Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98)

Because of the necessity during the Second World War to have a long-range passenger floatplane, the Boeing Aircraft Company allowed the use of its 314 Clipper floatplane for military capacity.

The Boeing 314 Clipper was born as the Boeing Aircraft Company started a series of negotiations with Pan American World Airways to produce a floatplane that would be capable of transatlantic flight with a high degree of safety, speed and comfort. When the 314 Clipper first flew on June 7, 1938, it became the largest flying-boat in civil service and surpassed all its rivals during that time in size and performance.

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The Boeing 314 Clipper featured a monoplane design with a stout fuselage and engines which were mounted high on the wing assembly. The design of the Clipper was unique because it utilized the three-fin tail assembly which gave it additional controls as compared to the single and double tail fins.

The pilot and co-pilots were located high in the flight deck. The Clipper consisted of 11 personnel that included the stewards and technical staff. During daytime flights, this WW2 transport aircraft can carry a total of 68 passengers. However, overnight flights were only limited to 36 passengers since the seats are converted to sleeping bunks for additional passenger comfort. Professional chefs were hired to provide its clientele with superb meals during flight. A separate dining area was also provided which made this WW2 transport aircraft the floatplane of choice for the wealthy traveler.

During its use, the 314 Clipper existed in two variants. One was equipped with four Wright Double Cyclone R-2600 engines that carry 1,500 horsepower each. The other variant, the 314A, had the 1,600 HP engine versions instead. All in all, there were 12 fully operational 314 Clippers that were used during the war. There are no complete units of this WW2 aircraft available today.

SPECIFICATIONS

Allied Codename: Clipper
Type: 11 man crew transport floatplane
Design: Boeing Aircraft Firm
Engine(s): 4 x 1,600 HP Wright R-2600-3 radial engines
Max Speed: 211 mph
Ceiling: 5,980 miles
Length: 106.70 feet
Wingspan: 152.10 feet
Height: 20.41 feet
Empty Weight: 21,900 kg
Loaded Weight: 38,000 kg
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2 thoughts on “Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98)

    1. Jim Harp

      My Father flew aboard C-14’s as a radioman/navigator during WW2. Although a civilian he was given the rank of (CP0) Chief Petty Officer along with a Chief’s uniform. The aircraft he flew on were used to transport blood and medical supplies from Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay to Hawaii and did not engage in combat. I remember him telling me that he was constantly airsick throughout most of the war, a small price to pay for being away from the shooting.

      Reply

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