Boeing 314

Infobox Aircraft
name= 314 "Clipper"

caption=A Boeing 314 “Clipper” flying low
manufacturer=Boeing Airplane Company
type=Flying boat airliner
first flight=7 June 1938
primary user=Pan American World Airways
more users=British Overseas Airways Corporation
United States Navy
status=No intact examples
number built=12
unit cost=
variants with their own articles=

The Boeing 314 (known erroneously as the Clipper, after the name given by Pan American World Airways) was a long-range flying boat produced by the Boeing Airplane Company between 1938 and 1941 and is comparable to the British Short Empire. One of the largest aircraft of the time, it used the massive wing of Boeing’s earlier XB-15 bomber prototype to achieve the range necessary for flights across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Twelve Clippers were built for PanAm, three of which were sold to BOAC in 1941 before delivery.

Design and development

The 314 was a response to Pan American's request for a flying boat with unprecedented range capability that could augment the airline's trans-Pacific Martin M-130. Boeing's bid was successful and Pan American signed a contract for six aircraft on 21 July 1936. Boeing engineers adapted the cancelled XB-15's 149 foot (45.5 m) wing, and replaced the original 850 hp (640 kW) Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp radial engines with the more powerful 1,600 hp (1,194 kW) Wright Twin Cyclone. The Clipper's triple tail was chosen after Boeing tested conventional and twin tails which did not provide enough controllability for safe flight.

Internally, the 314 used a series of heavy ribs and spars to create a robust fuselage and cantilevered wing. This sturdy structure negated the need for external drag-inducing struts to brace the wings, something other flying boats of the day could not boast. Boeing addressed the flying boats' other drag-inducing issue, stabilizing pontoons, by incorporating sponsons into the hull structure. The sponsons, which were broad lateral extensions placed at the water line, on both the port and starboard sides of the hull, served several purposes: they provided a wide platform to stabilize the craft while floating on water, they acted as an entryway for passengers boarding the aircraft and they were shaped to contribute lift while the aircraft was in flight. To fly the long ranges needed for trans-Pacific service, the 314 carried 4,246 US gallons (19,300 L) of gasoline. The later 314A model carried a further 1,200 US gallons (4,540 L). To quench the radial engines’ thirst for oil, a capacity of 300 US gallons (1,135 L) was required.

Pan Am's "Clippers" were built for luxury, a necessity given the long duration of transoceanic flights. The seats could be converted into 36 bunks for overnight accommodation; with a cruise speed of only 188 mph (300 km/h), many flights lasted over twelve hours. The aircraft had a lounge and dining area, and the galleys were crewed by chefs from four-star hotels. Men and women were provided with separate dressing rooms, and white-coated stewards served five and six-course meals with gleaming silver service. Although the transatlantic flights were only operated for three months in 1939, their standard of luxury has not been matched by heavier-than-air transport since then; they were a form of travel for the super-rich, at $675 return from New York to Southampton, comparable to a round trip aboard Concorde in 2006. [ "British Airways Concorde".] Travel Scholar, Sound Message, LLC,. Retrieved: 19 August 2006.]

Equally critical to the 314's success was the proficiency of its Pan Am flight crews, who were extremely skilled at long-distance, over-water flight operations and navigation. Only very best and most experienced flight crews were assigned Boeing 314 flying boat duty. Before coming aboard, all Pan Am captains as well as first and second officers had thousands of hours of flight time in other seaplanes and flying boats. Rigorous training in dead reckoning, timed turns, judging drift from sea current, astral navigation, and radio navigation were conducted. In conditions of poor or no visibility, pilots sometimes made successful landings at fogged-in harbors by landing out to sea, then taxiing the plane into port. [Masland, William M. "Through the Back Doors Of The World In A Ship That Had Wings". New York: Vantage Press, 1984. ISBN 0-53305-818-X.]

Operational history

The first 314, "Honolulu Clipper", entered regular service on the San Francisco-Hong Kong route in January 1939. A one-way trip on this route took over six days to complete. Commercial passenger service lasted less than three years, ending when the United States entered World War II in December 1941.

At the outbreak of the war in the Pacific, the "Pacific Clipper" was enroute to New Zealand. Rather than risk flying back to Honolulu and being shot down by Japanese aircraft, it was decided to fly west to New York. Starting on December 8 1941 at Auckland, New Zealand, the "Pacific Clipper" covered over 8,500 miles via such exotic locales as Surabaya, Karachi, Bahrain, Khartoum and Leopoldville. The "Pacific Clipper" landed at Pan American's LaGuardia Field seaplane base at 7:12 on the morning of 6 January 1942.

The "Yankee Clipper" flew across the Atlantic on a route from Southampton to New York with intermediate stops at Foynes, Ireland, Botwood, Newfoundland, and Shediac, New Brunswick. The inaugural trip occurred on 24 June 1939.

The "Clipper" fleet was pressed into military service during World War II, and the aircraft were used for ferrying personnel and equipment to the European and Pacific fronts. In actual fact, only the markings on the planes changed: the Clippers continued to be flown by their experienced Pan Am civilian crews. American military cargo was carried via Natal, Brazil to Liberia, to supply the British forces at Cairo and even the Russians, via Teheran. The Clipper was the only aircraft in the world that could make the 2,150 statute-mile crossing over water. [Brock 1978, ch. VI.] These shuttle aircraft were given the military designation C-98. Since the Pan Am pilots and crews had extensive expertise in using flying boats for extreme long-distance, over-water flights, the company's pilots and navigators continued to serve as flight crew. In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled to the Casablanca Conference in a Pan-Am crewed Boeing 314. Winston Churchill also flew on the aircraft several times, adding to the aircraft's fame during the war. [Hardesty 2003, pp. 37–41.]

After the war, several Clippers were returned to Pan American hands. However, even before hostilities had ended, the Clipper had become obsolete. The introduction of long-range airliners such as the Lockheed Constellation and Douglas DC-4, together with a prodigious wartime runway construction program, made the flying boat all but obsolete. The new landplanes were relatively easy to fly, and did not require the extensive pilot training programs required for seaplane operations. One of the 314's most experienced pilots said, "We were indeed glad to change to DC-4s and I argued daily for eliminating all flying boats. The landplanes were much safer. No one in the operations department... had any idea of the hazards of flying boat operations. The main problem now was lack of the very high level of experience and competence required of seaplane pilots" [Brock 1978, p. 224. Brock also reports cheap postwar availability to Pan Am of DC-4s and "Connies" was an important factor.] The 314 was removed from scheduled service in 1946 and grounded permanently in 1950. Of the 12 aircraft built, three were lost to accidents, although only one of those resulted in fatalities, with 24 perishing in Lisbon, Portugal, 22 February 1943. The last remaining four to six sat for long time on San Diego's Lindbergh Field.Fact|date=July 2008 They were eventually sold to a scrap dealer.

Howard Hughes attempted to buy a 314 before the war, but was unsuccessful. One source states that Hughes eventually succeeded in purchasing a 314 after the war and put it in a hanger in San Diego. It never flew, and was later scrapped.Fact|date=July 2008Except for some bits of scrap metal housed in museums, nothing remains of the 12 Boeing 314 aircraft.

Diverted flight of "Pacific Clipper"

"Pacific Clipper" was a Boeing 314 famous for having completed Pan American World Airways' first flight between California and New York the long way by traveling West. The flight began 2 December 1941 at the Pan Am base on Treasure Island, California for its scheduled passenger service to Auckland, New Zealand. [Dover, Ed. "The Long Way Home". McLean, Virginia: Paladwr Press, 1999. ISBN 1-888962-00-3] [Cohen, Stan. "Wings to the Orient, Pan-Am Clipper Planes 1935-1945". Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories, 1985. ISBN 0-933126-61-1.]

"Pacific Clipper" made scheduled stops in San Pedro, California, Honolulu, Hawaii, Canton Island, Suva, Fiji and Nouméa, New Caledonia. The aircraft was "en route" to Auckland when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Cut off from the United States and commanding a valuable military asset, Captain Robert Ford was directed to strip company markings, registration and insignia from the aircraft and proceed in secret to the Marine Terminal, LaGuardia Field, New York.

Ford and his crew successfully flew over 31,500 miles to home "via"

*Gladstone, Australia
*Darwin, Australia
*Surabaya, Java
*Trincomalee, Ceylon
*Karachi, British India
*Khartoum, Sudan
*Leopoldville, Belgian Congo
*Natal, Brazil
*Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
*New York, New York, Arriving 6 January 1942.

At Surabaya, Captain Ford had to refuel with automobile grade gasoline. "We took off from Surabaya on the 100 octane, climbed a couple of thousand feet, and pulled back the power to cool off the engines," said Ford. "Then we switched to the automobile gas and held our breaths. The engines almost jumped out of their mounts, but they ran. We figured it was either that or leave the airplane to the Japs."

On the way to Trincomalee, they were confronted by a Japanese submarine and Ford had to jam the throttle to climb out of range of the submarine's guns. On Christmas Eve, when they took off, black oil began gushing out of the number three engine and pouring back over the wing. Ford shut down the engine and returned to Trincomalee. He discovered one of the engine's cylinders had failed.

When Captain Ford was planning his flight from Bahrain, he was warned by the British authorities not to fly across Arabia. Ford said, "The Saudis had apparently already caught some British fliers who had been forced down there. The natives had dug a hole, buried them in it up to their necks, and just left them." Ford flew right over Mecca because the Saudis did not have anti-aircraft guns.

A Pan American Airport Manager and a Radio Officer had been dispatched to meet the Clipper at Leopoldville. When Ford landed they handed him a cold beer. Ford said, "That was one of the high points of the whole trip."


;Model 314:Initial production version with 1,500 hp (1,119 kW) Double Cyclone engines, six built;Model 314A:Improved version with 1,600 hp (1,193 kW) Double Cyclones with larger-diameter propellers, additional 1,200 US gal (4542 litres) fuel capacity, and revised interior, six built


pecifications (314A Clipper)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
crew=11, including 2 cabin stewards
ref=Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War IIBridgeman 1946, p. 211.]
** Daytime: 68 passengers
** Nighttime: 36 passengers
payload main=10,000 lb
payload alt=4,500 kg
payload more=of mail and cargo
length main=106 ft 0 in
length alt=32.33 m
span main=152 ft 0 in
span alt=46.36 m
height main=20 ft 4½ in
height alt=6.22 m
area main= ft²
area alt= m²
empty weight main=48,400 lb
empty weight alt=21,900 kg
loaded weight main=84,000 lb
loaded weight alt=38,000 kg
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=
max takeoff weight alt=
more general=
engine (prop)=Wright R-2600-3
type of prop=radial engines
number of props=4
power main=1,600 hp
power alt=1,200 kW
max speed main=210 mph
max speed alt=180 knots, 340 km/h
cruise speed main=188 mph
cruise speed alt=163 knots, 302 km/h
cruise speed more=at 11,000 ft (3,400 m)
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main=3,685 mi
range alt=3,201 nm, 5,896 km
range more=normal cruise
ceiling main=19,600 ft
ceiling alt=5,980 m
climb rate main=
climb rate alt=
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=

Popular culture

The Boeing 314 "Pan Am Clipper" has been featured in many instances of pop culture.
*Several novels have featured 314s, including:
**"The Night of the Triffids", where the main character flies one at an altitude of 100 feet into New York City at night.
**"Night Over Water", by British author Ken Follett
**"The Winds of War" and its sequel "War and Remembrance", by Herman Wouk
**"The Proteus Operation" by James P. Hogan
* The film "Raiders of the Lost Ark" featured a Short Solent Mark III flying boat modified by matte effects to resemble a Boeing 314. [ "The Raider's Flying Boat".] Indy Gear, 19 August 2006. Retrieved: 19 August 2006.]
*The 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film "Foreign Correspondent" features the 314 in a pivotal and exciting inflight disaster and rescue on the water scene.
*There is a life-size Boeing 314 mock-up at the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, Foynes, County Limerick, Ireland. The museum is situated at the site of the original transatlantic flying-boat terminus. [ [ Story of Our Boeing B-314] Retrieved: 2 December 2007.]
*Contemporary visual artist M. Kungl has created an imitation vintage commercial art poster which advertises the "Aeropacific Clipper 314" and portrays an aircraft which appears identical to a Boeing 314.




* Bridgeman, Leonard. “The Boeing 314-A Clipper.” "Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II". London: Studio, 1946. ISBN 1-85170-493-0.
* Brock, Horace. "Flying the Oceans: A Pilot's Story of Pan Am, 1935-1955". New York: Jason Aronson, Inc., 3d edition: 1978, ISBN 0-87668-632-3.
* Dorr, Robert F. "Air Force One". New York: Zenith Imprint, 2002. ISBN 0-76031-055-6.
* Hardesty, Von. "Air Force One: The Aircraft that Shaped the Modern Presidency". Chanhassen, Minnesota: Northword Press, 2003. ISBN 1-55971-894-3.

External links

* [ The Boeing 314]
* [ Boeing 314]
* [ Pan American Clippers 1931-1946]

ee also

* Boeing XB-15
similar aircraft=
* Dornier Do X
* Martin M-130
* Saunders-Roe Princess
* List of seaplanes and flying boats
see also=

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