- Author: Peter London
- ISBN: 0851778143
- ISBN13: 9780851778143
- Language: English
- Pages: 359
Saunders/Saro designed and built mostly flying-boats and amphibious aircraft, a natural evolution from an earlier involvement with boatbuilding. The aircraft varied greatly in terms of success. A number have gone largely unrecorded, especially some of the early prototypes. A small number of landplane designs were also conceived. The term 'Saunders/Saro' is used to describe a Limited Company which existed between 1908 and 1959. For twenty years, S.E. Saunders Ltd was engaged in boat-building, sub-contracted aircraft construction, and the development of a few aircraft to the company's own designs. In late 1928 the firm was reorganised and a new name was adopted-Saunders-Roe Ltd, usually abbreviated to Saro. The latter concern laid greater emphasis on aircraft design, and other interests were over a period made virtually autonomous.
Despite fluctuations in the success of its aircraft, the company continued with its work and by the early 1950s was the last stronghold of flying-boat development in Great Britain. Saunders/Saro was always a small enterprise compared with the major aircraft manufacturers and so a frequently one-sided battle was waged in terms of obtaining orders and developing new types. It has been suggested that the company might have done well to concentrate solely on boat-building. Certainly a significant proportion of its aircraft remained unsold or were unpopular with those who flew them. Others, however, were more successful and a few were outstanding. This is the story of all these aircraft and the company which produced them.
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