Isle of Wight What's On Guide: 2023 Events OnTheWight

Saunders-Roe - and the SR.45 Princess Flying Boat Free

Thursday 18 6.00pmMay


This event has now finished

Saunders-Roe - and the SR.45 Princess Flying Boat Free


Royal aeronautical society iw branch   sr45

Isle of Wight College - Main Hall


Doors 17:00

Lecture 18:00 - 19:45

Bob Wealthy’s talk will present a background to the formation and evolution of the Saunders-Roe (SARO) Company at Columbine Works, East Cowes. The origins of the “large flying boat” concept will be traced back to a UK Government contract being placed with SARO in 1945 for the design and construction of the SR.45 Princess - with BOAC as a somewhat reluctant “customer”.

The design, development and construction of the Princess and the facilities used at SARO East Cowes to build the SR.45 will also be discussed along with its first flight and flight test programme.

Bob's talk will conclude by referring to some historical remaining relics of both Saunders-Roe and the SR.45 Princess project and the demise of the Princess, which lost out to the De Havilland Comet and led to all three Princess’ being scrapped in the 1960s, despite various efforts to find alternative uses - and the demise of the Saunders-Roe Company, which faded from view when it lost its independence in 1958, following acquisition by the Westland Group.

All Are Welcome - Members and Non-Members

FREE ADMISSION & PARKING - Refreshments will be Provided

Small Donations Always Welcomed.

Endorsed CPD Attendance Certificates for CEng, I.Eng & EngTech available.

Event Contact: Graham Thomas - Branch Secretary - [email protected]

Speaker Details

Bob Wealthy - Chairman, Britten-Norman Aircraft Preservation Society Trust (BNAPS) Bob is the current Chairman of the Britten-Norman Aircraft Preservation Society Trust (BNAPS) and has had a lifelong interest in aviation, particularly of that on the Isle of Wight, where he grew up.

This interest started when following the exciting developments at Saunders-Roe in Cowes and as a member of the Air Training Corps was strengthened by the unbelievable sights and sounds of the aircraft that appeared at the Farnborough Air Shows in the 1950s.

Bob has had a long career in electrical engineering, starting with an apprenticeship with GEC. His first project was with the engineering team developing the data communications system of the Prospero satellite launched on the SARO Black Arrow space rocket. GEC eventually became Airbus Defence and Space, where Bob was a senior systems engineer engaged on the Skynet 4 and Skynet 5 military communications satellites.

Following retirement in 2006, Bob became a volunteer at the Solent Sky Aviation Museum in Southampton and in 2010 joined the BNAPS Islander G-AVCN restoration team, who recently completed of the restoration project after some 12 years.