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Saunders Roe Princess flying boat


kev67
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I was having a look through my mums old photo album and spotted this, taken in Cowes on the Isle of Wight September 1959 when they were on Honeymoon, not sure if the Princess is being moth bold or dismantled with all the scaffolding around it, I also have another photo showing the Hovercraft outside the hanger at Sanders Roe

saunders%20roe%20princess_zps4w8603mg.jp

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They were held in storage for a long time before being scrapped in 1967.

I have a vague memory of seeing them whilst growing up but I would only have been 2 when they were broken up so I think it is a false memory.

Thanks for sharing though!

Edited by Wez
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How many were there on site? I have a vague recollection of flying out of Hamble on AEF and overflying these. Trouble is I don't trust my memory.

I have a recollection of 3, we used to catch the bus to Cowes from Newport to see the liners coming into Southampton when I was little, but it may be I've seen photo's of them and I'm remembering that, the yard they were kept in is next to the Cowes-East Cowes floating bridge on the Cowes side.

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Three airframes, G-ALUN, 'UO and 'UP of which only the first was completed and flown. The other two never even had their engines installed (10 Bristol Proteus). There were proposals for a land plane version and even a nuclear-powered version made it as far as the back of an envelope, but to no avail.

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I remember going into Southampton by train back in the 1970s and one of the hulls used to be beside the railway track. I have no idea what eventually happened to it, but I guess that it must have been destroyed at some point. Great shame if it was.

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'UO and 'UP were cocooned at the old Calshot flying boat station - we used to see them every year from the Southampton - IOW ferry going on family holidays. 'UN was cocooned at (West?) Cowes. The bow was right next to the road and we drove underneath it once, towering overhead. The last attempts to use them foundered when corrosion was found in the structures of all three so they were scrapped about 1967. I've seen a photo somewhere of the top front quarter of 'UN's hull including the cockpit allegedly being used as an office while the rest was "reduced to produce". The cocoon had been cleaned off and the final paint scheme was visible.

There's a series of blog articles on Seawings about building the 1/72 vacform - here's the first one....

http://seawingsblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/saro-princess-in-172nd-scale-kit.html

Edited by bryanm
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I was 13, on a troopship back from my fathers 3-year tour in Hong Kong - when we sailed into Southampton in 1960.

I can remember seeing those Princess hulks in cocoons on the port shore as we sailed up the estuary.

We berthed next to one of the Cunard Queens - which towered way above us on the opposite wharfe.

Ahhhh - a trip down (fading) memory lane......

Ken

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My Grandfather, who served in the RAF Reserve during the Second World War, owned a Bicycle and Radio Shop in Cowes until the early 1960s. He was a very keen aviation enthusiast and had grown up in sight of Calshot, witnessing all of the Schneider Trophy race events that took place in the Solent together with trial flights for all of Saunders-Roe's products. The Princess clearly had an effect on him, like no other; something he obviously shared with countless others at the time. I do recall that our family photo archives have quite a few shots of the Princess taking off or alighting on the Solent….I will see if I can dig one or two out and post them here.

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I helped clear out some stuff of an old boy who had worked at Saro. He had hand-carved a Princess in wood at 1/72. It was massive and a beautiful thing even though not finished, his family kept it as a memento.

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Thanks very much for sharing the photo, would really like to see your photo of SRN-1 as well if possible?

My father worked at Saunders-Roe and worked on all the early hovercraft there as well as Black Knight.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks very much for sharing the photo, would really like to see your photo of SRN-1 as well if possible?

My father worked at Saunders-Roe and worked on all the early hovercraft there as well as Black Knight.

So did my grandad, a pattern maker.

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They are good photos for the time Kev, would love to see more if you have them.

So when is someone bringing out a 1/72nd Princess flying boat....Amodel must be the best candidates. One of my all time favourite flying boats too, such a lovely looking aircraft.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well Amodel did the Brabazon, so it's certainly not out of the question they'd do the Princess. We can only hope (and save up our money).

Regards,

Jason

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Come on, Radleigh - did you get a reply or have you just bought the last one available?

No, I haven't emailed them yet, to be honest I've been so busy I totally forgot... I'm working long hours and going to the gym 5 days a week to try help me with my back (very tiring to say the least!). I have no laptop either & using my iPad is annoying at times... While I'm online though I shall do it tonight though!

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Must admit I had a good look at the vac kit but it wasn't available at the time. I would have thought that Amodel would be most likely to produce a 1/72nd monster and S&M or Anigrand in 1/144th, (they both did the Shetland so why not the Princess)....beautiful aircraft, long overdue.

I'm working long hours and going to the gym 5 days a week

Worst excuse I've heard in a long time...good lord man this is plastic aircraft modelling ! :coolio:

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Worst excuse I've heard in a long time...good lord man this is plastic aircraft modelling ! :coolio:

Priorities gone wrong big time I would say, what could be more important than checking out an interesting kit?

Martin

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