Saunders-Roe Princess

The epitome of those large, elegant commercial flying boats that had reigned supreme on intercontinental air routes in the 1930s, the Saunders-Roe Princess had the misfortune to be born into a postwar world whose requirements had changed. Certainly, the aircraft had ample power, with ten Bristol Proteus turboprop engines installed as coupled pairs in each of the four inboard nacelles, and as single units in two outboard nacelles.
It also had a massive hull of “double-bubble” cross-section, which allowed space for two decks. These were to have passenger seats and
refreshment bars; the lower deck also had two freight holds, while the upper deek housed the flight crew and it also had sufficient space
for a galley.
However, by Ihe 1950s landplanes had oustripped flying boats’ performance, which was hampered by their drag-inducing hulls.
Also, a vast wartime programme of airfield construction enabled landplanes to touch down in many of the more remote locations
that were once only accessible to seaplanes. Unfortunately, BOAC, the Princess’s potential customer, had opted for an all-landplane fleet even before the flying boat made its maiden flight in August 1952. Only one prototype was ever completed. This, and two uncompleted ones, were cocooned in 1954 and scrapped in 1967.

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