For a couple of years after this article was written, the Navy was still ordering subsonic fighter planes to launch off of carriers. This is because the then state of the art jet engine technology required takeoff rolls too long for an aircraft carrier. This is what led the Navy to consider a supersonic seaplane like the Convair Sea Dart.
BY C.B. COLBY
IT KILLS us to admit it but the British have sneaked in with two more aviation firsts—a jet powered flying boat and a seaplane fighter with retractable hull.
From the Saunders-Roe back room comes the single seater SR/A1 jet fighter, one of the most interesting as well as prophetic aircraft of recent times. (See drawing at right.) This amazing little “pint-size clipper” with a nasty sting is the first boat-hulled aircraft to be powered with jet engines.