ZK-AMC. Short S-30C Empire Flying Boat. c/n S.884.

 

This aircraft was the thirty-seventh Empire boat completed and flown by Short Brothers at Rochester, Kent

It was ordered by Imperial Airways for Qantas Empire Airways - October 21, 1937

It was one of three Short S.30s earmarked for operations between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand by TEAL

Completed as an S-30 Empire Class boat with 890 h.p. Bristol Perseus XIIc engines

The fuel capacity was increased to 1,500 gallons

Had an all-up weight of 48,000 lb (21,780 kg) later increased to 53,000 lb (24,200 kg)

Cruised at 164 m.p.h. with a range of 1,300 miles / 2,000 km

Entered onto the British Aircraft Register as G-AFCY (CofR 8209) - November 15, 1937

Registered to Imperial Airways Ltd, Victoria Station, London

This aircraft was launched on the Medway at Rochester as ZK-AMA 'Ao-Tea-Roa' - April 1939

It had been intended that this would be the first aircraft delivered for the trans-Tasman T.E.A.L. service

As the organisational structure of TEAL had not been agreed upon at this time the aircraft was taken over by Imperial

The aircraft's registration was changed to G-AFCY - April 18, 1939

First flown as G-AFCY - April 20, 1939

Delivered to Imperial Airways, London - April 21, 1939

Certificate of Airworthiness (CofA 6544) Issued - April 24, 1939

The original Qantas aircraft name of 'Captain Cook' was not applied

Aircraft's existing name of 'Ao-Tea-Roa' was kept until it was changed prior to the delivery flight to New Zealand

Entered service with Imperial Airways as replacement for G-AFCW pending delivery of G-AFKZ

Entered service on Southampton - Karachi route pending arrival of AW27 fleet for Imperial Airways - July 1939

Imperial Airways were not prepared to release this aircraft to TEAL until it had received G-AFKZ

T.E.A.L. could not commence services until it had received its second aircraft

After political pressure was applied to Imperial Airways this aircraft was released from service

It was overhauled by Short Brothers at Rochester as extensive corrosion had been found in the airframe - late 1939

The engines were replaced and all control surfaces were recovered

Ownership transferred to Tasman Empire Airways Ltd - March 13, 1940

Departed Southampton on delivery flight to New Zealand - March 15, 1940

Aircraft arrived Sydney on delivery flight to New Zealand - March 28, 1940

Entered onto New Zealand Aircraft Register as ZK-AMC (CofR 169) - April 2, 1940

Registered to Tasman Empire Airways Ltd, Wellington

Aircraft renamed 'Awarua' (Two Rivers)

Arrived Auckland on completion of the delivery flight - April 03, 1940

Flight crew: Captains Oscar Garden, Christopher G. Griffiths

Route: Southampton - Marseilles - Athens - Alexandria - Tiberias - Basra - Jiwaini - Karachi - Gwalior - Calcutta

- Rangoon - Singapore - Surabaya - Koepang - Darwin - Groote Eylandt - Townsville - Brisbane - Sydney - Auckland

To assist in the identification of the aircraft being of British origin it carried special war-time markings

Red, white and blue vertical stripes were painted on the tail and similar horizontal stripes under the registration

The sale by B.O.A.C. to TEAL was concluded - April 25, 1940

Operated TEALs second return service from Auckland to Sydney - May 06, 1940

Flew first connecting Horseshoe Route flight Auckland - Sydney - June 11, 1940

Flew first connecting Horseshoe Route flight Sydney - Auckland - July 23, 1940

Operated special Auckland - Honolulu flight carrying N. Z. Minister of Finance Walter Nash - January 18, 1942

Flight crew: Captains J. W. Burgess, K. Brownjohn

Due to wartime conditions it was decided to operate the aircraft without any national insignia or markings

Departed Honolulu for Auckland on the return flight - January 24, 1942

Whilst flying between Canton and Suva aircraft was intercepted by a U. S. A. A. F. Douglas Dauntless

This aircraft had launched from the USS Enterprise and was flown by Lt Kroeger of Air Group 6

Mistaking the aircraft for a Japanese machine he made three machine-gun passes at 'Awarua'

Using his forward firing machine guns he managed to hit the aircraft with one round only

On realising his error he carried out a visual inspection, waved farewell and continued on his patrol

The bullet hole was located on inspection at Suva and repaired on return to Auckland

This aircraft was fitted with Hamilton Standard full fearthering propellers - mid 1942

Was one of only two aircraft to be fitted with such propellers

Flew final revenue service Sydney - Auckland - June 12, 1947

Aircraft had flown 8,740 hours with 587 hours whilst in service with Imperial Airways

Estimated to have flown over 1,400,000 air miles

Withdrawn from use and stored at Hobsonville, Auckland where useable parts were removed

Cancelled from the New Zealand Aircraft Register - January 15, 1948

Sold by tender to Messers Carter and Maybee - June 21, 1948

Broken up at Tamaki Estuary, Panmure, Auckland - August 1948

 

ZK-AMA. Tasman Empire Airways Ltd - 'Ao-tea-roa' in the standard livery at Rochester, April 1939.

(P. Sheehan Collection Copyright Image 2545-717.)

ZK-AMA. Tasman Empire Airways Ltd - 'Ao-tea-roa' in the standard livery on the Medway, Rochester, April 1939.

(P. Sheehan Collection Copyright Image 2545-276.)

ZK-AMA. Tasman Empire Airways Ltd - 'Ao-tea-roa' in the standard livery on the Medway, Rochester, April 1939.

(A. J. Jackson Collection Copyright Image 2545-795.)

G-AFCY. Imperial Airways Ltd - 'Ao-tea-roa' in the standard livery at Kent, circa 1939.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 2545-715.)

ZK-AMC. Tasman Empire Airways Ltd - 'Awarua' in the standard livery at Rochester, date unknown.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 2545-281.)

ZK-AMC. Tasman Empire Airways Ltd - 'Awarua' in the wartime livery at Auckland Harbour, April 03, 1940.

(P. Sheehan Collection Copyright Image 2545-340.)

ZK-AMC. Tasman Empire Airways Ltd - 'Awarua' in the wartime livery at Auckland Harbour, circa 1940.

(P. Sheehan Collection Copyright Image 2545-716.)

ZK-AMC. Tasman Empire Airways Ltd - 'Awarua' in the wartime livery at Auckland Harbour, circa 1940.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 2545-754.)

ZK-AMC. Tasman Empire Airways Ltd - 'Awarua' in the wartime livery at Sydney Harbour, date unknown.

(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 2545-283.)

ZK-AMC. Tasman Empire Airways Ltd - 'Awarua' in the wartime livery at Auckland Harbour, circa 1941.

(P. Sheehan Collection Copyright Image 2545-350.)

ZK-AMC. Tasman Empire Airways Ltd - 'Awarua' in the wartime livery at Auckland Harbour, May 1945.

(P. Sheehan Collection Copyright Image 2545-341.)