Initially in Service with The Far East Flight, which then became 205 Squadron at Seletar (Singapore) from January 1929 until February 1935
The Southampton, which was designed by R J Mitchell of spitfire fame, was a two-engine biplane flying boat, with the the engines mounted between the wings. The Mark 1s hull and wings were manufactured from wood. The Mark 2 had a hull with a single thickness of metal (Duralumin) This change gave a large reduction in weight, thus a considerable increase of range. In 1929, 24 of the Mk I were converted by having newly built metal hulls replacing the wooden ones. Some of the later aircraft were built with metal wings. There were three machine gun positions, one in the nose and two in the rear fuselage.
The first flight of a production aircraft was made on 10 March 1925, The RAF started to take delivery Mid 1925.
The first RAF aircraft to be based in Singapore
Four Southampton s of the Far East Flight – S1149, S1150, S1151 & S1152 arrived in Singapore in Feb 1928 after an epic journey of 27,000 miles which had set out from Felixstowe via the Mediterranean and India to Singapore. A few months later they completed the journey to Australia.