Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Explorer's Air Yacht

Aside from being Sikorsky's first widely-produced amphibious flying boat, with a final production count of 101, the S-38 was also a pretty dang cool lookin' bird, reaffirming your blogmeister's belief that the world's best-looking airplanes were built in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s.

The type was used by many airlines, both large and small, a few military air arms, and a number of private individuals, the exploits of some of whom, including Howard Hughes and Charles Lindbergh, led to the type being dubbed 'The Explorer's Air Yacht'.

Project 914 Archives

As mentioned earlier, the S-38 was used by a few military air arms, including the United States Army Air Corps. Here's a fine shot taken in the San Francisco Area on January 17th, 1931 showing C-6A serial number 30-397, essentially an S-38A. This particular ship was operated by the 91st Observation Squadron based at Crissy Field, San Francisco, California. She was damaged just a couple'a weeks after this photo was taken, on February 2nd, 1931, after experiencing 'excessive porpoising' upon landing. The ship was repaired, but was scrapped two years later, in 1933.

San Diego Air & Space Museum - Paul Fedelchak collection

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