Boeing 314 Clipper

April 28th 1937 – The first commercial flight across the Pacific is made as a Pan-American Boeing 314 Clipper seaplane arrives in Hong Kong.

Pan Am's "Clippers" were built for "one-class" luxury air travel.  The highest level of luxury was considered a necessity due to the long duration of transoceanic flights. Where the Clipper lacked in airspeed, she more than made up for in pampering of her guests.  Imagine cruising above the Pacific wave tops with a cruise speed of only 188 miles per hour, and a total scheduled flight time for San Francisco to Honolulu was 19 hours.  

The long trans-oceanic flights were not to be measured by today standards as the 314s were well equipped for such voyages.  The Clipper boasted a roomy sleeping area with private bunks, a lounge for passengers to mingle, and luxurious dining area, along with galleys crewed by chefs from the finest four-star hotels. Men and women were provided with separate dressing rooms, and white-coated stewards served five and six-course meals served on chinaware with gleaming silver service.  

While en route, during dinning service, one could find passengers enjoying the finest culinary cuisine such as Roasted chicken in wine sauce, Delmonico potatoes, Grilled Filet Mignon au Burre, Shoe String Potatoes, Boeuf Braise Bourgoise with pommes Anna, along with assorted cheese and fruit platters, along with freshly brewed coffee, and perhaps some Boston Cream Pie, or fresh Strawberry Shortcake.

Unfortunately, the 314's long range, became a focus of the US military, and Pan Am's Clipper fleet was drafted into US military service during World War II.  The once pinnacles of luxury these flying boats became workhorses used for ferrying personnel and equipment to the European and Pacific Fronts.  

By wars end, the Boeing 314 had already become obsolete.  Newer and faster long rang aircraft such as the Lockheed Constellation were quickly taking up the rounds around the world...and the beautiful Boeing 314, who could reach all corners of the world in the highest levels of luxury, became one of many casualties to the new world that held speed above all else.

Next time you hold a small bag of stale crackers in your tiny seat at 40,000 feet, think about the passenger enjoying his Boeuf Braise Bourgoise served on fine china in the Pan Am Clipper's dinning room, and ask yourself if this is truly progress...

Sadly, none of the Boeing 314s survived beyond the year 1951, with each finding its own sad ending, being scrapped, scuttled, fired upon, cannibalized for parts, or otherwise written off...

November 3rd 1945; A Boeing 314 named "The Honolulu Clipper" departed Hawaii carrying 26 military personnel returning to the United States after service in the Pacific. The aircraft lost power in both starboard engines after five hours of flying, and successfully landed 650 miles east of Oahu shortly before midnight. The passengers and crew were successfully evacuated by ships in the area.
The seaplane tender San Pablo then attempted to take the Clipper in tow, but it inadvertently and most unfortunately, on the fourth day, ran into the Clipper, damaging it beyond repair.
The San Pablo sunk the Clipper with 20 mm cannon fire, but it took 1,200 rounds and 30 minutes of fire to finally sink the iconic Boeing 314.

Sierra Hotel Aeronautics

Aviation Baseball Caps

Aviator Sunglasses

Flight Jackets

Aviation Decals

Aviation T Shirts

Aviator Watches

Chemtrail Dept

Leave a comment