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Short & Tender
The first HMS Engadine was a seaplane tender of 1914. She was converted from the cross-Channel packet ship SS Engadine, named after the Engadine valley in Switzerland. On Christmas Day 1914, her compliment of three seaplanes took part in the first air raid from ships at sea when seven seaplanes from HMS Empress, Engadine and Riviera bombed Wilhelmshaven, though failed to find the Zeppelin sheds at Cuxhaven due to dense fog. She was then modified in 1915 to house four seaplanes and served with the Grand Fleet until 1917. At Jutland in 1916, one of her aircraft flew the first heavier-than-air reconnaissance mission during a naval battle. One of her Short 184 seaplanes sighted Hipper's cruiser screen but the Engadine failed to pass on the aircraft's wireless reports. Later in the Battle, she took the stricken cruiser HMS Warrior in tow and saved 600 lives when it later sank. She was sold back to her
Air Power at Sea - HMS Engadine and her Short 184 Seaplane’s
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original owners in 1919 and resumed her prewar role.Short Brothers, the first company in the world to make production aircraft, designed the Short seaplane 184 during World War I at the order of the British Royal Navy. The maiden flight of the Short 184 took place in April 1915. A month later, the prototype and the first production aircraft were sent to the Mediterranean.The Short 184 was the first seaplane to be employed successfully in a naval engagement, and an official letter written to Messrs Short Bros with regard to the work performed by a Short 184 in spotting enemy ships during the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 stated: ' . . . the flight made by Flight Lieut Rutland, with Assistant Paymaster Trewin, as observer, which Sir David Beatty praises so highly, was carried out on a 225hp Short Seaplane.' A Short 184 had previously become the first aeroplane to sink a ship with a torpedo. First entering service with the RNAS in early 1915, the Short 184 had a long and highly successful career and remained fully active until the Armistice - more than 900 being completed. Its initial power plant of a 167kW Sunbeam gave rise to the often quoted incorrect designation Short 225; several different engines were fitted during the production run. A number of Short 184s were taken on charge post-war by other countries.