where planes once flew


During WW2 Saunders-Roe were based on the Isle of Wight in Hampshire, they needed to find a base elsewhere for the essentially work on the Catalina flying boats away from the bombing in The Solent area.


Saunders-Roe developed a base near Beaumaris Anglesey for the works to modify the newly delivered Catalina aircraft from the USA to the standards required for Coastal Command. An area to the east of the Menai Bridge provided a sheltered deep water-landing zone. Saunders Roe dismantled one of their spare hangars at Cowes and re-erected on site in 1941. The Ministry of Aircraft Production also built  workshops and another hangar towards the end of 1941 the site was linked to the sea by a concrete slipway. Some 300 Catalinas passed through Saunders Roes new facility for conversion into war mode during WW2. Eventually Saunders Roe moved all their operations back to Cowes. Today the site is closed up and I could not find a gap in the fence these old hangers are rusting away and I am sure the site will be redeveloped soon. Sea Plane Close and Catalina Drive coming soon.



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