Short Scion

Short Scion

infobox Aircraft
name = S.16 Scion/Scion II
type = Light transport landplane/floatplane
manufacturer = Short Brothers
Pobjoy Airmotors Ltd.

caption =
designer = Arthur Gouge
first flight = 18 August 1933
introduced =
retired =
produced =
number built = 22
Scion: 5
Scion II: 17
status = Retired
unit cost =
primary user =
more users =
developed from =
variants with their own articles = Short S.22 Scion Senior
The Short S.16 Scion and Scion II were 1930s British two-engine, cantilever monoplanes built by Short Brothers and (under licence) by Pobjoy Airmotors and Aircraft Ltd. in Rochester, Kent between 1933 and 1937. Altogether 22 Scion/Scion II aircraft were built and they provided useful service to operators working from small airstrips/water courses in many parts of the globe, including Europe, the Near and Middle East, Sierra Leone, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Many were impressed into the RAF during the Second World War, providing pilot ferry services, anti-aircraft co-operation and radar calibration duties. Of the civilian Scions, at least two were still operating in Australia in 1966, one having been re-engined with de Havilland Gipsy Minor engines. [Barnes and James, p.294.]


The Scion and the later Scion II version were high wing cantilever monoplanes with fabric-covered metal wings and fuselage, the latter providing an enclosed cabin for the pilot and 5-6 passengers. The tail unit comprised a cantilever tailplane with a single fin and rudder. The prototype aircraft was powered by two 80 hb Pobjoy R radial engines; the production aircraft however were fitted with the 90 hp Pobjoy Niagara III radial engines. The engines in the Scion were mounted below the wing spar; in the Scion II they were raised so that the leading edge axis ran through the centre of thrust of the engines. Both the Scion and the Scion II were produced as either landplanes or floatplanes, the majority as landplanes (see the table below). On the landplanes the landing gear comprised a single wheel on each side of the fuselage, mounted on a vertical coil-spring and oleo leg inboard of the engine; there was a small castoring tailwheel mounted below the rear end of the fuselage. [Barnes and James, p.287.]


The Scion was developed as a light transport for 5-6 passengers. The first flight of the prototype aircraft (G-ACJI) took place on 18 August 1933, piloted by Shorts' Chief Test Pilot John Lankester Parker. The first production aircraft (G-ACUV) was flown at the S.B.A.C.'s airshow at Hendon in 1934. In 1935 the fifth production model was built as the revised model Scion II; the major improvement was the repositioning of the two engines as noted above; other changes included the provision of 6 passenger seats as standard (on the original Scion there was a folding seat for a sixth passenger if needed), an improved windscreen and better cabin windows. During the production of the Scions the company had opened a new factory at Rochester Airport and all Scion IIs were manufactured there, initially by Shorts, later by Pobjoy, first under licence and later under Shorts' ownership.

G-ADDR, the fifth Scion II, was retained by Shorts as an experimental testbed aircraft, and it was on this aircraft that a scale wooden model of the wings for the later Empire boats was tested, the first flight in this configuration being conducted by Lankester Parker on 6 August 1935. Further work with standard wings was carried out; one flight from Rochester Airport, with experimental full-span flaps incorporating retractable spoilers instead of ailerons, was made on 22 July 1936; this idea proved unworkable, Lankester Parker having to draw on his considerable experience to coax the aircraft around on a single circuit before landing safely. The standard wing was refitted and the aircraft continued with Shorts in this configuration until it was impressed into military service in 1940, a fate experienced by 14 of the 22 Scion/Scion II aircraft.

G-AEZF, originally operated as a floatplane by Elders Colonial Airways in Sierra Leone, between Bathurst-Freetown, was returned to Shorts in 1939 and converted into a landplane in 1941. After operating for the company for another six years it was eventually sold on to Air Couriers Ltd. in 1947 [Barnes and James, p.293.] , after which it changed hands several times before finally ending up at Southend airport, where it was allowed to become derelict.

G-ACUX, one of the 'Australian' Scions still flying in the 1960s, was later returned to the United Kingdom and exists as an exhibit at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra, Holywood, Northern Ireland, [ [] ] where an unconfirmed source [ [ Online forum] ] claims that its condition has been allowed to deteriorate.

A larger 9-passenger version of Scion was produced designated the Short S.22 Scion Senior.


* S-16 Scion : Company designation.
* Scion : Light transport aircraft, powered by two 63-kW (85-hp) Projoy Niagara I or II piston engines. Five built, one prototype and four production machines.
* Scion II : Light transport aircraft, powered by two 67-kW (85-hp) Projoy Niagara III piston engines.

Overview of Scion / Scion II production


*Papuan Concessions Ltd (VH-UUP the former G-ACUX);flag|Sierra Leone
*Elders Colonial Airways Ltd (Bathurst-Freetown) (G-AEZF)

Landplanes;flagicon|Aden Aden
*Arabian Airlines Ltd;flag|Australia
*Adelaide Airways Ltd;flagicon|Palestine British Mandate of Palestine
*Palestine Airways Ltd (Haifa-Lydda);flag|Sierra Leone
*Elders Colonial Airways Ltd;flag|United Kingdom
*Aberdeen Airways Ltd
*Air Couriers Ltd
*Airwork Ltd
*Atlantic Coast Air Services Ltd
*Golden Eagle Marine & Air
*Great Western & Southern Air Lines Ltd
*Lundy and Atlantic Coast Air Lines Ltd
*Nottingham Airport Ltd
*Olley Air Services Ltd
*Pobjoy Airmotors and Aircraft Ltd
*Ramsgate Airport Ltd
*Royal Air Force
**No. 173 Squadron RAF
*Short Brothers Ltd
*Southend-on-Sea Flying Services Ltd
*Southern Airways Ltd
*West of Scotland Air Services Ltd (Renfrew-Mull)
*Williams & Co., Squires Gate, Blackpool
*Yorkshire Airways Ltd

pecifications (Scion landplane)

aircraft specification

plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
ref= [ British Aircraft Directory]
length main= 31 ft 6 in (II: 31 ft 4 in)
length alt= 9.6 m (II: 9.56)
span main=42 ft 0 in
span alt= 12.80 m
height main=
height alt=
area main=256 ft²
area alt= 23.8 m²
empty weight main= 1,875 lb
empty weight alt= 850 kg
loaded weight main= 3,200 lb
loaded weight alt= 1,452 kg
max takeoff weight main=
max takeoff weight alt=
engine (prop)=Pobjoy Airmotors [Pobjoy Niagara|Niagara III]
type of prop=radial engine
number of props= 2
power main=90 hp
power alt=67 kW
max speed main= 126 mph
max speed alt= 203 km/h
range main= 390 mi
range alt= 624 km
ceiling main= 13,000 ft
ceiling alt= 3,960 m
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=

The Scion floatplane had slightly lower values for the following specifications:

*Maximum speed: 122 mph (196 km/h)
*Range: 370 mi (595 km)
*Service ceiling: 11,500 ft (3,506 m)


* Green, William. "Flying Boats Vol.5 (Warplanes of the Second World War)". London: Macdonald & Co., 1962.
* "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (part: 1982-1985)". London: Orbis Publishing.
* Jackson, A.J. "British Civil Aircraft since 1919". London: Putnam & Sons, Ltd., 1974. ISBN 0-370-10014-X.

External links

* cite book
last = Barnes C.H. & James D.N
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Shorts Aircraft since 1900
publisher =Putnam
date =
location =London (1989)
pages =560
url =
doi =
id = ISBN 0-85177-819-4

* [ British Aircraft Directory (Scion)]
* [ British Aircraft of WWII]

ee also


related=Short Scion Senior

similar aircraft=

sequence= Short Singapore - Short Kent - Short Sarafand - Short Scion - Short Knuckleduster - Short Scylla - Short Singapore

*List of aircraft of the RAF

see also=

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