Boeing 314 Clipper
1939
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Boeing 314 Clipper

As early as January 1935, Pan American Airways had signified to the US Bureau of Air Commerce its wish to establish a transatlantic service and, despite its ownership of the large Martin M-130 and Sikorsky S-42 long-range four-engined flying-boats, the airline wanted a new aircraft for the route.

Boeing submitted a successful tender to the Pan American specification and a contract for six Boeing Model 314 flying-boats was signed on 21 July 1936. The manufacturer used features of the earlier XB-15 heavy bomber, adapting the wing and horizontal tail surfaces for its 37421kg gross weight flying-boat, which could accommodate up to 74 passengers in four separate cabins. The engines were not the 746kW Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasps of the XB-15, but 1119kW Wright GR-2600 Double Cyclones which gave the machine a maximum speed of 311km/h. The fuel capacity of 15898 litres conferred a maximum range of 5633km; some of the fuel was stored in the stabilising sponsons, which also served as loading platforms.

The first Boeing 314 took off on its maiden flight on 7 June 1939, this original version having a single fin and rudder, later replaced by twin tail surfaces to improve directional stability. These proved to be inadequate, and the original centreline fin was restored, without a movable rudder. The aircraft was awarded Approved Type Certificate No. 704 and entered transatlantic airmail service on 20 May 1939, passenger service commencing on 28 June. At that time the Model 314 was the largest production airliner in regular passenger service.

Pan American ordered another six aircraft which were designated Model 314A, improved by the installation of 1193kW Double Cyclones with larger-diameter propellers, and additional 4542 litres of fuel capacity, and a revised interior. The first Model 314A flew on 20 March 1941 and delivery was complete by 20 January 1942. Five of the original order were retrospectively converted to Model 314A standard in 1942. Three of the repeat order were sold, before delivery, to BOAC for transatlantic service and operation on the Foynes-Lagos sector of the wartime 'Horseshoe Route'.

Boeing 314 Clipper

Of Pan American's nine Model 314/ 314As, four were requisitioned by Army Transport Command and given the military designation C-98. They were little used, however, and in November 1942 one was returned to the airline. The other three were transferred to the US Navy to join two acquired direct from Pan American; the airline provided crews for the US Navy's B-314 operations and the aircraft were partially camouflaged but operated with civil registrations.

BOAC and Pan American terminated Boeing Model 314 services in 1946 and the surviving aircraft were sold to American charter airlines

3-View 
Boeing 314 ClipperA three-view drawing (1450 x 1040)


Specification 
 MODELModel 314A
 PASSENGERS74
 ENGINE4 x Wright R-2600 Cyclone 14, 1193kW
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight37421 kg82500 lb
    Empty weight22801 kg50268 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan46.33 m152 ft 0 in
    Length32.31 m106 ft 0 in
    Height8.41 m28 ft 7 in
    Wing area266.34 m22866.86 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed311 km/h193 mph
    Cruise speed295 km/h183 mph
    Ceiling4085 m13400 ft
    Range5633 km3500 miles

Boeing 314 Clipper

Comments1-20 21-40
michael, 17.06.2014

im looking for blue prints to build a balsa wood structure of the boeing 314 float plane ,,,, can you help or send me in the right direction

John Howell, 13.05.2014

I was with my family in San Francisco the summer of 1938 or 1939. We happened to be down near the bay when we saw the clipper take off. Everybody called it the China Clipper. It was something to see. I was 5 or 6 years old

Larry Scrivener, 18.10.2013

The old seaplane base at Foynes Ireland is a museum today, and has what they describe as a "full scale" portion of the B-314. It was built by the museum staff and other volunteers in the Republic, and that is a marvelous story in itself. Check their operating schedule before you go -- I did not, and experienced a serious disappointment on my last trip to the old sod.

James, 22.09.2013

When visiting the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Fla. about two years ago the tour took us past a building where aircraft were being rebuilt and through am open door I saw the largest Seaplane I have ever seen. It had the shape and contours that could only be a Boing Clipper.

Phil Copeland, 11.08.2013

Actually BOAC continued to use the 314 until 1948 for the Bermuda/USA service.

Phil Copeland, 11.08.2013

Actually BOAC continued to use the 314 until 1948 for the Bermuda/USA service.

Renee Chernoff, 04.05.2013

For those interested in the Pan Am Clipper, check out Ken Follett's book "Night Over Water". Its a great novel with incredible detail about the Boeing 314.

KT, 05.12.2012

My cousin's parents were on a clipper flight to lisbon from ny in October of 1941 and from honolulu to manila in April of 1941. I am wondering if anyone can tell me whether these two flights, or around this time, were the planes still the one class luxury standard or had they already been converted to the spartan military flights?

glm, 25.11.2012

Looking for technical drawings/prints for the Boeing 314. I'd like to recreate them in CAD for a scratch built balsa build. Any info or source would be much appreciated.
Thanks
Gary

Bruce Pattison, 08.11.2012

My Dad, Romney (Pat) Pattison was a navigator on the Pan AM 314's and flew all over the world during the War. He told me many interesting stories of his flights. He later became the chief navigator for Pan Am. Does any one remember him?

PAUL A. JOHNS, 30.07.2012

Iwas with Pan Am for 10 yrs and flew the Boeing 314 clipper
on 20 pacific crossings as Pilot and Pilot Navigation officer.
Also on trips with Capt Ford.
The 314 was a great Plane and of my 220 pacific crosings they
stand out the most allthouh I AM NOW 99 YRS OLD BUT REMEMBER
THEM WELL

Doug Ratchford, 16.06.2012

The only surviving example of the big flying boats from that era is the Vought-Sikorsky VS-44 displayed at the New England Air Museum.
Ken Smith-I'd love hear from you about Capt Ford and the Pacific Clipper.
Don Bansen, if you have no use for those cable splicing tools, there are many vintage aviation museums that would be glad to put them to use. And value your skill with them too.
My dad was a PBY veteran and I love seaplanes
floats up!
Ratch

eddy james, 02.04.2012

I'd give the proverbial left nut to be able to own and afford to fly one of these magnificent pieces of history.

Robert, 15.12.2011

I recently saw some photos of the large models of the B-314 that Boeing built for display at Pan Am offices worldwide. They were cut away on one side to show the inside of the plane. Does anyone know where any of these are? Thanks.

Phellonie Jackson, 26.05.2011

Nice plane, I want to see one!

DR PRINCE SABASTINE, 26.04.2011

IS IT POSSIBLE TO USE MY OLD BOEING 727 TO CONVERT TO A FLYING BOAT,IF YES HOW CAN I GET A COSTING FOR THIS IMMIDIATELY.

Dave Durham, 28.03.2011

I have fallen in love of sorts with the B 314 when I found a poster advertising Pan Am in Hawaii- i bought the poster and had it mounted so I could display it on my patio each summer with some other Tiki stuff. I would have loved to see one up close and fly in one, but I was born too late.
Living near Seattle. I wish I had the $$$$ to request they build one up to original specs, and a new one out of modern materials for tourist flight useage.could happen maybe if...
but I don't have connections.

Bob Harrell, 24.11.2010

As a kid I dreamed of flying a China Clipper and built a model of it. After the war,on the GI bill I became a commercial pilot on mostly seaplanes. Later I flew for PAA and also for United. Sadly, the PAA's flying boats were gone by that time.

Buz Allen, 10.10.2010

What most people can't appreciate is the guts it took for the crews of these aircraft to blast off into the darkness of that Vast Pacific Ocean without any firm idea of the weather that lay ahead,no satellite wx back then or a backup plan to navigate without the stars or moon being visible! I did it in the early 1970's and it was scary then, in a Boeing KC-135, nothing compares to being Lost in the Pacific!!! Unless you are lost and on FIRE!!!

mel, 05.11.2009

There is nothing quite like it. I can't believe they're all scrapped. They are breautiful aircraft. I wish I could have seen one in person. I love the flying boats. The closest i've come to seeing something like that was a beautifully restored Grumman Goose that I saw this year at the airport on Catalina Island off the coast of California. I can't blame him for not wanting to put it in the water. I'm honestly a little hear broken they don't fly the 314 anymore. How amazing would it have been to be a passenger much less a pilot of that gorgeous craft. All of the above comments and especially the stories have been awesome to read. thanks for taking the time to write them.

whipper snapper

1-20 21-40

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