Plane Restore

A rare Short Scion aircraft is to be restored at Rochester.

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Short aircraft, long project

The fuselage arrives at Rochester Airport Credit: Robin J Brooks

A rare Short Scion aircraft has arrived at Rochester Airport to undergo a lengthy restoration.

The work will be carried out by the Medway Aircraft Preservation Society (MAPSL) Ltd and the fuselage and wings will eventually form part of a fully-restored static aircraft.

MAPS publicity director Robin Brooks provides the following information:

The Scion was a break with tradition for manufacturers the Short Brothers, which specialised in building marine aircraft.

All that survives of the shell of the aircraft Credit: Robin J Brooks

The five-seater monoplane went into production in the 1930s and although floats were sometimes fitted it was the land-based version that became the preferred model.

A total of 22 Scions - marks I and II - were built, ten at the new factory at Rochester Airfield.

This model is a Scion II G-AEZF.

Built by Pobjoy at the Shorts factory alongside the River Medway, it first flew on December 9 1937. Fitted with floats, it was initially operated by Elders Colonial Airways flying between Bathurst and Freetown in Sierra Leone.

It returned to the UK in November 1941 when it was converted to a land based aircraft to become a civil communications aircraft. Demobilised from the military in 1945 it was used by Air Couriers Ltd until it became surplus to requirements.

It then passed through a number of private owners before acquired by the Historic Aircraft Society at Southend Airport.

Over the years the aircraft slowly deteriorated and was kept at Croydon and then Redhill.

Coming to the notice of MAPS, an agreement was reached whereby the fuselage and wings of Short Scion II G-AEZF have been brought to Rochester Airport and in years to come the Short Scion will become the flagship of MAPS, Rochester Airport and Medway.

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