Transports d’autrefois. Warren Miller. 48 mins.
In September 1974 the last Ansett Airlines Short Sandringham flying boat took off from Sydney Harbour heading out on the last 780 km flight to the tourist destination of Lord Howe Island out in the Pacific, ending the very last regular major air service operated by flying boats.
This marvelous film, recorded over the last 5 years of the service, covers it in detail, starting with numerous departures and arrivals on Sydney’s busy harbour, the flight to the island shot from various positions in the aircraft, a charter flight to Lake Eucumbene, plus scenes in the cockpit and the passenger accommodation on both the flying boats used. Plus you see how the flying boats were handled at the Rose Bay terminal, originally built for international flying boat services, and the maintenance facilities.
Both the Sandringham’s used on this service survive, one at Southampton’s Solent Sky Museum, the other at the Fantasy of Flight Museum in Florida.
Dubbed sound of four radial engines fully open, some music, and an informative, but unobtrusive commentary. Superbly digitized from original cine film, this really does give a good impression of what it was like to fly on a large passenger flying boat.