Boeing 314

Boeing 314

Boeing 314.A Golden Age Flying Boat

In the mid-1930s, the public increasingly demanded an aircraft with transoceanic range. Pan American issued a specification in 1936 for a long-range, four-engine flying boat. The Boeing Airplane Company responded to this request by developing the Model 314, dubbed the "Clipper" by Pan American, which incorporated the wing plan and engines of the XB-15, an experimental bomber Boeing had built for the Army.At first, Boeing had problems with the single vertical stabilizer. It tried a twin-tail arrangement, and finally settled on the three fins which became a feature of the design.
On May 20,1939, Pan American inaugurated the first transatlantic mail service. Under the command of Captain A. E. LaPorte, almost a ton of mail was carried from Port Washington to Marseilles, via the Azores and Lisbon. in 29 hours. The same aircraft, commanded by Captain Harold Gray, opened the northern mail service to Southampton on June 24,1939.
On June 28,1939 Pan American inaugurated the first regular passenger service, from New York to Southampton, via Newfoundland. Under the command of Captain R.0.D. Sullivan, the "Dixie Clipper" carried the first scheduled passengers across the North Atlantic. Twenty-two privileged persons had the option of paying $375 one-way (about $4,000 in today's money) or $675 return (say about $7,000 or $8,000, or twice Concorde levels). The Yankee Clipper opened the northern passenger route on July 8,1939, carrying 17 passengers at the same fare. Today, the North Atlantic route is still the most prestigious of all today despite the immense growth of the airlines. The famous transatlantic and transpacific Pan American Airways Clipper,carrying 74 passengers and a crew of 11. The largest airliner ever built for regular civilian passenger service was boasted.The use of the expression '42-ton flying-boat'gives little impression to the true size of the Boeing 314, known more usually as 'Boeing Clippers'.This resulted from their individual names such as Yankee Clipper,bestowed upon them by Pan American Airways.
A total of twelve were built,six as 314s and six as 314As with increased passenger Accomodations --On two decks, upper, or control, deck and main passenger, deck, providing accommodation for crew of eleven (including two Stewards) and sixty-eight day passengers and 36 sleeping passengers. Aft of the control Cabin on the upper deck are the main cargo, mail mid baggage holds with combination, cargo loading hatch and navigator's observatory above. Additional cargo space is provided in the bow of the hull. Mail and cargo holds have a total capacity of approximately 5 tons. The passenger deck is divided into five sections, including a lounge or recreational room seating twelve passengers, six separate passenger compartments, a specially, finished deluxe compartment, galley and rest rooms and lavatories for men and women. The two decks are interconnected by a Staircase. Complete radio, interphone and signal light system. Soundproofing, controlled heating and ventilation.

The Model 314 had a 3,685-mile range, enabling it to open new routes. The 'Clippers' proved rugged and reliable,both on Atlantic and Pacific routes.
The Model 314 was drafted into service at the outbreak of World War II to ferry materials and personnel. Few other aircraft of the day could meet the wartime distance and load requirements.The first of the Boeing 314A airrcraft flew as a prototype on March 20, 1941, but with WW II in full swing, only half the order went to Pan American. Three models were bought by the British government and allotted to BOAC for use as transport aircraft. President Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled by Boeing Clipper to meet with Winston Churchill at the Casablanca Conference in 1943. On the way home, President Roosevelt celebrated his birthday in the flying boat's dining room.
Pan American had made the world a smaller place by delivering the mail and passengers across both great oceans in record time. Although the sense of the luxury that surrounded flying would remain with people for generations, the trans-oceanic flying boats made passenger travel more available to the public.
After the War, seaplanes became obsolete,because you could fly accross the ocean non-stop in aircraft such as the Lockheed Constellation. The great flying boats were destroyed, sold off to start-up airlines seven to the new World Airways or were cannibalized for parts. By the early 50's, all of the planes were gone. Thus ending the Golden Age of of the flying boats.




Wing span 152'. Length 106'. Height 27'7". Weight empty 48,545 lbs. Useful load 33,955 lbs. Cargo capacity 10,500 lbs. Fuel 4200 gals. Oil 300 gals.

The Model 314's were Powered with four twin-row Wright Cyclones rated at 1500 h.p. 1600 h.p for the 314A (Take off power) Wright Cyclone 709C-14AC1 double row 14 Cylinder radial air-cooled geared engines, in semi-monocoque nacelles in the leading edge of the wings. Engine access during flight was through wing companion ways. Hamilton standard full- feathering constant speed proppellers. Fuel tanks in wing and Hydro stabilizers.

The 314A's.Had a maximum speed of 210 m.p.h., a cruising speed of 188 m.p.h., and a cruising range of 3,685 miles. Manufactured by the Boeing Aircraft Company,Seattle, Washington.

Visit the Pan American World Airways Heritage site to learn more about the 314. Unfortunately all of the Pan Am flying boats are gone, but the Martin Company did manufacture a flying boat during the Second World War, the Martin M-150 "Mars". Two of the four aircraft manufactured still fly! Please visit them at their home in Canada.

List of the Flying Boat Clippers

Martin M130s, Sikorsky S42s and Boeing 314s

Alaska Clipper NC16735 Sikorsky S42B 1940-1941 Renamed Hong Kong Clipper
American Clipper NC18606 Boeing 314 1939-1946
Anzac Clipper NC18611 Boeing 314A 1941-1951
Atlantic Clipper NC18604 Boeing 314 1939-1946
Bermuda Clipper NC16735 Sikorsky S42B1936-1941 Renamed Alaska Clipper 1941
Betsy Ross Clipper NC16736 Sikorsky S42B1937-1943 Crashed in Manaos, Brazil
Brazilian Clipper NC822M Sikorsky S421934-1946 Renamed Colombia Clipper
California Clipper NC18602 Boeing 314 1939-1950 Renamed Pacific Clipper
Capetown Clipper NC18612 Boeing 314A 1941-1946
China Clipper NC14716 Martin M130 1935-1945 Started transpacific mail service
Colombia Clipper NC822M Sikorsky S42 1937-1946 Scrapped 1946
Dixie Clipper NC18605 Boeing 314 1939-1950 Started transatlantic passenger service
Dominican Clipper NC15376 Sikorsky S42A 1936-1941 Lost in accident
Hawaiian Clipper NC14714 Martin M130 1936-1938 Started transpacific passenger service
Hong Kong Clipper NC823M Sikorsky S42 1937-1944 Sank in Cuba
Hong Kong Clipper NC16735 Sikorsky S42B 1941-1941 Destroyed by Japanese bombing
Honolulu Clipper NC18601 Boeing 314 1939-1945 Sank by US Navy
Jamaica Clipper NC15373 Sikorsky S42A 1935-1946 Scrapped 1946
Pacific Clipper NC18602 Boeing 314 1939-1950 Sold to World Airways
Pacific Clipper NC18609 Boeing 314A 1941-1946
Pan American Clipper NC823M Sikorsky S42 1934-1937 Renamed Hong Kong Clipper
Pan American Clipper NC16734 Sikorsky S42B 1936-1938 Renamed Samoan Clipper
Pan American Clipper NC16736 Sikorsky S42B 1937-1943 Renamed Bermuda Clipper 1940
Philippine Clipper NC14715 Martin M130 1935-1943 Crashed in Boonvile, CA
Samoan Clipper NC16734 Sikorsky S42B 1936-1938 Crashed in Pago Pago
West Indies Clipper NC823M Sikorsky S42 1937-1944 Renamed Pan American Clipper
Yankee Clipper NC18603 Boeing 314 1939-1943 Started transatlantic mail service

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