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Short Type 184 Royal Naval Air Service

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Mal Murray View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 Apr 2011 at 19:03

Short Type 184

Type 184
Role Scout / Torpedo bomber
Manufacturer Short Brothers
Designed by Horace Short
First flight 1915
Introduced 1915
Retired 1933 (Estonia)[1]
Primary users Royal Naval Air Service
Royal Flying Corps
Hellenic Air Force
Estonian Air Force
Number built 936
Variants Mann Egerton Type B
Short Type 184 from FlightGlobal Collection

The Short Type 184 was a British two-seat reconnaissance, bombing and torpedo carrying folder seaplane designed by Short Brothers.


An urgent requirement by the British Admiralty for a torpedo-carrying seaplane was met by a design by Horace Short of Short Brothers, Rochester, England.

The first aircraft flew in early 1915 and 936 aircraft were built by ten different British aircraft companies[2](see list below), making it the most successful of Shorts' pre-World War II aircraft.

In August 1915, a Short 184 of piloted by Flight Commander Charles H. K. Edmonds from HMS Ben-my-Chree operating in the Aegean became the first aircraft in the world to attack an enemy ship with an air-launched torpedo.[3]

However, on 17 August 1915, another Turkish ship was sunk by a torpedo of whose origin there can be no doubt. On this occasion Flight Commander C H Edmonds, flying a Short 184, torpedoed a Turkish steamer a few miles north of the Dardanelles. His formation colleague, Flt Lt G B Dacre, was forced to land on the water owing to engine trouble but, seeing an enemy tug close by, taxied up to it and released his torpedo. The tug blew up and sank. Thereafter Dacre was able to take off and return to the Ben-My-Chree.[4].

Flt Lt Dacre later became Air Commodore and was appointed twice as Air Officer Commanding No. 1 School of Technical Training. His widow, Elizabeth Dacre (who had been a distinguished Group Officer in the WAAF), donated his dress sword to the Air Cadet Corps.

Despite early successes in sinking ships the 184s were mainly used for Bombing and Reconnaissance. A Short 184, aircraft number 8359, was the only aircraft to take part in the Battle of Jutland. The pilot on that occasion was Flt Lt Frederick Rutland (who became known ever after as “Rutland of Jutland”).

A landplane version of the S.184 was also sold to the Royal Flying Corps as the Short Bomber.

The aircraft served in most theatres of war, e.g. in the Dardanelles campaign and as far afield as Mesopotamia, and continued in service into the 1920s.

On 9 May 1916, a Short 184 seaplane, "using a bombsight developed by Bourdillon and Tizard, hit a target with a 500 pound bomb from a height of 4,000 feet."[5]

In 2010, the Estonian Maritime Museum announced that they had ordered a stationary replica of the plane to be built for fitting into one of their historic seaplane hangars. However, the main designer was killed in a glider crash on the 11th of July of the same year. The future of the project is therefore unknown.


 United Kingdom


General characteristics



  • 1 × .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis Gun in rear cockpit
  • 1 × 14 in (356 mm) torpedo or up to 520 lb (236 kg) of bombs


Source: Barnes and James[2]

  1. Brush Electrical Engineering Co. Ltd. (190)
  2. Frederick Sage & Co. Ltd. (72)
  3. J. Samuel White (110)
  4. Mann, Egerton & Co. Ltd. (22)
  5. Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing Company (62)
  6. Robey & Co. Ltd.[6] (256)
  7. S E Saunders Limited (80)
  8. Short Brothers, Rochester (117)
  9. Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd. (15)
  10. Westland Aircraft Works Ltd. (12)

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists



  1. ^ a b Gerdessen 1982, p.76
  2. ^ a b Barnes and James, pp. 527, 541
  3. ^ Guinness Book of Air Facts and Feats (3rd ed.). 1977. "The first air attack using a torpedo dropped by an aeroplane was carried out by Flight Commander Charles H. K. Edmonds, flying a Short 184 seaplane from Ben-my-Chree on 12 August 1915, against a 5,000 ton Turkish supply ship in the Sea of Marmara. Although the enemy ship was hit and sunk, the captain of a British submarine claimed to have fired a torpedo simultaneously and sunk the ship. It was further stated that the British submarine E14 had attacked and immobilised the ship four days earlier." 
  4. ^ "Mention of this and other WW I actions". forum archives. 
  5. ^ "Milestones of Flight website: British Military Aviation in 1916 - Part 1". RAF Museum. 
  6. ^ "The Robey Trust". 


Edited by Mal Murray - 14 Apr 2011 at 19:23
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