City of Cardiff - Solent
The S.25 Sunderland was a British flying boat patrol bomber developed for the Royal Air Force by Short Brothers, first flown on 16 October 1937. Based in part upon the S.23 Empire flying boat, the flagship of Imperial Airways, the S.25 was extensively re-engineered for military service. As one of the most powerful and widely used flying boats throughout the Second World War, it terrorized the German U-boat fleet. It was named for the town of Sunderland in northeast England.
Built for the Royal Air Force during WWII. Designed as a long range reconnaissance flying boat for use in the Pacific.
Put in storage in Scotland in 1946.
Converted to a passenger plane in 1947 in Belfast, Ireland.
In 1949 was registered as the "City of Cardiff" by BOAC and began flying the London - Cicily - Cairo - Lake Victoria - South Africa route.
In 1951 she was sold to Trans Oceanic Airways of Australia and renamed "Star of Papua" and provided service to Tasmania, New Guinea, Fiji and other South Pacific destinations.
She was named "The Isle of Tahiti" in 1953 when she was bought by South Pacific Airlines. She was shipped to Oakland for refit but the planned Honolulu to Tahiti service never started.
In 1958 she flew for the last time.
She was sold to Howard Hughes who updated her but never flew her.
In 1967 they were surplused and barged to Richmond, CA.
In 1973 they were purchased by Rich and Andy Gant.
While in Oakland it was used in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark.
In 1987 they were barged back to Oakland and put on display at the museum.