent

Built as a Short Seaford Mk I

Powered by 1,720 h.p. Bristol Hercules XIX engines giving it a maximum speed of 273 mph (440 km/h)

It had an all-up take-off weight of 78,000 lb (35,4000 kg) and a still-air range of 1,800 miles / 2,900 km

Issued to the Royal Air Force as NJ204 - 1946

Allocated to No 201 Squadron, Transport Command at Felixstowe for trials - April - May 1946

It was declared surplus to requirements by the Ministry of Supply and it was passed to Short Brothers, Belfast - 1947

It was converted to Solent Mk 3 with seating for 39 passengers for B.O.A.C.

Entered onto the British Aircraft Register as G-AKNR (CofR 12079/1) - December 02, 1947

Registered to Ministry of Civil Aviation, London

First flown as G-AKNR - April 1949

Certificate of Airworthiness (CoA 10244) issued - April 27, 1949

Leased to British Overseas Airways as the registered operator

The aircraft was named 'City of Belfast'

Operated one service from the U. K. to South Africa and return before being held in reserve as a back-up aircraft

B.O.A.C. ceased all flying boat services - November 10, 1950

Returned to Ministry of Civil Aviation and stored

Sold to Tasman Empire Airways Ltd (TEAL) - May 28, 1951

Ownership transferred to TEAL - July 04, 1951

Departed Ireland on the delivery flight to New Zealand - September 1951

Arrived Auckland on completion of the delivery flight - September 15, 1951

Delivery route: Belfast - Lough Erne - Gander - Norfolk (Virginia) - Corpus Christi (Texas) -

San Francisco - Honolulu - Canton Island - Suva - Auckland

Entered onto the New Zealand Aircraft Register as ZK-AMQ (CofR?) - November 06, 1951

The aircraft was named 'Aparima' (in company of five)

Operated a proving flight Auckland - Suva - Aitutaki (Cook Islands) - Papeete (Tahiti) - November 1951

This route was to become known as the 'Coral Route'

Utilised on trans-Tasman and South Pacific services - November 1951 - 1954

It was retained as a back-up aircraft for 'ZK-AMO' on Fiji - Tahiti route

Operated the final TEAL Solent revenue service Auckland - Chatham Islands - Auckland - October 19, 1956

Withdrawn from use and stored at Auckland

Cancelled from the New Zealand Aircraft Register - ?

Broken up for scap at Mechanics Bay, Auckland - September 1957