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by Dave Mills
Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:11 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or
Replies: 4
Views: 12523

Re: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

This additional batch of newly discovered photos are of Bras D'Or inside Saunders-Roe works as she was being moved from Shop 5 to the original flying boat slipway in 1957. I have many more photos of her, but the forum only allows six photos to be added each time. More can be seen on my website http:...
by Dave Mills
Mon Jul 18, 2011 10:23 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or
Replies: 4
Views: 12523

Hydrofoil R-103 - Bras D'Or

More Photos and Information on my website http://dave-mills.yolasite.com/saro-hydrofoil-bras-dor.php CLICK the photos to ENLARGE The hydrofoil development work by Saunders Roe in support of the Canadian naval hydrofoil program led to the construction in 1956/57 of the 59 foot long hydrofoil R-103 BR...
by Dave Mills
Tue May 17, 2011 6:17 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The Former HMS Gay Archer
Replies: 10
Views: 20067

Re: The Former HMS Gay Archer

I recently had the pleasure of having a chat with Paul. A very intersting and enthusiastic man with great energy. He told me about a trip to Malta to rescure a pair of Vee drive gearboxes from an old MTB just before it was scrapped and were removed from the old timber hull with the aid of a chain sa...
by Dave Mills
Mon May 02, 2011 2:26 pm
Forum: Books & Magazines
Topic: Surviving MTBs
Replies: 0
Views: 5136

Surviving MTBs

I came across this link to MTB 98 and thought it would be valuable to historians and researchers to eventually compile a list of surviving MTB's http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/propertyadvice/propertymarket/3293082/A-torpedo-boat-to-call-home.html If you have any information or links to other ex...
by Dave Mills
Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:53 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Re: The British 'Dark' class

Some later photos of the Vasama 1 and 2. Note that the names were applied to the hulls. Vasama 1 also appears with name and still carrying the striped painting to the flair in this first photograph. It was soon changed to remove the white stripe as can be seen before her handover. [click to enlarge ...
by Dave Mills
Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:27 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Re: The British 'Dark' class

FINNISH DARKS An order was received by Saunders-Roe, Beaumaris in late December 1955 to build a pair of FPB's of the Dark Class type for the Finnish Navy. They were of conventional composite aluminium frames and mahogany planking and powered by twin Napier Deltic engines each of of 2,500 bhp. The bo...
by Dave Mills
Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:36 pm
Forum: Motor Launches
Topic: Saunders Roe Minesweepers
Replies: 4
Views: 7051

Re: Saunders Roe Minesweepers

It would appear that Saunders-Roe came into RN vessel construction very near to the end of Coastal Forces existance. The Dark Class FPB's being a case in point with so many being cancelled before the contract was completed. What was the reason for the change of plans for coastal defence? Could it ha...
by Dave Mills
Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:38 am
Forum: Motor Launches
Topic: Saunders Roe Minesweepers
Replies: 4
Views: 7051

Re: Saunders Roe Minesweepers

We now have some photos of HMS BRENCHLEY M2004 at her launching one fine summer day on the 19th July 1954.
by Dave Mills
Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:20 am
Forum: Motor Launches
Topic: Saunders Roe Minesweepers
Replies: 4
Views: 7051

Re: Saunders Roe Minesweepers

This selection of photos shows HMS BRENCHLEY M2004 outside Shop 1 hangar on the new "funicular" slipway. Alongside is sister vessel HMS BRINKLEY M2005. It appears that the unmarked M2004 was taken down the slipway for either pre-launch trials or simply to test the operation of the then untested new ...
by Dave Mills
Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:40 pm
Forum: Motor Launches
Topic: Saunders Roe Minesweepers
Replies: 4
Views: 7051

Saunders Roe Minesweepers

Saunders-Roe (Anglesey) Ltd launched their first Minesweeper in 1954 around the time they were starting to build the Dark Class FPB's. The Minesweepers: HMS Brenchley M2004 launched 19/7/54 HMS Brinkley M2005 launched 14/9/54 HMS Chailey M2009 launched 12/11/54 HMS Cradley M2010 launched 24/2/55 HMS...
by Dave Mills
Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:46 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Napier Deltic engines

The Dark Class used 18 cylinder Napier Deltic diesel engines. They were producing 2,500bhp in the early to mid 1950's but finally produced 3,100bhp. These higher powered engines were used in the Norwegian 'Nasties' and an even more powerful version in the amazing Japanese PT-10 that used three of th...
by Dave Mills
Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:40 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Electric drives for Burmese 'Darks'

The Burmese T201-T205 series had these purpose designed electric drives for slow speed working as mentioned earlier.
I havn't reproduced the full article, but these two illustrations show where they were fitted to the for'd end of the Vee gearbox. [click to enlarge]
by Dave Mills
Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:49 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

P1102 Dark Aggressor - Commissioning

Another couple of SARO Progress articles on the Dark Class.
Note that Dark Aggressor also went to Port Dinorwic dock as did the Burmese T201, but this time to take on stores for her journey south presumably to HMS Hornet.
by Dave Mills
Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:24 am
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Re: The Burmese 'Dark' class

I can't be 100% sure it was T201 that I got my ride on as a kid to Port Dinorwic. I remember it being towed stern first into the outer dock. I have some other photos of T20? at the port but they are from the damaged company negatives. This article is from SARO Progress magazine for Autumn 1954. I've...
by Dave Mills
Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:09 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

More photos of Burma T201

Some more photos of Burma T201 at Saunders-Roe. 29th December 1955. What! - No Christmas holidays?
by Dave Mills
Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:27 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Saunders-Roe first aluminium 'Dark' for Burma T201

Another evocative couple of photos of the Burmese 'Dark' T201. One on the inclined slipway at Saunders-Roe Beaumaris. The slip way built in 1953 on the funicular system where the boat starting on the level at the top of the inclined rail tracks, but ending up at a small angle to help them roll acros...
by Dave Mills
Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:22 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: MTB 539 (1602)
Replies: 12
Views: 20271

Re: MTB 539 (1602)

P1602 seems to have had a number of problems during trials. The first observation was the light gauge hull plating (1/10") and slight flexing and 'panting' of the plates when taking a rough sea. The plates above the triple ROTOL variable pitch props were also vibrating considerably and were some cau...
by Dave Mills
Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:19 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: MTB 539 (1602)
Replies: 12
Views: 20271

Re: MTB 539 (1602)

Having just spoken to a friend who was an inspector at Saunders-Roe Anglesey, he told me the aluminium hull plates and rivets of the five Burmese Dark Class were assembled with a brown marine adhesive as a form of belt and braces. I assume the plating was effectively caulked with it. It would be fai...
by Dave Mills
Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:44 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Headless Burmese Dark!

I have just asked a friend about the rumour of the Japanese ‘Dark’ class being fitted with only one engine, but he had neither heard about it or could suggest any reason for it. He did, however, tell me a story about the Burmese T201-T205 series. One of them was moored at Menai Bridge pier during so...
by Dave Mills
Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:46 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Re: The British 'Dark' class

After the loss of the experimental all aluminium MTB P1602 in early 1952, Saunders-Roe won the contract to detail design and build the next generation of FPB known as the Dark Class. They were somewhat ‘chunkier’ and box-like around the rear quarters than the more elegant P1602. The Darks were of a ...
by Dave Mills
Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:07 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Re: The British 'Dark' class

I think Dark Scout's welded hull was an experiment for the navy as the company had built the 72ft all welded aluminium motor/sailer 'Morag Mhor' for the British Aluminium Co. Dark Scout may also have been an experiment to further reduce cost, time of construction, weight and complexity and possibly ...
by Dave Mills
Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:19 am
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Re: SARO FPB for Japan

Having mentioned the SARO built FPB for Japan I found this page from the company magazine of 1957. The four negatives I have found so far are in particularly poor condition and very badly wrinkled. I will try to repair one or two some time when I'm not scanning the rest of the comapny magazines or s...
by Dave Mills
Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:17 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Re: The British 'Dark' class

Yes Julie, the FPB for Japan was shipped out 29 July 1957 and P1120 Dark Scout was launched 20 March 1958. Scout was therfefore the last Dark built at SARO for the RN as the rest of the order was cancelled. There is also some info on the BMPT forum . As this subject has come up so soon in the new Da...
by Dave Mills
Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:42 pm
Forum: Fast Patrol Boats
Topic: The British 'Dark' class
Replies: 31
Views: 54913

Re: The British 'Dark' class

Ted, thanks for dropping in the photo of P1101 Dark Adventurer outside the main hangar with the old Fryars house shown in the background. The low building next to it was the drawing office where my father Victor Mills worked from late 1945 to 1974 and where I spent a few years too. This photo is of ...

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