The Saunders-Roe SR.53 was an interceptor capable of reaching high altitudes very quickly. It was powered by jet and rocket engines but by the late 1950s it has been superceded by other forms of defence and was abandoned.
Development of the SR.53 began in 1951, designed to defend Britain against high altitude bombers armed with atomic bombs.
The rocket engine provided the thrust needed to reach high altitudes, in the fashion of the German rocket fighters of World War II, while the jet engine gave it power to return to base and land.
However, by 1957 when the first SR.53 was ready to fly, British defence philosophy saw no future in manned interceptors because of the development of surface to air missiles, so the project was cancelled.
The two SR.53s made forty-two test flights before being grounded.
This model represent XD145, one of the two SR.53s constructed
Airfix 1/72 kit completed by Leigh Edmonds in September 1996.