Senior Member
26 May 2006
Reaction score
I just ask, is the Saro P.208 project amphibian or flying boat.
Tagg/Wheeler "From Sea To Air" speak of a flying boat...
First off, I want to say that this is really a great site, with lots of new info on projects, some of which I've never even heard of, but still pique my interest as an aviation enthusiast. I've always taken an interest in "paper" airplanes, and have a few of the books, like a couple of the "Luftwaffe Secret Projects" series. Now that I've found this forum though, it's rekindled my interest in the subject. Anyway, I was wondering if anybody has any info on the Saunders-Roe jet powered flying boats they designed during the 1950s, including the Duchess and especially the P.192, which was to fly on a route between England and Australia carrying around 1,000 passengers. I've heard of some specs, and know of some photos, but if anyone has them and can post them up, that'd great, as I've always been curious about that model in particular. Thanks in advance!

Welcome pgd2000,
here's, what I've found in Tagg/Wheelers "From Sea To Air",
let's begin with the Duchess, or P.131 .
And some other projects:
P.109 : 100.000 lb, 6 engines, probably Nene or Ghost
P.133 : Using the DH Comet wing with 4 Ghost engine swith afterburner
P.135 : Several proposals 4- or 6- engined ...
... and one as a canard with forward swept wings !
P.138 . Jet powered version of the Princess, with 12 Ghost engines
and the P.152 : An updated version of the Duchess
Hi there
Im also interested in Saro Princess projects - have a look at my web site - a work in progress and far from finished but i find it a good way of storing info. I have just acquired a couple of the saunders roe inhouse magasines - The New Slipway which Im in the process of scanning - I'll post articles afttheer the holidays. anyway have alook and let me know if its of any help

Wow! Thanks Jemiba for those schematics, I've never even heard of most of those, especially the FSW flying boat, but it's cool finally seeing these. And slmvbs, good job on the website, it's a good history about the SARO Princess. Thanks again!

My dear Jemiba,

do you know that tandem wing Princess ?.


  • tandem wing.JPG
    tandem wing.JPG
    19.7 KB · Views: 396
Of course I know ! It's from Orionblamblams Aerospace Project Review, isn't it ?
And the Princess Twin is also well known, not only by Tophe, I think ... ;)


  • saundersroetwinprincess_2.jpg
    24.3 KB · Views: 530
Time to pass the hat round people!

Check out ebay item 190059143783 or search for saunders roe - it seems to be the original pictures from an aircraft inspection officer which can be seen on this web site


below is the introduction to the pictures that are on the site and now being sold on ebay.

This, the 50th flying boat walk-round on this site, just had to be special but I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would see this one!!! The pictures shown here are from the official Saunders-Roe files and were taken by a member of the Aeronautical Inspection Department (A.I.D.) during the actual construction to form a permanent record. Upon visiting one of my favorite second-hand bookshops, Falconwood Books, in Welling, Kent, a chance conversation with the proprietor, Andy Doran, about 'looking for anything about flying boats' lead to him showing me the most fabulous photographic album, then in his ownership, which contained the original prints you see here. This album was made by the original photographer, who has sadly passed on. I was absolutely dumfounded, never having seen them before in print anywhere, and when I finished drooling, just happened to say ' wouldn't it be nice if these could be scanned' when, lo-and-behold, he provided me with a cd containing all the prints on it. This gallery is the result. The original album has since changed hands, however, Andy gave his permission for SEAWINGS to display the images. I would like to think that the current owner would be happy also to have a permanent record on this site.

Santa are you listening????
Saunders-Roe marine airliner project


the Saunders-Roe's chief designer,Mr. Henry Knowler designed a very beautiful
marine airliner aircraft,notice the engines was mounted at the rear wing and
it had three decks.


  • Saunders-Roe marine airliner.JPG
    Saunders-Roe marine airliner.JPG
    31.4 KB · Views: 718
Re: Saunders-Roe marine airliner project

This was not a projected design but a visualisation of what could be
in he future.Some sources mentioned it as nuclear powered...
Re: Saunders-Roe marine airliner project

Not unlike the Duchess, though.
Re: Saunders-Roe marine airliner project

The Duchess, I think, was smaller, this one looks like the category of the P.192,
which would have been powered by 24 RR onways or 16 Bristol BE.25 turbo-props.
The so called 'tandem Princess' is no a S.R Princess variation
but a forplane or tandem wing variant of
the Blackburn 'Clydesman'
Some more front cover ads.


  • 005 (2).jpg
    005 (2).jpg
    99 KB · Views: 671
  • 006 (2).jpg
    006 (2).jpg
    91.3 KB · Views: 540
  • 007 (2).jpg
    007 (2).jpg
    84.1 KB · Views: 495
  • 010 (2).jpg
    010 (2).jpg
    73.8 KB · Views: 485
  • 011 (2).jpg
    011 (2).jpg
    90.8 KB · Views: 599
I have Beaver-splashed in Canada to downtown jetties, and took the Hythe ferry in 1958 past 2 moored Aquila Solents, just as the 3rd. landed in front from Funchal - Madeira at that time had no airport. That's the point: the operating cost of corrosion-intensive metal can only be recovered on sectors inaccessible to landcraft. BOAC and BSAAC already knew that in 1946, but acquiesced in MoS funding SR.45 as a joint military/civil programme because these State Corporations were not then expected to buy their aircraft, but to lease them from...us. BSAAC died in 1947; by 1948 BOAC knew that the Clipper-luxury, panoramic lounge-bars of big boats could not sell tickets against fast landplanes. KLM took LHR pax via Schiphol on to Jo'burg on DC-4: Sandringhams wallowed empty, bar official pax. Despite BOAC's marine exit in 1950, SR.45 continued as concept-proof for RAF/MR (that was the "research" that was alluded to, and Duchess notions were derivations of military schemes). RAF flew Sunderlands until 1957, but by 1956 landplane payload/range enhancements, plus concrete everywhere, dished big boats, even in Pacific.
To be complete...

The designation of the tandem wing flying boat is
Blackburn B-49B....
An interesting image ... do you have a date and source?
The illustrator is better known as a cartoonist, though the
image does appear to relate to pre 'Princess' studies at Saro.


Would have been more impressive than both the Princess and the Duchess if it ever left the drawing board. Wonder if there have been any preliminary studies of it or project proposals by the late Henry Knowles archived in the RAE library?
The saunders Roe 192 was a fantastic project, I was able to get hold of many drawings flightplans etc of the project which I am still hoping might one day be published.

Re: Saunders-Roe marine airliner project

In the latest Aeroplane Monthly issue, featuring an article about the SR.45 Princess,
this design/concept or whatever we would call it, is shown again with the same picture,
described as a 6-engined flying boat, "..taking the idea of jet powered flying boat another step
beyond the Duchess.". So, not more, than an artist impression, probably (and that
may explain, why it isn't shown in Tagg/Wheeler "From Sea To Air"), but a really
beautiful one. ;)
Just tried to make a basic drawing of it.


  • Saro_6-engined_flying-boat.GIF
    44.1 KB · Views: 781
Re: Saunders-Roe marine airliner project

Saro P.192

Saunders Roe designed and built the Saro Princess flying boat. Though it was an excellent machine, only two were built, as there was little need for flying boats after the War. None of this, however, deterred the company's designers from conceiving an even larger jet-powered version, powered by no fewer than 24 turbojets buried in the wing! Source: Jerram, M. Incredible Flying Machines: An Anthology of Eccentric Aircraft. (London, Talos Publishing, 1980)

EDIT: Jemiba has identified this design as the P.192 and not the "Jet Princess" as it was identified from the web site I found the image. Post updated and artwork filename renamed.


  • SaroP192.JPG
    66.2 KB · Views: 709
Re: Saunders-Roe marine airliner project

It's the P.192, which should have had a weight of about 1,500,000 lb, a span
of 313 ft and be able to carry up to 1000 passengers !
Sketch and artist impression from Tagg/Wheeler "From Sea To Air"


  • P-192.JPG
    8.7 KB · Views: 630
  • P-192.GIF
    33.2 KB · Views: 643
The 3-view of the Saunders Roe 'Duchess' in Flight Global (4 May 1950) is perhaps the 'best of a bad bunch'. Any body have a good quality copy of that same drawing or a better one? It was such an attractive design, but the 3-views I have seen do not do it justice.


  • P-162.jpg
    32.9 KB · Views: 296
SR.45+6xcoupled RR Tweed was funded May,1946 intended as 3 for BSAAC and in an MR variant. It settled as Princess/4xcoupled, plus 2xsingle Proteus; 4 more were ordered by Govt. for BOAC in 1948, when Spec. R.2/48 was put out to tender, for >80 for RAF, won by Saro P.162/turboprops. Meekcoms/Morgan, Br. A/c Specs File, Air Britain,1994 has P.162 work continuing to 1955. BOAC had ceased Shortly splashing on 10/11/50 and told their owner they had no use for 7 Princesses; when cancelled in May,1954 Govt. understated the nugatory expense as "work would continue for RAF" (i.e: on P.162). Fabrication would have involved Vickers-Armstrongs, who kept Saro active on Valiant noses and Viscount 700 wings. 1950 "Duchess" was doodled awhile unfunded, alongside 1951 MoS studies of mixed-powerplant interceptors. P.162 lapsed and SR.53 was funded Sept.1955 (inc.$1.5Mn. from US MWDP) as proof-of-concept for (to be) SR177. Vickers lost interest in Saro; in Sept.1956 DH, to embed its Spectre/Gyron Jr., bought 33%, intending to build SR177 at Christchurch/Hurn. When that died in Dec.1957 Saro was left with modest rocketry and ex-Cierva, taken on by Westland, 14/7/59.
Re better 3 views - stashed away in my 'heap' I have a copy of the brochure and a set of high quality scans for
Duchess 1 and 2. May take a few days but will try and dig them out for you / all to see.


Great thread,

The very last UK flying boats get little attention here. The P.162 is especially interesting, Buttler mentions it in BSP Jet Bombers. Ken, you mention that the type was to have turboprops but eh graphic states 'compounded diesel engines', I take this to be a reference to the Napier Nomad which was theoretically an ideal engine for an MPA and was in vogue for the Shackleton for quite some time.

Interesting that the original tender was for 80 aircraft; How does this fit in with Shackleton fleet? Of that aircraft 77 Mk1s and 69 Mk2s were acquired. Would the P.162 have been supplemental to this fleet or were additional Shackletons acquired after the death of the Saro bird?

There seems to have been considerable interest in land based naval defence around the UK, the Corsair (Type 191) sonar system was proposed as a defensive net to help direct aircraft to targets. There was also the never deployed Type 188 harbour defence sonar. The Coastal forces existed until 1957 and considerable effort went into developing gas turbine powered boats for them. In addition there were early plans to use the Valiant as a launch platform for the Green Cheese AShM. That there was also an effort to provide a replacement for the Sunderland is another interesting layer to this.
Top Bottom