Short Brothers: The Rochester Years

Author(s): Philip MacDougall 

ISBN: 9781781557303
£14.00 £20.00
The story of Short Brothers during their time at Rochester, a period in which they produced their most famous aircraft.
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  • Profusely illustrated with many rare and unpublished photographs

  • The never-before told story of this beloved and unique company

  • How the Sunderland flying boat, which the German dubbed the ‘Fliegendes Stachelschwein’ (‘Flying Porcupine’), and Stirling heavy bomber made it into the air

  • Includes unpublished interviews with former employees 

The first British aircraft manufacturer, Short Brothers was established in 1908 with the company moving to Rochester during the early years of the First World War.

At Rochester, Shorts produced some of their most famous aircraft, beginning with a number of designs for the Royal Naval Air Service.

During the inter-war years, the company specialised in large flying boats, these undertaking pioneering flights while establishing a series of regular over water air routes operated by Imperial Airways.

At Rochester, the company designed and manufactured the Stirling bomber and Sunderland flying boat.

Shorts: The Rochester Years not only looks at the development of these aircraft but is a fascinating account of the early years of long-distance aviation and the airmen that used the River Medway at Rochester as a launch pad for flights of hitherto undreamed-of distances.

BOOK ISBN 9781781557303
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 192 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 35 black-and-white photographs



A graduate of the University of Lancaster and former lecturer at the University of Kent, Philip MacDougall has written extensively on the theme of nations preparing for war, delving into inter-war aviation records, looking at various air wars and how different nations interpreted the tactical lessons resulting from those conflicts. MacDougall has edited Kent Airfields in the Battle of Britain (Meresborough Books) and has written many articles and books on military aviation as well as naval support facilities.