VH-TOB  Short S.45 Solent 3                                          (c/n  S.1295)


                                  The Short Solent was a civilianized development of the Short Seaford long range
                                  reconnaisance aircraft (itself a development of the war-time Sunderland). VH-TOB was
                                  formerly BOAC's G-AKNP, although built as a military aircraft with the serial NJ203.
                                  It was one of four purchased by P.G. Taylor's Trans Oceanic Airways in 1951.  (The
                                  first of these, VH-TOA, ex G-AKNO, was wrecked at Malta during its delivery in
                                  January 1951  and hence never joined the Australian civil register).   When I shot this
                                  photograph at Sydney's Rose Bay flying boat base in 1954, it had been purchased by
                                  the short-lived South Pacific Air Lines.  The image below, from the Geoff Goodall
                                  collection shows it as G-AKNP wearing Trans Oceanic Airways titling, but still with
                                  BOAC's "City of Cardiff" name.  Shortly after this period it was sold in the US as
                                  N9946F.   Surprisingly it is still extant and resides in the Western Aerospace Museum in
                                  Oakland, California.