Head steward Eric Mullane's winning entry was inspired by the beauty of coral islands and of the song-filled (choral) welcome that was given to visitors to the islands.
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Short S.30 Empire Class
The first services were flown by Short S.30 Empire Class flying boats.
Between 1940 and 1947, TEAL operated two of these.
A third S.30 was destined for TEAL but war shortages in England led to a delay and eventual cancellation of its delivery.
Short S.25 Sandringham Mk IV 'Tasman Class'
In 1946, TEAL acquired four Short S.25 Sandringham IV 'Tasman Class' flying boats.
They were a passenger transport variation of the Short Sunderland.
However they were grounded for six months in 1948 due to engine cooling issues and disposed of at the end of 1949.
Short S.45 Solent Mk IV
The replacements for the S.25 Sandringham IV 'Tasman Class' flying boats were the Short S.45 Solent IV of which TEAL acquired four.
They were delivered during 1949 with one setting a new trans-Tasman crossing record of 5 hours 37 minutes.
The Solents continued flying until 1954 with the introduction of the Douglas DC-6 landplanes.
However, Solent ZK-AMO Aranui continued on the Coral Route until 1960.
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Members of the society, Friends of the Solent Flying Boat
Attached some pics taken at a TEAL apprentices Reunion
sponsored by MOTAT and the Solent Volunteers in 2004.
Here is a short notice from Don Olliff, the organiser of Friends of the Solent Flying Boat:
The original Solent Preservation Society was formed in approx 1982 to retrieve-restore and maintain ZK-AMO and with much of the objectives achieved it was decided to dissolve the Society in 2005.
At that time there was an obvious need for some medium for Retired TEAL Staff of the Solent era to maintain contact and friendship.
To this end the “Friends of the Solent Flying Boat “was instituted and has proved to be very successful. It is a very informal group-no fees-no membership rules-just a current mailing list of approx 95.
We have a Get-Together every six months in the form of a substantial Morning Tea and average approx 70 attendees. There are normally several short presentations on Solent Historical matters and lots of nostalgia and most importantly bonding of long term friendships.
MoTaT Management and Staff are very supportive of our Group and of course we maintain close contact with the Volunteer Team who tend to the ongoing welfare of ZK-AMO.
We expect ZK-AMO to be moved into the museum in the next few months, in the meantime, have a look at the photos below taken from Meola Rd.
We are delighted that Bill Le Couteur is initiating the Blog site and know that it will generate a lot of interest and input from Solent era Friends and enthusiasts.
The plan is to accept text and photos from members. It can also be used as a means of communicating upcoming events.
Evans Bay — Wellington's first international airport
A film developed for the November 22, 2010 celebration in San Francisco. Credit to Retired Pan Am Captain Tommy Carroll.