Saunders-Roe SR. A-1

Saunders-Roe SR.A-1

RolleFlyvende bådjager
Første flyvning16 July 1947

Den Saunders-Roe SR. A/1 was a prototype flying boat fighter aircraft designed and built by British seaplane manufacturer Saunders-Roe. It was the first jet-propelled water-based aircraft in the world. The concept behind the SR.A/1 originated during the Second World War as a reaction to Japan’s successful use of military floatplanes and the emergence of the turbojet engine. Saunders-Roe presented an initial proposal of their jet-powered seaplane concept, then designated SR.44, to the Air Ministry during mid-1943. In April 1944, the Ministry issued Specification E.6/44 for the type and supported its development with a contract for three prototypes. Development was protracted by Saunders-Roe’s work on other projects, the war having ended prior to any of the prototypes being completed.

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The Saunders-Roe SR.A-1 was an innovative attempt to create a jet-powered flying boat fighter for the British Royal Air Force. The aircraft was designed and built by Saunders-Roe, a British company that specialized in seaplanes and flying boats. The SR.A-1 was inspired by the Japanese use of seaplane fighters in the Pacific War, and aimed to combine the advantages of water-based operations with the high speed and performance of jet propulsion. The SR.A-1 had a sleek fuselage that acted as a hull, and two Metropolitan-Vickers Beryl jet engines mounted on the wingtips. The aircraft was armed with four 20 mm cannons and could carry bombs or rockets under the wings.
The SR.A-1 first flew on 16 July 1947, and proved to be stable and agile in flight. However, by then, the war had ended and the need for seaplane fighters had diminished. The RAF evaluated the SR.A-1 but found it inferior to land-based jet fighters in terms of range, payload, and maintenance. Only three prototypes were built and tested, and the project was cancelled in 1951. The SR.A-1 was the first and only jet-powered flying boat fighter to fly, and remains a unique example of British aviation ingenuity.

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