Sikorsky S-42 Clipper

1934

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Sikorsky S-42 Clipper

First flown on 29 March 1934, the S-42 was a large 36-passenger commercial flying-boat powered by four 559kW Pratt & Whitney Hornet engines. It differed from earlier Sikorsky flying-boats in having a two-step hull with a long stern which supported the tail unit directly. Full use was made of a hydraulically controlled wing flap which extended across the straight portion of the wing. Within a brief period of time the S-42 had established ten altitude-with-load world records.

Ten S-42s were delivered to Pan American Airways, the last three as S-42Bs with increased wing span (from 34.8m) and loaded weight and incorporating refinements in fairing and hull design. The original S-42 was used in survey flights across the Pacific in 1935 by Pan American Airways. In 1937 an S-42B surveyed the route from San Francisco to New Zealand, via Honolulu; a similar aircraft was used on the inaugural and scheduled mail and passenger service between New York and Bermuda, the latter shared with Imperial Airways and begun on 16 June 1937. At about the same time the final S-42B delivered to PAA (named Clipper III) made three survey flights across the Atlantic by way of Newfoundland and Foynes.

Sikorsky S-42 Clipper

Specification 
 CREW4
 PASSENGERS32-37
 ENGINE4 x P+W "Hornet" S-5-D 1G, 515kW
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight12237 kg26978 lb
  Empty weight3965 kg8741 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan34.8 m114 ft 2 in
  Length20.6 m68 ft 7 in
  Height5.3 m17 ft 5 in
  Wing area123.5 m21329.34 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed290 km/h180 mph
  Cruise speed255 km/h158 mph
  Ceiling4877 m16000 ft
  Range w/max.fuel1930 km1199 miles

Comments
john cilio, e-mail, 25.01.2016 23:38

H5888 was the alternative. email me for a copy of the blueprint johnvintageflyer at gmail.com

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john cilio, e-mail, 25.01.2016 22:56

The Aero Model Builders Guild which use to be in Hempstead NY had a scale drawing (Drawing Number H5808 or H5808 hard to read on the blue print. Drawn May 7 1934. I have a blue print of NC822M with some build instructions.

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H Clarke New zealand, e-mail, 03.01.2016 02:20

did these flying boats have a fuel jettison system. what restrictions were placed upon its use and what phases of flight ? ?

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Bob Moran, e-mail, 04.05.2014 13:58

I too would like to obtain a model of the S-42. If any one has a set of drawings that I can use to build my own model would be helpful.
I live close to Musick Point Auckland, named after Capt. Edwin Musick who pioneered the route between Auckland and the USA in an S42 and losed his life on a return trip in March 1937. We also named our local scout group after Capt. Musick.

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V.G. Baker, e-mail, 24.02.2014 02:58

In 1941, my brother, sister and I were fortunate enough to fly from Miami to San Juan aboard a S-42, and we still are thrilled when we recall the trip. (Yes, I'm an 82 year old kid.) I have been searching for an R.C. Electric Model of one for years now. If anyone can advise me, PLEASE DO!! 'fore I get too much older. Thanks, and smooth flying. SCPO Baker, USN (Ret)

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Walt Schwarz, e-mail, 02.03.2013 05:58

Everybody who wants an R /C kit of the S-42 should write to Classic Aero and ask them to make a kit. I will too. When you go to their site you will see some terrific stuff, flying boats, amphibs, and seaplanes.

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Patrick Briggs, e-mail, 03.05.2012 19:39

In March 1937, Pan Am flew the first flight across the southwest Pacific Ocean to Aukland, NZ. Ed Music was the pilot and Frank Briggs the copilot of the Sikorski S-42B. Can anyone tell me if the aircraft had an autopilot, either full or partial, eg an altitude hold function?

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William G Carew - VE3MEW, e-mail, 26.03.2012 02:24

Evening: I would really love to get my hands on a set of plans so that I could build a RC Scale model of the S-42. I am thinking of a model with at least a 6 or 7 ft wingspan and 4 electric motors. Cheers.

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Dave Brubaker, e-mail, 31.08.2011 22:39

I am about 90% sure that the Pima air museum outside of Tucson as a clipper body sitting outside of the work hanger.

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dave rado, e-mail, 01.08.2011 21:58

such a beauteful airplane even to look at

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Robert L. Willett, e-mail, 25.02.2010 21:17

The S-42 China Clipper arrived in Hong Kong on December 7, 1941 and was tied to the Kowloon dock when, on December 8, the Japanese continued their aerial attacks over areas of the Pacific. Captain Fred Ralph watched helplessly as the Japanese planes made pass after pass at the stationary aircraft, finally igniting the fuel tanks and setting the plane on fire. Before the raid he had been ordered to fly the Clipper inland to land on the lake near Kunming, but it was already too late as planes were overhead. Ralph made it to Chungking, then was flown by China National Aviation Corporation to Calcutta, eventually winding up in New York.

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DAVID MARTIN, e-mail, 01.04.2008 18:32

WHERE CAN I GET A KIT OF THE S-42?

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