February 21 1941– The first flight by a British RAF flying boat through the “Donegal Corridor”
Written by Mark Pearson on February 12, 2021
In February of 1941 The first flight by a British RAF Flying Boat through the “Donegal Corridor” Between the neutral Republic of Ireland airspace between its base in Northern Ireland and the Atlantic Ocean, a concession secretly agreed by the Prime Minister.
In 1923, the first successful commercial flying boat service was introduced with flights to and from the Channel Islands. The British aviation industry was experiencing rapid growth. The Government decided that nationalization was necessary and ordered five aviation companies to merge to form the state-owned Imperial Highways of London (IAL). IAL became the international flag-carrying British airline, providing flying boat passenger and mail transport links between Britain and South Africa using aircraft such as the Short S.8 Calcutta. The S.8 Calcutta made its first flight on 14 February 1928, having been launched the previous day and left at its mooring overnight to assess the hull for signs of leakage. Shorts’ Chief Test Pilot, John Lankester Parker was at the controls, with Major Herbert G. Brackley of Imperial Airways as co-pilot. On 15 March 1928, this aircraft (registered as G-EBVG) was delivered by Parker and Brackley to the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, Felixstowe, for its airworthiness and sea handling checks; these were successfully completed on 27 July of the same year and the aircraft was flown back to Shorts on the same day. G-EBVG was handed over to Imperial Airways on 9 August 1928.