SAUNDERS

Around 1890 S.E. 'Slippery Sam' Saunders studied Canadian-Indian canoe of birchbark stitched with sinews. He later patented Consuta construction in which hull is multiple thin plies of mahogany stitched tightly with copper wire. Established S.E. Saunders Ltd at East Cowes mainly to build motor boats. In 1911 built hydroplane for Roger Ravaud, followed late 1912 by hulls of sewn cedar ply for Sopwith's Bat Boats. From 1914 built large numbers of Avro 504A/J, Short 184, Norman Thompson and 100 F.2A flying-boats, and experimental hulls for Cdr. Porte at Felixstowe. Saunders also built single T.1 2-seat armed biplane of own design 1917. Designer H.H. Thomas died in flu epidemic 1918, but firm stayed in aircraft business, with Kittiwake amphibian (19 September 1920), hulls of Vickers Vikings and complete Vickers Valentia flying-boats. Last products were A.3 Medina 10-passenger boat (2 x Jupiter) of 1926 and A.3 Valkyrie for RAF (3 x 650-hp Condor) of 1927. Became Saro 1928, though A.10 fighter (1929) called Saunders.

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