Michael Garland: H. Oswald Short
Artist: Michael Garland
The youngest of the Short brothers, Hugh Oswald Short was born January 1883, in Stanton-by-Dale, England. In 1897, Oswald and his brother Eustace entered aviation by manufacturing and flying balloons. In 1908, the Shorts met Orville and Wilbur Wright while the famous duo was touring Europe. That year the Shorts transformed their balloon factory into Short Brothers and began licensed production of the Wright Flyer. The Short Brothers contract with the Wrights was the first aircraft production contract ever awarded -- establishing the Shorts as the first aircraft manufacturers in the world! In 1912, the brothers began designing their own planes. During World War I, Short Brothers became large-scale contractors to the Royal Navy. When Horace passed away in 1917, Oswald took charge of the company. Short Brothers created many ingenious aircraft, including the first multi-engined plane that could cope with an engine's failure in flight. The company produced a long line of flying boat aircraft, culminating in the C-Class or Empire flying boats introduced in 1936. The military version of the Empire was the Sunderland, the most famous of the Royal Air Force's World War II maritime reconnaissance aircraft. During this time, Short Brothers also built the Stirling, the first four-engined monoplane bomber to serve with the RAF.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® H. Oswald Short Commemorative Cover postmarked March 14, 1998.
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