A Luxury liner . . . ( small piece of aviation history )
Here's a small piece a tried to translate from an dutch magazine , enjoy !!
The Empire flying boat was a plane but also a boat. You can say that Great-Brittain got an extra fleet of luxury vessels with the empire flying boats.
That is how people thought of it in that era. The commanding officer of an empire was called a '' schipper '' and the left and right side where refered as port and starboard. When the aircraft was on the water it had to sail under the laws of a surface vessel. Just like ocean liners the empire's where called by their name rather thentheir registration. This tradition was also found in the aircrafs interiour.
The airlines that day relied on transporting mail but for passenger flights they had to compete with the luxury ocean liners.
When the passengers stayed in a hotel to overnight it was 1st class. The stewards on board came from the luxury Cunard ocean liner company. Passengers on the Empire's had no lack off space. The plane had 2 decks from wich the lower deck was for passengers. On daytime flights it could carry 24 passergers ad during the night 16.
In the nose off the aircraft was the mooring compartment. wich housed all the mooring equipment such as anchor , cables , shiphook etc. From an hatch the responsible crewmenber could do his duty. By a ladder you came in the cockpit wich was so roomy it could be called a '' bridge'' . Behind the 2 pilots seat was the radio room and the pursers office where also was room for 1500kg of mail.
The front passenger compartment was the smoking area and had room for 9.
Trough a hallway you entered a smal midship cabine with room for 3. Behind that cabine was the central hall wich housed the toilets , kitchen and main entrance. When going further backwards came the promenade deck ( also a ocean liner term ) , a large room where passergers could strech their legs and enjoy the view outside ( aircraft did not fly as high as today so their actually was something to see ) And at last there was a cabine with room for 6 passengers.
Al cabins had beds mounted on the ceiling wich could be lowered so that 4 persons could sleep. In the rear was a compartement with room for mail and freight.
Al cabins had noise redeucing material and cooling/heating tubes wich could be closed.
Imperial airways had invested a lot on comfort and had even pattended the ''imperial airways adjustable chair'''
One could ask if this aircraft wich its collosal weight and a relative small passenger/freight cappacity was a good desing. The airlines made no money on passengers and had to compensate it flying mail..
Almost the same time as the first empire made its maiden flight a new era came.
Between 10 and 13 August 1938 ( 1year later than the maiden flight of the ''Canopus'' ) a Focke Wulf Condor 4 engined land based plane made a trip from Berlin to New York and back but for now flying boats would continu to play an importand role.
Hope you modellers like to read this , if so maybe in the future i will write some history again again. I appologize for any mistakes in spelling and i hope it is readable.
Source : Piloot & vliegtuig nr 11/2001