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Saunders-Roe P.148

Single-Engine Naval Jet Fighter Proposal

Saunders-Roe P.148

Single-Engine Naval Jet Fighter Proposal

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
IMAGES
Overview



The Saunders-Roe P.148 was being proposed as a jet-powered type of the early 1950s, seating two and incorporating its jet over the fuselage.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United Kingdom
YEAR: 1951
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Saunders-Roe - UK
PRODUCTION: 0
OPERATORS: United Kingdom (cancelled)
National flag of United Kingdom
UK
Technical Specifications



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Saunders-Roe P.148 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2
POWER: 1 x Rolls-Royce Avon RA.10 (later RA.12) afterburning turbojet engine developing 9,150lb of thrust dry and 11,380lb of thrust with reheat.
ADVERTISEMENTS
LENGTH

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WIDTH / SPAN

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SPEED (MAX)

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CEILING

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CLIMB RATE

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Armament



PROPOSED (STANDARD, FIXED):
4 x 30mm ADEN autocannons under the nose in fixed, forward-firing mountings.

PROPOSED (OPTIONAL):
2 x 18 (36 total) air-to-air rockets in ventral section.
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Variants / Models



• P.148 - Base Project Designation; only design brochure completed.


History



Detailing the development and operational history of the Saunders-Roe P.148 Single-Engine Naval Jet Fighter Proposal.  Entry last updated on 3/4/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
After the close of World War 2 (1939-1945), the British led the Allies in turbojet technology and were able to launch the first combat-capable, fighter-oriented types into the sky. The first notable offering became the Gloster "Meteor" which recorded its first flight in March of 1943 and entered service in July of 1944 (though it was used primarily to counter the V-1 rocket threat over the British mainland). Nearly 4,000 of the type (detailed elsewhere on this site) would be completed and the design also sold off to British allies across the globe. Powering this classic airplane were 2 x Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 series turbojet engines offering 3,600lb of thrust each.

It was this foundation that helped to keep the British at the forefront of post-war jet-powered fighters for years to come and technology allowed for a myriad of aerodynamic designs to be considered - with British engineers not in short supply of them.

Along the road to establishing one of the world's preeminent jet-powered air services, the British considered an ocean of proposals from the usual industry players of the period - Gloster, Fairey, Saunders-Roe (SARO), and Westland being just some of the names throwing their hats into the ring. For Saunders-Roe, primarily known for its oversized flying boat designs used throughout World War 2, there emerged one of many unique offerings proposed to officials in the form of the navy-minded "P.148".

The P.148 was a project aircraft drawn up by company engineers to satisfy a new Royal Navy specification (N.114T) of January 1951 covering a 14-ton, twin-seat, radar-equipped day/night fighter platform. Authorities sought a jet-powered type capable of reaching beyond 620 miles-per-hour flying to an altitude of at least 40,000 feet and having a climb rate equal-or-greater-to 10,000 feet-per-minute. Proposed armament was strictly air-to-air in nature: 4 x 30mm ADEN autocannons as fixed, forward-firing weapons and (rather optionally) support for 4 x Air-to-Air Missiles (AAMs).

SARO's entry into the crowded field incorporated a conventional, slender fuselage containing the cockpit, avionics, fuel stores (these also carried in the wings), and the usual support systems. Of note was the two-seat, side-by-side placement which only had the pilot under the bubble-style canopy with the secondary crewman seated lower in the arrangement (as in the eventual de Havilland "Sea Vixen" carrier-based fighter still to come - and detailed elsewhere on this site). The pilot's canopy was offset to portside as a result and the entire cockpit sat aft of a rounded nosecone assembly which was intended to house an "Airborne Interception" (AI) radar fit. The twin-spar wing mainplanes (offering notable sweepback) would be shoulder-mounted along the fuselage sides and set just ahead of midships. The fuselage was to then tapered elegantly aftwards until terminated by a small rounded cap. Over the tail section was a single, rather squat vertical tailfin topped by swept-back horizontal planes (eventually arranged in the typical "T-style" or "Multhopp Tail"). For ground-running, a conventional, retractable (all legs retracting into the fuselage) tricycle configuration would be used - though the legs were relatively short giving the vehicle a squat appearance when on the ground.

Dimensions included an overall length of 50 feet and a wingspan of 38.6 feet.




Beyond the cockpit's appearance and interesting crew placement, one of the other unique physical aspects of this machine was its proposed turbojet placement: over the aft dorsal section of the fuselage spine, in essence also forming the base of the single vertical tail fin. The single engine installation was to be aspirated by an intake found over midships and exhausted through a circular port under the rudder fin with a relatively uncomplicated duct system in-between to ease construction, maintenance, and general airflow. The engine of choice became the Rolls-Royce Avon RA.10 series afterburning turbojet engine (9,150 to 11,400lb thrust output) - though technological advances ultimately made by the Rolls-Royce company eventually led to the RA.12 afterburning turbojet (12,550lb thrust output) becoming the focal powerplant. Engineers also included support for Rocket-Assisted Take-Off (RATO) equipment to get the machine into the air as quickly as possible (acceleration in early turbojets proved limited so rocket power was used to offset this).

As for the 4 x 30mm ADEN autocannons, these would be seated ventrally in the fuselage under the cockpit floor - two cannons to a fuselage side - and a "gun-training" radar unit would have been installed in the right wing member to aid accuracy. To this was added twin housings for up to 36 total (2 x 18) aerial rockets at the fuselage sides in positions located aft of the main landing gear doors. Of course, provision was also drawn up for the carrying of the required air-to-air missiles (up to four) mentioned in the original requirement.

On paper, the P.148 would have been an excellent combination of performance, range, and firepower. As penciled out, the fighter was to have had a maximum speed reaching nearly 700 miles-per-hour with a ceiling near 50,000 feet (requiring cockpit pressurization as well as ejection seats), and a rate-of-climb of 12,320 feet-per-minute.

In any event, the P.148 project went nowhere and the eventual product to fulfill the Royal Navy fleet defense role became the classic "Sea Vixen" twin-boom fighter from de Havilland. This aircraft first-flew in September of 1951 and finally entered service in July of 1959 with a modest total of 145 units completed for the Royal Navy. These flew into 1972.




Media





General Assessment
Firepower  
Performance  
Survivability  
Versatility  
Impact  


Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
MF Power Rating
66
The MF Power Rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry. The rating is out of 100 total possible points.
Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (690mph).

Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (0)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
0
0

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.


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