Frederick Sage and Co. Ltd., Aviation Department

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Frederick Sage & Co. was a high-class woodworking firm specializing in shop fittings when it became an aeroplane manufacturer. In September 1915, E. C. Gordon England, well-known designer and pilot, was appointed manager of the new aviation department. Under him, apparently as an assistant, was L. Bonnard. In January 1916, Clifford W. (C. W.) Tinson left the Air Department of the Admiralty and joined Sage Aircraft as a designer, apparently remaining there until 1922. Before joining the Admiralty in late 1914, Tinson had spent three years as a draftsman at British and Colonial Aeroplane Co., most of that under designer Frank S. Barnwell. While at B&C, Tinson had also worked on England's 1912 biplanes, so Sage was a reunion of sorts for them; when Tinson left Sage, he joined The Bristol Aeroplane Co., the successor in name to British and Colonial, as Barnwell's chief draftsman. H. W. Dunne was an engineer at Sage from 1917 to 1923, when he went to work for Bristol.

From early 1915, Sage made airship parts. Circa June 1915, the firm received a contract from the Admiralty to make 12 Short 184 torpedo/bomber seaplanes, the first of which was completed in late September 1915. This was followed by contracts to make Royal Aircraft Factory BE2cs and Avro 504Ks. By 1916, the design of the first original Sage machine, a large bomber, was in progress under the direction of England and Bonnard; this machine was never finished, however. Sage 2 was a 2-seat fighter designed for the Admiralty by Tinson; it flew 10 Aug 1916, but crashed during a trial flight after the rudder post gave way and the machine became unmanageable. The Sage Type 3A and B, released in 1917, were 2-seater tractor biplanes intended for use as trainers. These were followed by the Type 4 A-C training seaplanes, also of 1917.

SD lists several unnumbered Sage machines including long-distance passenger seaplanes, long-distance land and sea planes, and several sporting and sociable land and sea machines.


Names Frederick Sage and Co. Ltd., Aviation Department, Sage Aircraft
Country Great Britain
City Peterborough, England
Started aero 1915
Ended aero
Key people E. C. Gordon England, L. Bonnard, Clifford W. Tinson, Frank S. Barnwell, H. W. Dunne
Wikidata id