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SARO Princess G-ALUN.

REF NR: 348

In November 1909, the Cowes boat building firm of Messrs S.E.Saunders, & sons announced their intention of setting up "a department for building flyers". Over the next four years, several aircraft were built for various designers. During WW I the company built sea and land planes to other companies' designs, including Avro 504s and Short 184s. In addition a large number of major components were produced for other manufacturers.

 

After the war the company concentrated on seaplane designs, but times were hard and after a series of reorganisations, in 1929 A V Roe took over the company which became known as Saunders-Roe Ltd, or SARO. During the 30s a number of flying boat designs were built, none of them in large numbers. In addition SARO became closely involved with Simmonds Spartan Aircraft from 1931 onwards, and in 1933 the companies were effectively merged. During World War II the main activity was the building of Supermarine Walrus and Sea Otter aircraft as well as repair and overhaul activities.

 

Saunders Roe, commonly abbreviated SARO, concentrated on producing flying-boats, but none were produced in very large quantities - the longest run being 31 Londons. They also produced hulls for the Blackburn Bluebird, and during the World War II manufactured Supermarine Walrus and Supermarine Sea Otters. In 1952 they flew the prototype Princess but the age of the flying-boat was over and no more were produced here.

 

The last fixed-wing aircraft they built was experimental SR53 mixed-power interceptor.


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