HMS Flying Fish was a Fantome-class sloop of the British Royal Navy launched in 1873. There were 6 Fantome-class sloop ships and built between 1873 and 1874. Fantome ships were constructed of an iron frame covered with teak and copper or a composite. These ships had sails and a two-cylinder horizontal compound-expansion steam engine. Steam was provided by three cylindrical boilers working at 60 pounds per square inch with horsepower between from 836 to 1,011hp.
The Fantome-class sloop was created during a time of innovation in shipping and were obsolete within a few years. However, the Fantome-class sloop served the British well especially in remote parts of the world.
In 1874, the Flying Fish commenced service in the East Indies Station in an effort to suppress the slave trade off the East African coast. In 1878 the vessel was converted to be a surveying vessel and in 1880 was put into service off the coast of East Indies for hydrographic surveys. Later in the year, the ship was sent to Hong Kong to continue to serve in surveying.
The Flying Fish was involved in a notable incident. In July 1882, the ship rescued the Japanese legation which escaped from Seoul after an uprising of Korean troops. The Flying Fish transported the surviving members of the legation back to Japan. The captain was later presented by the emperor of Japan a pair of bronze vases and some books related to the ancient conquest of Korea. The rumor is that the HMS Flying Fish brought soccer to Korea.
Micro-Mark and Scientific Models, Incorporated has a scratch built Flying Fish on display in the call center. It was built by Charlotte Vanderbeck.