I just (1:30 pm BST) saw a flying boat fly over my house (Fareham, south coast UK). Four engines, very low engine pitch, a flying boat hull, something like a Short Empire. Not a Catalina. Unfortunately, it was too brief and distant for me to get a tail number.

It was primarily painted blue, with a darker blue upper part. I think I could see an RAF roundel on the fuselage under the wing, except that wouldn't be the usual place for one.

Does anybody know what this is?


1 Answer 1


According to FlightRadar24 it is a 1951 Grumman HU-16 Albatross N98TP, the only flying example of its type. Here it is directly over Fareham at 1.30pm local time today, before heading out over the Solent:

FlightRadar24 source

Albatross source

There have been various reports of it in local newspapers and forums.

It belongs to TP Aero which has lots of videos and information on the aircraft.

  • $\begingroup$ I think that must be it, except I could have sworn it had four engines. But yes, the yellow flash on the tailplane matches. And what I thought was an RAF roundel was the undercarriage. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 21 at 13:47
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ From the ground, at a distance, the sponsons might have looked like a second engine on each wing. $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Commented Jun 21 at 15:29

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