This quite remarkable scene taken in Queenstown Bay in Autumn 1963 may never be

repeated, the 'TSS Earnslaw' moored alongside a Sunderland Flying Boat festooned

with coloured pennants. But surprisingly, while we all know that the graceful

'TSS Earnslaw' is still steaming across Lake Wakatipu 107 years after being

launched in 1912, the Sunderland in fact also survives. This aircraft is known

as a Short Sunderland" S.25 "V" class Flying Boat and then

belonging to the Royal New Zealand Air Force as NZ4115 and (latterly) carrying

the RNZAF identification code "Q". Built by Short Brothers and Harland Ltd. at

Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1945, the "Short Sunderland" was designed as a long

range, maritime reconnaissance flying boat with a crew of 10, being powered by

four 1,200 HP Pratt and Whitney radial engines. The RNZAF purchased 16

reconditioned Short Sunderlands between 1953 and 1955 with NZ4115 previously

serving with BOAC from 1946 to 1948. Obsolescent and retired from active service

with the RNZAF in December 1966 NZ4115 "Q" was donated to the Museum of

Transport and Technology at Auckland in 1967 where it would then sit outside and

unprotected from the elements for the next 50 years. But with the completion of

the new aviation display hall NZ4115 would finally be moved indoors where she

has been undergoing a full restoration and repaint. My thanks to Graham

Anderson, the MOTAT collection Manager, for confirming this is indeed the same

aeroplane. And as for the 107 year old 'TSS Earnslaw', she underwent her annual

survey on the Kelvin Peninsula Slipway in June 2019 and continues to work 14

hour days for 11 months of the year. Photo credit Miss MTL Watson