The Saunders-Roe Princess story

Bearing the crown of the largest all-metal flying-boat ever constructed, the Saunders-Roe SR.45 Princess carried hopes of luxury transatlantic travel in a post-war era. Pete London charts the dreams and realities of the ill-fated giant

Business and political belief in the future of flying-boats in Britain had reached a strangely puzzling position by the early 1940s.

Even before the Second World War, type manufacturers Blackburn, Saunders-Roe (often abbreviated to Saro) and Supermarine had stopped building commercial flying-boats and Short Brothers was meeting required demand.

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An early air test over the south coast in 1952 for G-ALUN
ALL IMAGES PETE LONDON COLLECTION UNLESS STATED

The government’s wartime Brabazon Committee investigations into the country’s post-war aircraft needs suggested several new commercial categories for post-war use, but no flying-boat.

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