Sikorsky S-40

Sikorsky S-40

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Sikorsky S-40

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The Sikorsky S-40 was an American amphibious flying boat built by Sikorsky in the early 1930s for Pan American World Airways at a cost of $250,000 dollars, it was the largest commercial airliner of its time and the world's largest amphibious aircraft.

Design and development

Sikorsky designed the S-40 in response to a request from Juan Trippe, president of Pan American Airways, for a larger passenger carrying airplane. The S-40s could carry 38 passengers, a significant increase over the S-38's capacity of eight passengers. Despite its significant capacity increase, the S-40s were of a primitive design. It was nicknamed the "Flying Forest" for its maze of support struts. Only three were built as Sikorsky was designing and building the more modern S-42 as a replacement aircraft.

A total of three aircraft were built by the Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division of the United Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut. The three aircraft in the S-40 series were:
  • NC80V - Caribbean Clipper
  • NC81V - American Clipper
  • NC752V - Southern Clipper

Operational history

Passenger carrying service was initiated on the November 19, 1931 and was piloted by Charles Lindbergh from Miami, Florida to the Panama Canal Zone with stops at Cienfuegos, Cuba; Kingston, Jamaica; and Barranquilla, Colombia.

The three S-40s served without incident during their civilian lives, flying a total of over 10 million miles. They were turned over to the US Navy during WWII and were used as...
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