Friday, March 27, 2009

Last one for now - Short Sandringham at Rose Bay

This is one of those "things" that I would guess most Sydney-siders wouldn't know - that Rose Bay was once Australia's primary airport for international travel. For many decades the most comfortable - and the safest - way to fly across oceans was via these big boats, or ones much like them. QANTAS, TEAL, Imperial Airways, Pan American: you name it, they relied on big flying boats to do the really long haul flights across water.

This Ansett service was to Lord Howe Island, ending in late '74 when a 'conventional' runway came into service on the island. Apart from Rose Bay there was also a major RAAF flying boat base at Rathmines on Lake Macquarie, less than 100 nautical miles north. International flights in the flying boat era also regularly touched down at such exotic locales as the Clarence River at Grafton...

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