The author’s three-dimensional rendering of Folland’s 14-seat amphibian design, bearing the spurious registration G-AEGZ, which was allocated to a British licence-built Sikorsky S.42 but was never taken up. The name City of Gloucester beneath the cockpit is also bogus, but in line with Imperial Airways policy of the time.
The author’s illustrations to accompany this feature are all based on newly-discovered documents in the Royal Aero Club Trust Archive, which includes previously unpublished drawings of Folland’s 1930s monoplanes. Inspired by Saunders-Roe’s Cutty Sark, Cloud and Windhover amphibian designs, Folland began work on a series of his own, beginning with a three-seat design intended mainly for private owners - although he did submit the three-seat design, along with the larger designs, to Imperial Airways.
Folland’s second amphibian design was a scaled-up version of the three-seater, the span increasing from the 39ft (11-9m) of the latter to 58ft (17-7m). The proposed powerplant for the eight-seater was to be a pair of supercharged Armstrong Siddeley Lynx Major radial engines. Note Folland’s adoption of Frank Duncanson’s ingenious amphibian undercarriage arrangement, in which the wing floats incorporated the wheels and could be raised or lowered accordingly.
The largest of Folland’s amphibians was to be powered by two supercharged Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar 14-cylinder two-row radial engines of 680 h.p. each, as fitted to Gloster’s single-engined Grebe biplane fighter. All three of the amphibians were to be fitted with a wing of Monospar construction, and both companies may have had a hand in the design. Folland presented the amphibian designs to Imperial Airways but the airline showed little interest.