No. 2769. Saunders-Roe SR.A/1 (TG263) Ministry of Supply
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Saunders-Roe SR.A/1

03/31/2006. Remarks by Charles Mac Kay: "It was unusual to see this type of aircraft development beginning in 1943 when allied jets were still in their infancy. A specification was sent to the Morris Furniture company in Glasgow Scotland by the Ministry of Aircraft Production for and on behalf of the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Helensburgh.

There were three prototypes to be delivered by road to Felixstowe in England. The first (s/n TG263), which appears to have been a one-third scale model, had the small tail which was so characteristic of Saunders-Roe types. The latter two prototypes (s/n TG267, TG271) had the high slab tail as found on production aircraft. The model fuselage had the provision of a model engine bay for the Beryl engines as found on the production aircraft.

The fighter was to be used in island hopping against Japan. The British lost interest in the scheme with the end of the war but the Americans pursued the scheme right up to 1951 when they too lost interest in the jet fighter flying boat.

Of the three prototypes, two were lost in accidents while the third lost its cockpit on a high speed trial. Performance was exceptional for its type but it could not be developed further and when flown it had already reached obsolescence since it was undergunned and could not carry advanced electronics. Had it not been for the Beryl engine there would have been no Sapphire and with no Sapphire, no Avon - the Saunders-Roe SRA/1 was exceptional. The surviving prototype (s/n TG263) is preserved at the Solent Sky Museum at Southampton, UK."

Created June 26, 2003