Short Folder

Short Folder is a generic name often applied[by whom?] to several different Short Brothers' aircraft types designed and built prior to and during World War I. Short Brothers developed and patented[1] folding wing mechanisms for ship-borne aircraft from 1913; the wings were hinged so that they folded back horizontally alongside the fuselage (as shown in the image), reducing the storage space required for stowing them aboard ship.[2]

Short Folder in naval service (S.64, RNAS serial no. 81) being hoisted aboard HMS Hermes in July 1913

Shorts produced many "folder" aircraft; in addition large numbers of Shorts' designs were produced by other companies, including Brush Electrical Engineering Co. Ltd., Robey & Co. Ltd., J Samuel White, Frederick Sage & Co. Ltd., S E Saunders Limited, Phoenix Dynamo Manufacturing Company, Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd., Mann, Egerton & Co. Ltd. and Westland Aircraft Works Ltd..

Short Folders saw service in many theatres of World War I, notably in the Cuxhaven Raid in 1914, in the Dardanelles and in the disabling of the SMS Königsberg in East Africa in July 1915.[3] The theatres of war served by the various "folders" ranged from the Arctic Circle through the Mediterranean and Africa to Mesopotamia, although the engines of the time did not perform ideally in hot climates and elevated altitudes.

After World War I, most were retired, although some remained in service with the Greek Navy into the 1920s[4] and with the Estonian Air Force into the 1930s.[5]

Short Brothers First World War folding-aircraft typesEdit

(approximate numbers produced in brackets)

Eight modified Type 830s were produced with a different engine (100 hp Gnome-Monosoupapes instead of the 135 hp Salmson engines)[6]

Later Short Brothers folding-aircraft typesEdit

(year of first flight in brackets)


  1. ^ Patents secured by Short Brothers including patents nos. 1792/13, 15727/13 and 28610/13, 5290/14, 20537/14 and 9276/15, see Barnes and James, pp. 92, 110
  2. ^ The February 1912 issue Archived 26 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine of Popular Mechanics describes a French aircraft made by De Marçay-Mooney which folded its wings in a similar fashion, thus preceding the first Short S.41 folder by some two years.
  3. ^ "Three 'decrepit' Short Folders involved in the sinking of the Königsberg"
  4. ^ Aircraft of the Greek Navy 1912-1922 Archived 12 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Barnes and James, p. 121
  6. ^ Barnes and James,p.102

Barnes C.H. & James D.N. Shorts Aircraft since 1900. London (1989): Putnam. p. 560. ISBN 0-85177-819-4. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: location (link)

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