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Saunders-Roe SR.45 Princess


The Saunders-Roe Princess was intended as a flagship for British Overseas Airways Corporation; weighed 152 tonnes (150 tons) and was to have carried 105 passengers in its two-deck, pressurized hull. The three prototypes were, ordered in May 1946, were intended for non-stop transatlantic service. The Princess was powered by ten Bristol Proteus turboprop engines. Eight of the engines coupled in pairs driving contra--rotating propellers. The flight deck crew consisted of two pilots, two flight engineers, a radio operator and a navigator. Two decks carried 105 passengers in first and tourist class. By the time the first example flew, years behind schedule, on 22 August 1952 the programme cost had nearly quadrupled to £11,000,000.

Meanwhile BOAC had given up flying-boat operations. Instead, the boats were to be completed as long-range military transports for the RAF, but the lack of a suitable powerplant brought even these optimistic hopes to an end. Larger than the Martin Mars and heavier than the Bristol Brabazon I, the Princess prototype was flown for the first time on 22 August 1952 and spanned 66.90m with its wingtip floats retracted, weighed 156,492kg on take-off. It could attain a maximum speed of 579km/h on the power of its 10 2386kW Bristol Proteus 600 turboprop engines.




Development problems with the gearboxes of the inboard engines contributed to the decision to end development.  No-one wanted the Princess or her two sisterships which had been completed at Saunders -Roe's Isle of Wight factory, and the three Princesses sat cocooned at Calshot for 15 years before the cutters' torches finally destroyed them. The second and third Princesses did not fly.

Saunders-Roe SR.45 Princess
Engines: 10 x Bristol Proteus 2 turboprop, 3780hp
Span: 210 ft 6 in / 66.90 m
Length: 148 ft / 45.11 m
Height: 17.37 m / 57 ft 0 in
Max take-off weight: 156500 kg / 345025 lb
Max. speed: 612 km/h / 380 mph
Cruise speed: 579 km/h / 360 mph
Range: 8484 km / 5272 miles
Pax cap: 105
Crew: 6



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