Flying Boat/Seaplane Service In British India, Old Print 1948

This is an old 1948 print cutting showing a BOAC flying boat/seaplane service in British India. Have you ever wondered that in colonial-era India international flying boats/seaplanes were in regular operation. Shown is a BOAC airliner that landed on Calcutta’s Hooghly River (now Hughli) in 1944. Carrying 22 passengers and a cargo of 1800 kgs.

The text at the bottom mentions that this Hythe class is the most comfortable airliner with a maximum range of 2400 miles. British Overseas Airlines Corporation (or BOAC) was one of the major airliners that operated flying boats (these could take off and land only on water). The airways operated both land-based and water-based aircrafts.

Since airfields and airports in the 1930s and 1940s were not much developed in countries under the empire. Flying boats were more practical than land-based aircrafts. This is because water bodies were more easily accessible than airfields at that time in most countries. The route of the British flying boats consisted of London to Egypt to Karachi, Delhi, Calcutta, Singapore, and Australia with many halts in between.

Another route was from London to Egypt to South Africa which too had many halts in between. Since the effective flight range of the aircraft was only 1500-1700 miles. The halts were a must for refueling purposes. It took from six to seven days to make the Poole (UK) to Sydney (Australia) run. The flying boats came into vogue primarily as military aircraft in the late 1930s and early 1940s. But by 1950, they were discontinued because of high fuel consumption due to drag, and maintenance problems. BOAC was one of the first to introduce jet airlines for international travel in 1952. Which traveled longer distances with less amount of fuel. Click on the photo for better view.

Read also By flying boat across India.

Did you know- Lord Wavell was the first Viceroy to reach India by air, he travelled by a BOAC flying boat in 1943.

From the collection- 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal Art Abstract (#17)., Khadakwasla Dam Pune – Old Postcard 1905., Page From Rare 1713 Latin Book on Calicut

The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, stock photos, or taken from other sources.