Aircraft Engineering THE MONTHLY ORGAN OF THE AERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING PROFESSION VOL XXV No 298 DECEMBER 1953 A Prince Charmingj? Power Supply The crux of the matter, as M R DUNCAN SANDYS said in reply to a HE news is extremely pleasing that movements are on foot to make some commercial use of the three Saunders-Roe Princess supplementary question, lies in the engines. The first Princess is Tflying boats. Sardonically enough there even seems to be flying with ten derated Proteus 2 turbo-prop engines—eight coupled in pairs and two mounted as single units—developing some 28,000 developing some competition for the privilege of purchasing them shaft horse-power. The intention has been ultimately to fit ten Pro from the Ministry of Supply with a view to putting them into teus 3 fully-rated engines (as used in the Britannia) mounted in the operation. This sudden activity is said to be due, characteristically, to a 'directive' from no less a person than SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL same way and developing a total of 33,000 s.h.p. These would equip himself that an operational future must be found for them. When the boats to be operated on the originally proposed routes, which the present temporary arrangement does not, we believe, do, and in a spur from such a source is supported by a statement that the chair deed SIR MILES THOMAS has definitely said that they are from the man of British Overseas Airways Corporation, SIR MILES THOMAS, B.O.A.C. point of view 'uneconomic' and that the Corporation said whose dreams have a habit of becoming realities, is interested we feel not unduly optimistic in saying that the future looks bright— that it would not operate them commercially on its scheduled at any rate taking a long view. Meanwhile M R E. C. MEKIE, chairman services. There is, we understand, an alternative proposal to fit only six Proteus 3 engines—all as single units, avoiding the extra weight of Aquila Airways Ltd., which is we suppose the only company with and complication of the coupled power plants—which would, how recent experience of operating flying boats, has stated that on ever, give a total power output of only some 20,000 s.h.p., and November 5 his company made a 'firm offer' to the Ministry of Supply to buy all three machines for 'much more than one million reduce the range to a figure below the London-New York opera pounds each'. This offer, he says, was made in response to an tional distance. In his statement SIR MILES THOMAS mentioned a third possibility, that Proteus Major engines of undefined power approach by the Ministry to all independent airlines. It is to be now being developed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company would be presumed that the B.O.A.C. interest has been aroused by a similar used, which would, we imagine—though this is only a surmise on our inquiry, which perhaps tends to confirm the rumour as to the august source of the renewed activity in regard to these boats, which had part—be fitted as six individual engines. These engines should, he been supposed to be going to be relegated to trooping duties under stated, give the long range and passenger-carrying capacity to make them 'very competitive' on international air routes, but it is unlikely the aegis of Transport Command. that they will be developed before 1958. The Official View That appears to be the technical position at the moment. The only comment on it we wish to make is that there does seem to be a The above was actually written at the very time when on Novem possible alternative line of thought in using the Princesses on com ber 16 M R DUNCAN SANDYS was making a statement in reply to a paratively short-haul ocean services up to, say, 1,500-2,000 miles, number of questions in the House of Commons which to some on which there are a larger number of potential passengers than on extent clarified the position as we have outlined it. The Minister of a transatlantic service, with the suggested six Proteus 3 engines. Supply opened by stating that to complete the two partially-built These would make them available at an earlier date and this may be boats, and fit them, as well as the one which has been carrying out what is in the mind of Aquila Airways in making their offer. development trials, with suitable engines, would be likely to cost several million pounds. 'Before,' he went on, 'the Government Potential Termini decide whether to authorize the expenditure of this further sum of public money, I am obtaining the views of airline operators who On general principles it has always seemed to us quite extraordinary might be interested in acquiring and operating these aircraft. When that so much money should be expended in laying down costly air these discussions are completed I shall make a further statement to ports with longer and stronger runways to cope with Iandplanes of the House.' ever-increasing weight when there are so many areas of water of one sort or another from which seaplanes could operate. If the From this it appears possible that SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL'S interest, if any, may have been prompted by other considerations question of the future of the Princesses brings this matter to a head so much the better. There seems no fundamental reason why areas than a desire for the development of seaplane passenger services. of water adjacent to existing seaport facilities—in many cases Indeed, it may be that the Air Council has been viewing with some suitable for use by shallow-draft boats even of the size of the thing less than enthusiasm the prospect of completing them for the Princesses but unusable by surface vessels—should not be used for use of Transport Command and may have made a move towards shedding the load. arrival and departure; the passengers being transferred to and from present customs sheds, etc., by tender. We are sure that a properly Be that as it may, there does seem to be a renewed prospect of the conducted survey would reveal many such potential bases; while boats eventually being used for the purpose for which they were there are inland lakes of considerable size in less developed countries designed—long-range transoceanic services with particular reference which could be adapted for the same purpose. to a London-New York route.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 1953
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