Short S.16 Scion II – c/n PA1008

With Tradair from Jul 1959 to Jan 1963

While this aircraft may have never flown for a Southend based airline, she is worthy of inclusion here not only because of her long association with the airport, but also by virtue of the fact that had Tradair lasted a little longer, she would have possibly taken to the air again. Built by Pobjoy of Rochester, this aircraft would spend a considerable amount of time at Southend during her somewhat melancholic history. This particular Scion initially began life as a seaplane although she was returned to the Short workshops during 1941 where she was fitted with undercarriage, after which she would be used on communication flights between Rochester and Southend until the end of WWII. She was later WFU at RAF Sealand during 1945 and it would be another year before she flew again for her new owner – Air Couriers Ltd. However, from here on she would be passed from pillar to post, finding herself in the hands of as many as 10 new owners in almost as many years, before finally ending up with Tradair in June 1959.

From the outset, Tradair had intended to convert her into an executive aircraft. This would be seen as a long-term project and quite naturally work progressed slowly, so slowly in fact that it was sadly never completed, despite the engines and some of the other parts having been thoroughly renovated. With Tradair’s demise, ownership of this airframe was passed over to Channel Airways and being of no use whatsoever to the airline, it was removed from the hangar in December 1963 and stored externally. The aircraft then sat outside at the southern end of ‘north side hangar 2’ for almost a decade, becoming derelict before being passed on the the Historical Aircraft Museum where the battered, bisected remains of her fuselage were put on display. The original wings are still rumoured to exist just below soil level at SEN, having been summarily squashed into the ground by a tractor during clearance work that took place after the demise of Channel Airways.

She was later taken on by the Southend Historic Aviation Society after the collapse of the museum who began a small amount of restoration work on the fuselage remains although once again, she would find herself being shunted around by SHAS (later HAS) until she finally ended up with Acebell Aviation at Redhill. Thankfully from this point on, she would be kept inside with a small amount of preservation work taking place to prevent her from deteriorating further. Since then, she has been passed into the more than capable hands of the Medway Aircraft Preservation Society where as of 2016, serious attempts are being made to restore this up and coming octogenarian to her former glory.


History of G-AEZF

6/37 to 11/41

Elders Colonial Airways, Sierra Leone

11/41 to 3/42

Short Brothers (With 24 EFTS during WWII)

3/42 to 8/46

Pobjoy Aircraft and then stored at RAF Sealand

8/46 to 3/47

Short Brothers

3/47 to 8/47

Air Couriers Ltd

8/47 to 2/48

Golden Eagle Marine

2/48 to 4/48

The Sheriff of the County of Northumberland (Seized)

4/48 to 8/50

Solomon Sydney Cars, Elmdon

8/50 to 3/53

F.J. Parsons, Squires Gate

3/53 to 5/57

M.J. Conry, Elstree

5/57 to 6/59

B.H.M. Winslett and J. Crewdson, Redhill (C.o.A. Exp 5/54)

6/59 to 1/63


1/63 to 2/72

Channel Airways

(Derelict – also sat for three months after Channel’s bankruptcy)

5/72 to 5/83

Mr G. Burton/Historical Aircraft Museum, Southend

5/83 to ?/90

Southend Historic Aviation Society

?/90 to 7/94

Southend Historic Aviation Society (Stored at Thameside Aviation Museum, East Tilbury)

7/94 to ?/??

(Southend) Historic Aviation Society (Stored at Acebell Aviation, Redhill)

?/?? to 7/13

Acebell Aviation

7/13 to Present

Medway Aircraft Preservation Society


Currently with the Medway Aircraft Preservation Society at Rochester undergoing restoration as of 2017

Medway Aircraft Preservation Society


Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this aircraft or indeed, any pictures that you would like to share? If so, then please contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.