Ref Number: 0062
Ref Number: 0062
In November of 1909, the Cowes boat construction company of Messrs. S.E. Saunders, & sons stated that they intended to establish “a department for building flyers.” During the following four years, a number of aircraft were constructed for a variety of different designs. During World War I, the business manufactured sea and land aircraft according to the designs of other companies, such as Avro 504s and Short 184s. Additionally, a significant quantity of important components were created for the use of other manufacturers.
Following the conclusion of World War II, the business shifted its focus to seaplane design; nevertheless, economic conditions were unfavourable, and a number of internal reorganisations were required before A. V. Roe was able to acquire Saunders-Roe Ltd., which later changed its name to SARO. In the 1930s, many different designs of flying boats were developed, but none of them were produced in significant quantities. In addition, SARO began a tight relationship with Simmonds Spartan Aircraft in 1931, and this relationship continued until 1933, when the two businesses were fully integrated. During World War II, the primary focus of work was on the production of aircraft such as the Supermarine Walrus and the Sea Otter, as well as on their maintenance and refurbishment.
Saunders Roe, more frequently abbreviated as SARO, focused its efforts on the production of flying boats; however, none of these craft were manufactured in particularly great numbers; the longest production run consisted of 31 Londons. In addition to this, they made hulls for the Blackburn Bluebird and, during World War II, they produced Supermarine Walrus and Supermarine Sea Otter aircraft.
The SARO Princess all metal hull flying boat
In 1952, they successfully flew the prototype of the Princess, but by that time, the era of the flying-boat had passed, and there were no more manufactured in this country.
The Princess was intended to be a bigger and more opulent successor to the pre-war commercial flying boats like the Short Empire, which had been created in order to serve as a replacement for the Princess. It was designed to operate on the transatlantic trip, with the capacity to transport up to one hundred people in circumstances that were both roomy and relaxing all the way from Southampton, United Kingdom to New York City, United States. In order to accomplish this goal, it was determined early on to make use of recently invented turboprop technology. Specifically, it was decided that the Bristol Proteus engine, which is still in the process of being designed, would be used to power the aircraft. The development of the Proteus engine was plagued by challenges, which resulted in the project falling behind schedule.
The first prototype of the Princess, designated G-ALUN, took to the skies for the first time on August 22, 1952. Between the years 1952 and 1954, a total of 47 test flights were carried out by the first prototype, two of which were carried out in public at the Farnborough Airshow. This work was carried out in accordance with a development contract for the Ministry of Supply, with the expectation that it would result in a contract for the aircraft from British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), which is the national airline of the United Kingdom. Despite the fact that the first development contract had been fulfilled with flying colours, the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) ultimately chose to concentrate on its land-based services utilising the jet-powered De Havilland Comet instead. Before the aeroplane was even finished being built, the time of the enormous flying boats had already come to an end.
After having manufactured three instances of the Princess, only one of them was able to take to the air successfully. Ultimately, the work on the Princess was terminated. Around the middle of the 1950s, huge commercial flying boats were beginning to lose their prominence to jet airliners that were located on land. The viability of land-based aircraft has increased as a result of factors such as improvements to runways and airports. Land-based aircraft do not have to make any sacrifices to accommodate the additional weight and drag of the boat hulls that are required for seaplanes, nor do they have to take any preventative measures against the corrosion that is caused by seawater. After the completion of the project, the three airframes were put into storage with the aim of selling them at a later date.
However, when a potentially lucrative offer for the aircraft was received, it was discovered that corrosion had developed while the aircraft was in storage. As a direct consequence of this, all three of the aircraft prototypes were ultimately discarded.