The Sikorsky S-42 was an American commercial flying boat designed and built by Sikorsky to meet a 1931 requirement from Pan American for a long-range transatlantic flying boat.
Design and development
Based on the earlier Sikorsky S-40 that flew in 1931, Igor Sikorsky and Charles Lindbergh, working at the time as a Pan American Airways consultant, laid out plans for a new, larger flying boat. During the S-40's inaugural flight on 19 November 1931, the two visionaries began preliminary sketches on the back of a menu in the S-40's lounge.
Pan Am's president, Juan Trippe, had a similar vision of an aircraft able to span oceans. The new design provided for an increased lifting capacity to carry enough fuel for a 2,500 mile nonstop flight against a 30 mph (48 km/h) wind, at a cruising speed far in excess of the average operating speed of any flying boat at that time. Pan Am was also courted by Glenn Martin but Sikorsky's S-42 was delivered first, as the Martin M-130 was still almost a year away from completion.
Flying for Pan American Airways, a total of 10 S-42s were built, manufactured by the Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division of the United Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut. The aircraft first flew on 30 March 1934. The S-42 was also known as the Flying Clipper and the Pan Am Clipper.
All Sikorsky S-42s were either scrapped or destroyed in accidents.
Production aircraft with four 700 hp (522 kW) Pratt & Whitney Hornet S5D1G radial engines, three built: NC 822M, NC 823M, NC 824M.
Production aircraft with four 750hp (559kW) Pratt & Whitney Hornet S1EG radial engines, longer wings and a 2000lb (907Kg) increase in maximum take-off weight, four built: NC 15373, NC 15374, NC 15375, NC 15376.
Production aircraft with aerodynamic improvements, constant-speed Hamilton Standard propellers and a further 2000lb (907Kg) increase in maximum take-off weight, three built: NC 16734, NC 16735, NC 16736.
Capacity: up to 37 day passengers or 14 sleeper berths
Length: 68 ft (20.73 m)
Wingspan: 118 ft 2 in (36.03 m)
Height: 17 ft 5 in (5.3 m)
Wing area: 1,329 ft² (123.5 m²)
Empty weight: 19,764 lb (8,984 kg)
Loaded weight: 38,000 lb (17,273 kg)
Powerplant: 4× Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet, supercharged radial engine, 660 hp (492 kW) each
Maximum speed: 188 mph (300 km/h)
Range: 1,930 miles (3,088 km)
Service ceiling: 15,704 ft (4,788 m)
Rate of climb: 1,000 ft/min (305 m/min)
Wing loading: 28.6 lb/ft² (140 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.07 hp/lb (0.11 kW/kg)
Sound track: You Made Me Love You, Performed by Harry James