Short S.23 'C Class' Empire Flying Boat G-AETX at Rose Bay

Short S.23 Empire Flying Boat G-AETX Ceres (c/n S0840), nominally of Imperial Airways, on the apron at the head of the slipway at Sydney's Rose Bay flying boat base, photographed in mid 1939. In the background is the skeleton of the Qantas Empire Airways (QEA) hangar which was completed in October 1939. The Control Building and passenger terminal is out of sight near the Norfolk Island Pines to the right of shot.

This aircraft was built by Short Brothers of Rochester, Kent, UK. It was launched and had its first flight on 14 July 1937. It was issued a Certificate of Airworthiness two days later on 16 July and delivered to Imperial Airways on 20 July. At the time of this photograph, QEA and Imperial Airways interchanged aircraft on the Australia-UK service, with QEA operating the Sydney-Singapore legs. Click here to read more about these flying boats.


Above is a head-on shot of G-AETX, taken at the same time as the top photo. The QEA hangar is out of shot to the right. The presence of the Rose Bay base in the midst of suburban Sydney is well illustrated and it is really little surprise that there was an outcry from residents when the construction of the base was first proposed.


later shot of the same aircraft, G-AETX Ceres, on the Rose Bay apron. About the only thing that points to this photograph having been taken at a later date is the work that has been done on the hangar in the meantime.

G-AETX remained with Imperial Airways (later BOAC) during the war and was sunk following an explosion at Durban, South Africa, on 1 December 1942.

(Photos: CAHS/Ivan Hodder collection)



Click here to see a photo of the Rose Bay terminal in 1939

Click here to see Short S23 C Class Empire Flying Boat G-AEUE Caledonian at Karumba.

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