PlaneSpottingWorld welcomes all new members! Please gives your ideas at the Terminal.

Sikorsky S-38

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
Type Flying boat
Manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft
Maiden flight May 1928
Primary users Pan American Airways
New York Rio & Buenos Aires Lines
Number built 101

The Sikorsky S-38 was an American twin-engined 5-seat amphibious aircraft. It was sometimes called "The Explorer's Air Yacht" and was Sikorsky's first widely produced amphibious flying boat which in addition to serving successfully for Pan American Airways and the U. S. Army, also had numerous private owners who received notoriety for their exploits.

Design and development

The S-38 was developed from the Sikorsky S-34 and S-36. The S-38 first flew on May 25, 1928. The United States Navy ordered two aircraft (designated XPS-2) and Pan Am were an early customer.

A total of 101 aircraft were built, manufactured originally by the Sikorsky Manufacturing Corporation of Long Island, New York, and by the Sikorsky Aviation Corporation in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Sikorsky was acquired by United Aircraft and Transport Corporation (now United Technologies Corporation) in mid-production.


11 Built
80 Built
10 Built
United States Army Air Force designation for the S-38A for evaluation, one aircraft later used as a VIP transport.
United States Army Air Force designation for a C-6 with minor changes, 10 aircraft.
United States Navy designation for an S-38 for evaluation.
United States Navy designation for the S-38A, two aircraft later converted to XRS-2 transports.
United States Navy designation for the S-38B, four aircraft later converted to RS-3 transports.
United States Navy designation for two XPS-2 converted as transports.
United States Navy/Marine Corps designation for the S-38B transport version, three aircraft and conversions from PS-3.
United States Navy designation for two civil S-38A impressed into service.


Some famous owners include:


One of the two remaining S-38s, N-28V, appears in the movie "The Aviator", a story loosely based on the life of Howard Hughes. Hughes actually flew an S-43.

Specifications (S-38-A)

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two
  • Capacity: 10 passengers
  • Length: 40 ft 3 in (12.27 m)
  • Wingspan: 71 ft 8 in (21.85 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 10 in (4.22 m)
  • Wing area: 720 ft² (68.6 m²)
  • Empty weight: 6,000 lb (2,727 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 10,480 lb (4,764 kg)
  • Powerplant:Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, 400 hp (298 kW) each


See also

Comparable aircraft

Designation sequence


S-34 - S-35 - S-36 - S-38 - S-39 - S-40 - S-41

Template:USAF transports Template:USN patrol aircraft Template:Sikorsky Aircraft

de:Sikorsky S-38 nl:Sikorsky S-38

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sikorsky S-38".