HC Deb 11 May 1944 vol 399 c2089
60. Captain Plugge

asked the Secretary of State for Air what steps are being taken to design and produce large multiengined flying boats for post-war civil aviation.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Air (Captain Harold Balfour)

Design and production of military aircraft must have first call on the resources of the aircraft industry at the present time but a large multi-engined flying boat, the Shetland, is being developed and is due to make its first flight in a few weeks. It is hoped that trials will show whether or not it can be adapted to meet the requirements of post-war civil air transport.

Mr. Edgar Granville

Will my right hon. and gallant Friend bear in mind that heavy flying boats with a low pay load are obsolescent for trans-Atlantic work, and much less efficient than land-.based aircraft for the purpose?

Captain Balfour

But this is not necessarily for trans-Atlantic work, or necessarily a question of a large flying boat with a small pay load. It may be a big flying boat with a big pay load.

Captain Plugge

Is it not a fact that, since the British Empire provides so many beautiful harbours and waterways, ft should study closely the use of the large flying boat?

Captain Balfour

I suggest that my hon. and gallant Friend should discuss that technical matter with my hon. Friend the Member for Eye (Mr. Granville) and endeavour to reconcile their views.