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.
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.
|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|
|Empty Weight:||21,900 kg|
|Loaded Weight:||38,000 kg|