21st October 2015

Colin van Geffen

Flying Boats of Southampton


Flying boats were in use for less than sixty years, starting soon after the Wright brothers’ first controlled powered flight in 1903 until the late 1950s with the advent of the jet airliner. Throughout this time Southampton has played an important part in this story of flying development. Flying boats opened up the furthest reaches of the British Empire by crossing oceans and continents, reducing the transit time for passengers and mail to Australia from six weeks to less than eight days. Colin takes us back to the development of flying boats and when Southampton and its Empire flying boats led the world, taking in some triumphs and disasters and bringing the story up to date.