During the second world war,this type of aircraft was utilised in different ways by the military.
was used for maritime patrol, and was responsible for spotting the German batteship Bismarck.
Other types, such as the
were also on active service, amongst other things, recovering downed airmen at sea.
The largest of this type of aircrat at the the time was built during the war, the Hughes Hercules, but it only flew once, in 1947 and never went into service.
Perhaps the most advanced design of any of this type was the Saunders Roe Princess. Built in 1952, none were ever sold, maybe
signalling the end of an era in air travel. The likes of the DH Comet and the Boeing707 were waiting in the wings to steal the crown of these majestic craft.