Sikorsky S-38
1928
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Sikorsky S-38

The S-38 was a nine-seat commercial amphibian powered by two 313kW Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engines. A sesquiplane wing arrangement was employed and the tail unit was carried on two outriggers running aft from the main wing and braced to the heel of the hull by two struts. It was a successful design and many were built for airline use (including Pan American Airways, entering service in October 1938), private use and for the US Navy/USAAC. The type also set several world records for speed and altitude with specific loads.

3-View 
Sikorsky S-38A three-view drawing (760 x 872)


Specification 
 MODELS-38
 CREW2
 PASSENGERS10
 ENGINE2 x Pratt & Whitney "Wasp", 310kW
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight4753 kg10479 lb
    Empty weight2970 kg6548 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan21.8/11.0 m72 ft 6 in / 36 ft 1 in
    Length12.3 m40 ft 4 in
    Height4.4 m14 ft 5 in
    Wing area66.9 m2720.10 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed200 km/h124 mph
    Cruise speed175 km/h109 mph
    Ceiling5480 m18000 ft
    Range w/max.fuel965 km600 miles

Sikorsky S-38B

Comments
Aaron Scott, 10.08.2013

I would like to make a radio model of this aircraft. Is there any way I could get a high res 3 view image?

David Bass, 02.07.2012

Have seen the Sikorsky S-38 fly today for the first time at Duxford in Cambs, it was lovely to watch along with the Catalina. Could you please tell me where it is stationed please?

Ronald Jeurissen, 17.10.2010

Does anyone know a picture of a S-38 in WW-II service?

Robert Semple, 28.07.2010

Is any company building replica S38's ? If so pls send the name. Thank you, RS.

R. David Schooling-author, 10.06.2010

I forgot to mention earlier, behind the entry ladder down from the hatch, was located a toilet/restroom in the S-38.

There were no refreshments provided other than water, except on private customized S38's

Howard Hughes, Robt. McCormick (Chi. Tribune news barron)S.C Johnson (Wax) lavishly customized these flying boats, there are a few pictures of those customizations available.

Martin Johnson, not related to the Johnson Wax family(the African Air Safari) custromized their S38 by installing two bunk beds, and limited cook stove equipment.

R. David Schooling-Author, 10.06.2010

On July 23, 1930 Officials from a new Airline to be headquartered Louisville, splashed down in the Ohio River. I have news clips of that event with photo of the S38 heading toward their new seaplane base at 3rd and Wharf, with the 2nd St. & Big-4 bridges in the background.

Many aviation experts are totally unaware that Louisville Ky had seaplane service spanning 4 decades from 1919 to 1953.

The gigantic Navy NC-4 flying boat(First aircraft across the Atlantic)landed in the seaplane basin in Louisville in November 1919.

Mike Johnson, 17.04.2010

I have a beautiful photo showing about 30 military biplanes lined up in a field on, I believe, Maui. The first in the line is a S-38 with the number "77" on the nose. Is there any way to determine what civilian registration # it converted to... assuming it survived the war?
MRJ/3B2

Robert L. Willett, 25.02.2010

China National Aviation Corporation, 45% owned by Pan Am, brought three S-38s into service in 1933. Principally they flew a new coastal run from Shanghai to Canton. They had a tragic record and the last one crashed on April 10, 1934. They were replaced by Douglas Dolphins.

John Crouse, 27.01.2010

There are beautiful pictures of this aircraft in Africa in the book "I Married Adventure" by Osa Johnson. She and her husband Martin bought two Sikorsky amphibians.

Beatrice Hale, 06.01.2010

can anyone please tell me whether passengers took their own food, whether there were any cooking/heating water facilities on board this plane?

Bryan Johnson, 17.07.2009

According to Frank J. Delear (Igor Sikorsky: his three careers in aviation, 1969, p. 134), 114 were produced. But website Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Sikorsky_Aircraft#encyclopedia), states that 101 were built. Delear states that buyers included the PanAm, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, several individuals (including the explorer Martin Johnson), several other airlines (unspecified), the Chilean government, a charter service, an oil company and a drug store chain. The "other airlines" apparently serviced the Caribbian, South America, Hawaii, Canada and several parts of the U.S.

Jerry Noosinow (PAA Ret), 13.09.2008

Is there any info on how many S-38's were built and who besides PAA and the U.S. Navy operated them?

Roger Derby, 22.05.2008

During the take-off run on water, the passenger in the right front seat would get wet with spray from the wheel well.

Entry to the passenger compartment was through a hatch in the top of the hull, reached by a ladder.

The pilot and mechanic compartment was open so they could hear the wind in the rigging.

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