The flying boat dominated international airline service in the 1920s and 1930s, and the Pan Am Clippers were the most famous of all.
Pan Am chief Juan Trippe called the airplanes “clippers” to link his airline with the maritime heritage of the world’s great ocean liners.
Although aerodynamically less efficient than streamlined landplanes, flying boats could provide service to any city with a sheltered harbor, which made them the ideal international airliner at a time when few cities had runways capable of handling large land planes.
The era of the flying boat reached its height with the luxurious Boeing B-314 Clipper, with which Pan American Airways inaugurated the first scheduled transatlantic airline service between Europe and America in 1939.
The first Pan American plane to be called a “Clipper,” the S-40 grew out of Juan Trippe and Charles Lindbergh’s desire for a strong, sturdy, high-capacity four-engined transport to serve as an ocean liner of [...]
The Development of the S-42 The Sikorsky S-40 had laid the groundwork for Pan Am’s Latin American route system, but Pan Am was never fully satisfied with its compromise design,. Even before the S-40 first [...]
The Martin M-130 is the airliner that gave Pan Am the true ability to span the world’s oceans. Often called a “China Clipper” after the most famous of the three M-130’s built for Pan American, [...]
The Boeing clipper is widely regarded at the summit of flying boat technology. It inaugurated the world’s first transatlantic heavier-than-air service, and carried passengers and cargo around the globe in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Large, [...]