The prototype for the VS-44 was first flown on August 13, 1937. The Sikorsky VS-44 had a maximum range of 3,800 miles when carrying a payload of 5,000 pounds. American Export Airlines ordered three for a planned transatlantic route to the UK and France, although there were delays in obtaining CAB approval. On January 12, 1942, the US Navy gave AEA a contract to operate a wartime route across the Atlantic. The airline's temporary civil certificate, to cover a non-stop New York-Foynes (Ireland) service was granted on February 10, 1942, and continued throughout the war. One VS-44, used post-war by Antilles Air Boats, survives in the museum at Windsor Locks, Connecticut. During WWII three VS-44 Sikorsky "Excalibur" passenger flying boats for American Export Airlines were completed as XJR2S-1 for the Navy, but flown by AEA under contract. Here are some additional weblinks:
for a book on the Sikorsky JR2S, see this page on Amazon.com: www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/1891268023/atribtothecac-20
see the New England Air Museum's beautifully restored Sikorsky VS-44: http://www.neam.org/vs44.htm
Pacific Flyer article: http://www.landings.com/_landings/pacflyer/feb4-2002/Fn-21-Sikorsky-VS-44.html
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia here.
(updated February 2009)
Type: utility transport amphibian flying boat Crew: ? Armament: none Specifications: Length: 76' 2" (also listed as 80') Height: N/A Wingspan: 124' 0" Wing area: N/A Empty Weight: N/A Max Weight: N/A Propulsion: No. of Engines: 4 Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp air-cooled engines Horsepower: 1200 hp each Performance: Range: 3,800 miles Cruise Speed: N/A Max Speed: 235 m.p.h Ceiling: N/A
(go to manufacturer's page)
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