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Pulp Aircraft H-Z

Page history last edited by Michael 1 year, 6 months ago

back to the Index, the Air Transport page, or Aircraft A-G


     Unless noted, aircraft have fixed (non-retractable) landing gear. Red text indicates fictional, non-historical modifications, or never-produced aircraft. We've started adding aircraft produced up to the end of 1936 now.




Hall Mastiff

  • fixed landing gear high-wing monoplane transport, engine is Pratt & Whitney R-1830-35 turbosupercharged radial of 1200 HP. Pilot plus six passengers (or equivalent cargo at 200 lbs per passenger), and about 300 pounds of cargo or luggage. Cruise speed 160 mph, top speed 215 mph, range 1200 miles, ceiling 22,000'. Fuel consumption is 70 gallons per hour at cruise speed, tanks hold 525 gallons of fuel. Wing span 45' 6", length 33' 4", weight empty 6000 lbs, max takeoff weight 11,000 lbs. Normally fitted with a radio and landing flaps; passengers sit in paired seats:  two pair facing inward along the cabin sides, and one pair facing aft. An unsuccessful attempt at a trans-Pacific record was made in 1934 by installing droppable landing gear, and replacing all but one of the passenger seats with another 525 gallon fuel tank, thus increasing the cruise speed to 170 mph, and the range to 2600 miles. Hopes for commercial usage ended with the introduction of the Douglas DC-2, and the CAA requirements (from 1934) for multiple engines and co-pilots when carrying passengers on scheduled flights in the United States. Only three were built in 1933 (including the trans-Pacific special order), price about $25,000.

Hall XP2H

  • biplane flying boat, engines are four V-12 Curtiss Conquerors of 650 HP each; 2 pilots, flight engineer, navigator/bombardier, radio operator, gunner; cruise speed 120 mph, max speed 140 mph, range 4250 miles, ceiling 11,000', span 112', length 65' 6", weight empty 21,000 lbs, max takeoff weight 43,000 lbs. Armament five .30 Browning MG in various positions, plus up to 2000 lbs of bombs, depth charges, or two Mk 13 torpedoes (yes, these weigh 3,000 lbs each ...). Prototype only, first flown in 1935 as an example for the US Navy.

Handley-Page H.P.42

  • biplane airliner, four uncowled Bristol Jupiter radial engines of 490 HP each, 2 pilots, radio operator, steward + 24 passengers, cruise speed 100 mph, top speed 128 mph, range 500 miles, ceiling ?; span 120', length 92', weight 14 tons. Introduced 1930, and now in regular use on the Imperial Airways routes to India and South Africa from Egypt.

Hawker Fury Mk I

  • biplane fighter, pilot only; Rolls-Royce Kestrel V-12 engine of 525 HP; top speed 207 mph, range 305 miles, ceiling 28,000'; span 30', length 26' 8", empty weight 2623 lbs., maximum weight 3490 lbs.; armament two .303 MG. Cost $16,800, first entered service with the RAF in 1931, and a few will be sold to foreign governments (22 to Persia, most notably). The Hawker Nimrod is a naval version of the Fury, serving aboard the aircaft carriers HMS Furious and HMS Courageous.

Hawker Osprey Mk III

  • biplane naval fighter-bomber-recon, pilot and observer/gunner; Rolls-Royce Kestrel IIMS V-12 engine of 525 HP; top speed 168 mph, stall speed 45 mph, range 430 miles, ceiling 23,500'; span 37', length 29' 4", empty weight 3400 lbs., maximum weight 4940 lbs.; armament one forward-firing .303 Vickers MG, one flexible .303 Lewis MG for gunner, can carry 500 lbs of bombs. Wings can fold, can be catapult launched, fitted with radio and tailhook, can be fitted with floats. Entered service with the Fleet Air Arm of the RAF in 1932; it is a modified version of the Hawker Hart bomber; unlike the Hart, the Osprey Mk III is made of stainless steel. Later in the Thirties more Ospreys will be sold to Portugal, Spain and Sweden. 

Heinkel He-50A

  • fixed landing gear biplane dive bomber, pilot + (optional) observer in open cockpits; span 37' 8", length 31' 6"; Siemens 600 HP uncowled radial engine; weight empty 3500 lbs., maximum 5800 lbs.; top speed 146 mph, cruise speed 110 mph, range 373 miles; fixed 7.92mm MG + 1100 lbs. of bombs (or only 550 lb bombs and another 7.92mm MG if observer seat fitted). Developed in 1931, dozens were obtained clandestinely in the Fall of 1932 by the German air forces (even before the Nazis came to national power), and will be part of JG 132, the first flying unit of the Luftwaffe.

Heinkel He-59

  • two-float seaplane, pilot (in open cockpit) + 3-5 crew; span 77' 10", length 57' 2"; two BMW VI 660 HP V12 engines; empty weight 13,700 lbs, maximum weight 19,800 lbs; top speed 134 mph, range (with maximum fuel load) 1100 miles; fitted with three 7.92mm MG for bow, dorsal, and ventral gunners, plus up to 2200 lbs of bombs or a torpedo. 6 troops can be carried in the fuselage, if no bombs are carried. First delivered to the clandestine German air force in August of 1932, and used for bombing, ground attack, rescue, transport, and other missions. Reliable and tough.

Heinkel He-70 Blitz

  • low-wing monoplane express/passenger/training/reconnaissance/bomber/competition aircraft; pilot + bombardier/navigator + gunner/radio operator in military versions, pilot + five passengers in airline versions, or 1100 lbs. of cargo in express versions; engine BMW VI V-12 (628 HP); span 48' 7", length 57' 2", empty 5200 lbs, maximum weight 7600 lbs.; top speed 224 mph, range 560 miles (on 157 gallons of internal fuel), ceiling over 18,000'; military versions fit a 7.92mm MG in the rear cockpit, and bomber versions can carry six 110 lb. bombs internally. Retractable (but manual and awkward) landing gear; magnesium alloy frame and skin (which makes it very susceptible to fire, even from a single inciendary bullet), poor visibility for pilot. Reconnaissance versions carry an additional 110 gallon fuel tank, extending range to nearly 1000 miles. Predecessor of the He 111 bomber and the Japanese Aichi D3A "Val" carrier bomber; one is also acquired by Rolls-Royce; gained several speed-and-altitude records in 1932.

Intercontinental Air Liner

  • flying wing seaplane, 155 crew + 606 passengers; 20 engines of 1900 HP each, plus 6 spares; cruising speed 100 mph, top speed 150 mph, range 7500 miles, ceiling 10,000'; span 528', empty weight 662,600 lbs, maximum weight 1,275,300 lbs.. Designed in 1929, and first flown in 1932, cost $9,000,000; two have been built, and two more are under constuction. These aircraft fly from Chicago to Plymouth, England in 42 hours, and each makes three crossings every week (thus departures are offered every day but Sunday); the fare is $300. The aircraft are refuelled while in flight as they crosses the Atlantic coast over Newfoundland. More information on these gigantic aircraft (proposed but not actually built) here.

Junkers A48

  • low-wing monoplane fighter, pilot + gunner in open cockpits; Bristol Jupiter 480 HP radial engine, stressed for high-G maneuvers, smoothy metal skin, two rudders. First produced 1927, tested in Sweden beginning in 1932 to develop dive-bombing techniques and equipment (as the A48), and the immediate ancestor of the Ju-87 "Stuka" (first seen in mock-up form in 1934).

Junkers Ju-52/3mce

Junkers W34

  • low-wing all-metal monoplane, pilot + five passengers; currently with BMW 132 radial engine (660 HP); top speed 165 mph, range 560 miles, ceiling 20,700'; empty weight 3750 lbs., maximum weight 7056 lbs., span 58' 3", length 33' 8". A development of the 1926 W33; in 1929 a W34 fitted with a Bristol Jupiter engine reached 41,402' altitude. Cost $15,600 to $16,900 depending on basic fittings, but can go much higher -- a record-setting trans-Atlantic version would cost $50,000. "Advanced" options include floats, skis, long-range fuel tanks, oxygen system, improved radios, large low-pressure tires, autopilot, different engines, etc.). A number of these aircraft will be used as bombers in the "Chaco War" (1932-1935). Derived from the similar but slightly smaller V33.

Kalinin K-7B Nadezhda Krupskaya

  • monoplane amphibian. Crew 12+ in transport version, passengers 128+. Engines 20 supercharged AM34FRN liquid-cooled V12 of 1200 HP each; 72,000 gallons of fuel carried. Empty weight at least 300,000 lbs, takeoff weight at least 800,000 lbs. Wingspan 328', length 174'. Top speed 145 mph, cruise speed 112 mph, ceiling 13,100', range 5000 miles (enough to fly Moscow to Mombasa non-stop). Four externally-carried 7,000 gallon droppable fuel tanks can extend the range to 7000 miles; and air-to-air refuelling from a specialized tanker version can extend the range even further. There are transport, air tanker and armed versions; armament includes multiple cannons (some in turrets), many machine guns, bomb load of at least 42,000 lbs., parasite fighters, air-droppable amphibious submersible tanks (up to 8.4 tons weight), half a dozen Na-12 Kolossus walking tanks, man-ape paratroops, the unshakeable resolve of the Soviet masses ...  IMPORTANT NOTE:  the actual Kalinin K-7 aircraft is much smaller than this fantasy aircraft.

Keystone-Loening K-85 Air Yacht

  • biplane amphibian with retractable landing gear, pilot + 7 passengers; engine Wright Cyclone of 525 HP; cruise speed 107 mph, max speed 130 mph, range 500 miles, ceiling 10,000'; span 46' 8", length 27' 2", empty weight 4071 lbs., maximum load 6250 lbs., useful load 2100 lbs.. Introduced 1931, cost $30,050.

Keystone PK-1

  • biplane flying boat, 2 pilots + 3 other crew (in naval patrol service); two Wright Cyclone radial engines (575 HP each); cruise 100 mph, max 120 mph, ceiling 12,000', range 1,250 miles; span 73', length 49', weight 7 tons. The interior has space for a couple of hammocks, but can only be called 'cramped.' Cost about $28,000.

Latecoere 300

  • monoplane flying boat, two pilots, radio operator, and engineer in the enclosed cockpit; four Hispano-Suiza V-12 engines (650 HP each); cruise 99 mph, ceiling 15,000', range 3,000 miles; span 145', length 86', weight 25 tons. Designed as a trans-atlantic airmail carrier, this aircraft can accomodate 2204 lbs (a metric ton) of cargo. Entered service 1933; cost probably $100,000 or more.

Lockheed  Model 10 Electra

  • low-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear, 2 pilots + 10 passengers; engines two Pratt & Whitney R985 radials of 450 HP each; cruise speed 190 mph, top speed 202 mph, ceiling 19,499', range 810 miles; span 55', length 38' 7", empty weight 6454 lbs., maximum weight 10,500 lbs., payload 1940 lbs. (passengers, luggage and cargo). First flown in February 1934, first delivery in August 1934. Cost about $50,000.

Lockheed Model 9 Orion

  • low-wing cabin monoplane, 1 pilot + 6 passengers; engine P&W Wasp radial of 450 HP; cruise speed about 230 mph, top speed 254 mph, landing speed 60 mph, ceiling 22,000', range 720 miles (2,000 miles with no passengers and fuselage tanks); weight 5800 lbs., span 42', length 28'. First flew April 1931, operated by Varney Airlines between Los Angeles and San Francisco (schedule required 254 mph speed!), and by Swissair on the Zurich-Munich-Vienna route. Billed as the "fastest airliner in the world", faster than any fighter aircraft in service, and Lockheed's last design with a wooden fuselage; wing flaps, retractable landing gear (the first on a commercial aircraft), cost $50,000.

Lockheed Sirius

  • low-wing monoplane, 1-2 pilots + space for 2 passengers (depending on configuration); engine Wright Cyclone radial of 680 HP; cruise speed 145 mph, top speed 175 mph, ceiling 24,000', range 1000 miles; span 42' 10", length 27' 6", empty weight 2978 lbs., maximum weight 4600 lbs.. Designed 1929, produced 1930; long-range versions with extra fuel tanks and no passengers can manage range of 2000 miles. Cost $18,985.

Lockheed Vega

  • high-wing cabin monoplane, 1 pilot + 6 passengers (some have 4 or 5 passengers only), Wright Whirlwind radial engine engine of 420 HP (equivalent P&W Wasp engine on some models); cruise speed 160 mph, top speed 185, range 700 miles, ceiling 20,000'; span 41', length 27' 6", empty weight 2490 lbs., maximum weight 4265 lbs.. Introduced July 1927, 128 have been built through 1934 with improvements in performance; cost, $18,985. Floats can be fitted instead of wheels; a similar freight-only model, the Lockheed Air Express, is available (open cockpit for pilot, carries 1900 lbs. of cargo).

Loening Amphibian

  • biplane amphibian, 1 pilot (in open cockpit) + 2 crew/passengers (in enclosed cabin with a 'cockpit' seat for observing, gunnery, and emergency piloting); Pratt & Whitney R-1340B radial engine; max 122 mph, stall 50 mph, ceiling 14,300', range 650 miles; span 45', length 34', weight empty 3400 lbs., 140 gallons fuel & oil 800 lbs., crew 360 lbs., misc./cargo 1000 lbs., max total weight 5560 lbs.; pilot's cockpit fitted with most available instruments, basic flight controls only in rear seat; electrically powered retractable landing gear; wireless set; first versions built 1925, cost $15,000; very sturdy, used in a variety of polar expeditions and ocean surveys, and as Navy patrol craft.

Martin B-10

  • monoplane bomber, 2 pilots, 2 gunners; with two Wright R-1820 radial engines of 730 HP; cruise 193 mph, top speed 200 mph, range 600 to 1200 miles depending on bomb load, ceiling 24,200'; span 70' 6", length 44' 9", useful load 4920 lbs.. Retractable landing gear, gun turret in nose, internal "bomb bay". Being taken into service with the USAAC, will serve with the Chinese, Argentina, Dutch, Siamese, and Turkish air forces. Cost $51,000.

Martin 122

  • biplane flying boat, two pilots, radio operator, and flight mechanic are carried in naval service, but the hull could probably accomodate 16-20 passengers; two Wright Cyclone radial engines (550 HP each); cruise 100 mph, max 123 mph, ceiling 7,200', range 1,450 miles; span 73', length 49', weight 8 tons. Used by the U.S. Navy as the PM-2 patrol plane. The interior is a bit tight -- similar to the Catalina. Cost about $35,000.

Martin 130

  • monoplane flying boat, two pilots, radio operator, flight engineer, two stewards + 12-32 passengers; four Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S2A5G Twin Wasp geared radial engines (830 HP each); cruise 163 mph, max 180 mph, ceiling 17,000', range 3,200 miles; span 130', length 91', weight 26 tons. First flown in 1934, built for Pan American at a cost of $417,000.

Messerschmidt Bf-108 Taifun

  • low wing monoplane, pilot + 1 passenger/copilot; Hirth V8 (250 HP); top speed 196 mph, range (fully loaded) 870 miles, ceiling 16,400'; span 24' 10", length 27' 3"; empty weight 1940 lbs., maximum weight 3000 lbs.. Flush-riveted skin, leading and trailing edge slats, retractable landing gear, extremely maneuverable. Construction of first prototype began October, 1933; six prototypes for testing will be provided to the Luftwaffe between February and June, 1934. Predecessor of the Messerschmidt Bf-109 fighter; early users outside of Germany include Nationalist Spain, Manchukuo, Switzerland, China, Hungary, etc.

Messerschmidt Bf-109 

  • low wing monoplane, pilot; the engine is a Junkers Jumo inverted V12 (631 HP); top speed 280 mph, range about 500 miles, ceiling 28,000'; span 32' 6"", length 28'; empty weight 3150 lbs., maximum weight 4300 lbs.. Flush-riveted skin, leading and trailing edge slats, retractable landing gear, extremely maneuverable. Only a few prototypes exist before the summer of 1936, including a couple with Rolls-Royce engines; armament at this stage is only two 7.92mm machineguns mounted above the engine. The public unveiling of the Bf-109 (better kinown as the Me-109) is at the Summer Olympics in 1936.

Monocoupe 110 Special Clipwing

  • high-wing cabin monoplane, pilot + co-pilot/passenger; engine Warner Scarab radial of 185 HP; cruise speed 155 mph, top speed 240 mph, range just over 500 miles, ceiling 11,000'; span 23' 3", length 20' 4", empty weight 1100 lbs., maximum weight 1620 lbs.; popular aerobatic and competition aircraft, but has poor forward visibility, and not a beginner's airplane. Cost about $6000.

Northop Alpha 4A

  • low-wing fixed landing gear monoplane, pilot + 4 to 7 passengerss; engine Pratt & Whitney Wasp C of 420 HP; cruise 145 mph, max speed 175 mph, range 600 to 2500 miles; span 41' 10", length 28' 5", useful load 1821 lbs.. Introduced 1932 (original Alpha 1 introduced 1930), features de-icing equipment, fully-faired landing gear, landing lights, enclosed cockpit for pilot on some (but not all) models; coast-to-coast American routes take about 23 hours over three days. Cost about $22,000.

Northrop Delta 1A

  •     low-wing cabin monoplane, pilot + 6 to 9 passengers; engine Wright SR-1820 of 735 HP; cruise 200 mph, max speed 219 mph, range 1500 miles; span 47' 10", length 33' 1", useful load 2810 lbs.. Cost $37,500, only a few built starting in 1933, mostly in service as airliners or executive transports.

Northrop Gamma 2

  •     low-wing cabin monoplane, pilot only; engine Wright GR-1510 Whirlwind of 700 HP; cruise 215 mph, top speed 224 mph, range 1700 miles; span 47' 10" length 31' 2", useful load 3231 lbs. (mostly as fuel). Costs $40,000, the latest thing in exploratory aircraft, available with floats or skis also. Starting in 1934, Gamma 2D models will be available, carrying 6 passengers, with the same performance (due to a 750 HP Wright SR-1820 engine), and mostly used by TWA.

Payen P.321AC Air Cruiser

  • delta-wing cabin monoplane, with pilot, rear gunner/navigator/radio operator and nose gunner. Engines four Renault/Baudot V-12s of 500 HP each (in two nacelles), driving two sets of contra-rotating propellors. Performance unknown; about 25' wingspan, about 35' long. Armament two Hispano HS.404 autocannon for nose gunner; one MAC1934 machinegun (7.5mm caliber) for tail gunner; 6 fixed forward-firing MAC1934 machineguns fired by the pilot; also, up to 12 bombs of 25 kg each in an internal bomb bay. Designed in response to the October 1934 request by the French Armee de l'Air for an intercepteur avion multiplace.

Pitcairn Autogyro

  • see the Cierva PCA-2

Pitcairn PA-7 Sport-Mailwing

  • biplane, open cockpits for pilot + 2 passengers (pilot only for mail plane version); engine is Wright Whirlwind J-5C radial of 240 HP; cruising speed 125 mph, top speed 145 mph; span 33', length 23' 9", empty weight 1821 lbs. empty, maximum weight 2950 lbs.. Very reliable, designed especially for the shorter mail routes in the eastern U.S., cost $8550.

Polikarpov I-5

  • biplane open-cockpit fighter; M-22 radial engine of 480 HP; top speed 173 mph, ceiling 24,600', range 348 miles; span 33' 7.25", length 22' 3", maximum weight 2987 lbs.; armament two 7.62mm MG plus up to 88 lbs. of bombs. Entered service in 1932 as the standard Soviet fighter aircraft; these aircraft are used in the Zveno parasite fighter project, as well.

Polikarpov I-15 Seagull

  • biplane open-cockpit fighter; M-22 radial engine of 480 HP; top speed 220 mph, ceiling 23,800', range 310 miles; span 32', length 20', empty weight 2226 lbs., maximum weight 3113 lbs.; armament four 7.62mm MG, plus up to 220 lbs. of bombs. First flown in October 1933, will soon replace the I-5 in Soviet service, and will be used by the Spanish Republicans and the Chinese.

Polikarpov R-5

  • biplane bomber, reconnaissance and utility aircraft. Open cockpit for pilot and observer/gunner. Engine is Mikulin M17 V12 of 680 HP; top speed 140 mph, ceiling 21,000', range 500 miles. Span 50' 10", length 34' 7", empty weight 4300 lbs, maximum weight 7100 lbs. Armament is one forward-firing Maxim gun, two DP machineguns for the observer/gunner, and six bomb shackles for up to 550 lbs of bombs total. Civil versions can carry 800 lbs of cargo or four passengers.


  • parasol-wing closed-cockpit fighter; Gnome-Rhône radial engine of 760 HP; top speed 270 mph, ceiling 34,000', range 340 miles; span 35', length 25', empty weight 3000 lbs., maximum weight 4200 lbs.. Armament is either four rifle-caliber machineguns, or two 20mm Oerlikon guns and two machineguns; plus up to four 25 pound bombs. This Polish aircraft was designed for export; first flown in 1933, it was exhibited with much interest at the 1934 Paris Air Show, and sold thereafter to Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. Attempts were made to sell this aircraft to Hungary, China, and other nations. Cost about $35,000 or maybe a bit more.

Savoia Marchetti S.55X

  • monoplane twin-hull flying boat, 2 pilots + 10 passengers (5 in each hull side); two Isotta-Fraschini V-18 engines (750 HP each); cruise 149 mph, ceiling 16,000', range 2400 miles from a 1000 gallon fuel tank; span 79', length 54', weight 11 tons. Introduced 1933, used by several Mediterranean airlines. The earlier versions of this aircraft (the A and P versions) established flying boat records for altitude and range (2,000 miles with 1.7 tons of cargo). The two hulls each have about as much space as a stretch commuter van; I think there must be a crawlway past the pilots (in the middle) between the hulls. Cost about $35,000.

Savoia Marchetti S.66

  • high-wing flying boat, 3 crew + 14 passengers; three Fiat A.24R V-12 engines of 750 HP; cruise 138 mph, range 1000 miles, ceiling 18,050'; span 108', length 54', weight 12 tons; introduced 1932.

Savoia Marchetti S.74

  • high-wing monoplane, 2 pilots, steward + 27 passengers; four Piaggio Stella IX radial engines of 700 HP; cruise 174 mph, ceiling 20,000'; span 89' 5", length 64 feet, weight 17,200 lbs. empty. 29,100 lbs. max T/O weight. Introduced late 1934. 

Seversky SEV-3



  • low-wing all-metal monoplane amphibian; pilot + 2 passengers (though 4 passengers is an option); engine is Wright Whirlwind radial, 420 HP. In October 1933 one of these held the world's speed record for amphibious aircraft:  180 miles per hour; in 1935, another SEV-3 with a more powerful engine reached 230 mph. The aircraft has full-span flaps, the wheels inside the floats are retractable; the plane can alternately be fitted with regular fixed landing gear. Wingspan 36', length 24' 4", empty weight 3017 lbs, maximum takeoff weight 4050 lbs. The design of this plane led, over a decade or so, to the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter.

Short S.8 Calcutta

  • biplane flying boat, 3 crew + 12 passengers; three Bristol Jupiter radial engines (540 HP each); cruise 97 mph, ceiling 13,500', range 650 miles; span 93', length 66', weight 10 tons. Introduced February 1928; the cabin is fairly spacious, 7' wide with a 7' ceiling. Used by Imperial Airways on the Mediterranean segment (Marseilles-Brindisi-Athens-Haifa) of the London-to-Karachi (India) air route opened in 1929; also built under license by Breguet for French military and commercial service. Cost about $55,000.

Short S.17 Kent

  • biplane flying boat, 3 crew + 15 passengers; four Bristol Jupiter radial engines (555 HP each); cruise 120 mph, top speed 137 mph, range 450 miles; span 113', length 78' 5", maximum weight 32,000 lbs.; introduced in the Spring of 1931 by Imperial Airways for use on the Mediterranean routes (principally Marseilles to Egypt, via Brindisi and Athens), replacing/supplementing the older S.8 Calcuttas.

Short S.19 Singapore III 

  • biplane flying boat patrol/bomber, 2 pilots, navigator/bombardier, wireless operator, 3 gunners; four Rolls Royce Kestrel engines, 675 HP each; cruise 123 mph, top speed 145 mph, landing speed 65 mph, range 1,000 miles on 1,000 gallons of fuel at 105 mph best cruise, ceiling 15,000'; span 90', length 64' 2", empty weight 10 tons, maximum weight 16 tons. An additional long-range fuel tank can be mounted above the hull, to accommodate 500 gallons of fuel and increase the range to 1,500 miles. Purchased by the RAF beginning in 1934; this plane is fitted with an automatic pilot, galley, repair workshop, two bunks, rubber raft and two spare propellers. Armament:  three Vickers or Lewis guns, up to 1,100 pounds of bombs or depth charges can be carried under the wings.

Sikorsky S-38C

  • monoplane amphibian, 2 crew + 10 passengers or 3630 lbs. cargo; two P&W Wasp radial engines (420 HP each); cruise 110 mph, top speed 128 mph, ceiling 18,000', range 750 miles; span 71' 8", length 40' 3", empty weight 6550 lbs., maximum weight 10480 lbs.. Introduced 1928 as S-38A, cost $49,800. Can maintain level flight on one engine. With only 8 passengers, and an additional 80 gallon fuel tank in the fuselage, range increases to 1000 miles.

Sikorsky S-39

  • amphibian (wheels and boat hull), pilot + 3 passengers; engine Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior radial of 300 HP; cruise speed 100 mph, top speed 123 mph, range 350 miles, ceiling 16,000'; wing span 52', length 32' 2"; empty weight 2555 lbs., maximum weight 3700 lbs.. Electric or pneumatic starter. Cost $17,500.

Sikorsky S-40

  • parasol monoplane amphibian, 4 crew + 44 passengers or 10000 lbs. load; four P&W Hornet radials of 575 HP each, top speed 130 mph, cruise 115 mph, landing speed 65 mph, ceiling 13000', range 1000 miles; span 114', length 77', hull length 48', weight ?; introduced 1931, cost $139,000, about the "very best" amphibian available -- being used by PAA in the Pacific.

Sikorsky S-42

  • parasol-wing monoplane flying boat, 2 pilots, flight engineer, radio operator, 2 stewards + 32 passengers; four P&W Hornet geared radial engines (700 HP each); cruise 160 mph, max 180 mph, ceiling 16,000', range 1,200 miles (3,000 miles with only 3/4 ton of cargo); span 118', length 69', weight 19 tons (a cargo version could carry 5 tons of freight). Introduced 1934, and used initially by Pan American on their Caribbean routes. "A" and "B" models appear in 1936, with increased speed, range, and useful load. Cost about $200,000.

Sikorsky S-43 Baby Clipper

  • monoplane amphibian, two P&W Hornet geared radial engines (750 HP each); 2 pilots, steward + 19 passengers; retractable landing gear and wing floats; cruise speed 180 mph, top speed 200 mph, stall speed 65 mph, ceiling about 26,000', range 775 miles. Span 86', length 51' 2", weight empty, 10,000 lbs., weight loaded, 17,500 lbs. First flights in 1935. An "air yacht" version would seat 9 passengers in super-comfortable seats and folding beds, with a kitchen, toilet, shower, etc. 

Stearman Junior Speedmail 4-E

  • biplane, pilot + 2 passengers in open cockpits; engine Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial of 420 HP; cruising speed 128 mph, top speed 158 mph, range 650 miles, ceiling 18,000'; span 38', length 26' 4", weight empty 2426 lbs., maximum weight 3926 lbs.. Also available as a "pilot only" mailplane. Cost $16,000.

Stinson SM-1 F Detroiter

  • high-wing cabin monoplane, pilot + co-pilot/passenger + 4 passengers; Wright Whirlwind J6 radial engine of 300 HP; cruising speed 115 mph, top speed 135 mph, range 680 miles, ceiling 17,000'; span 47' 1", length 32' 8", empty weight 2614 lbs., maximum weight 4300 lbs.. Introduced 1929, electric starter, cost $11,000. Long range versions of this aircraft, carrying only two pilots and 2 tons (667 gallons) of fuel, have flown about 4000 miles.

Stinson Trimotor



  • high-wing cabin monoplane, pilot+co-pilot and XX passengers; three Lycoming radial engines.

Supermarine Southampton

  • biplane flying boat, 2 pilots (in open cockpits) + 3-8 crew; two Napier Lion engines; cruise 100 mph, ceiling 6,000', range 1,500 miles; span 42', length 28', weight 9 tons. Introduced 1927, in use by various naval forces as a patrol, survey and rescue aircraft. Cost $90,000 complete with beaching gear.

Supermarine Walrus

  • biplane amphibian, pilot + 3 crew; one Bristol Pegasus VI radial engine (775 HP); top speed 135 mph, ceiling 19,000', range 600 miles; span 46', length 38', weight 3.6 tons. The Royal Navy's latest reconnaissance aircraft, capable of being launched from catapults.

Taylor E-2 Cub

  • high-wing monoplane, pilot + passenger (totalling not more than 330 lbs.), in a semi-enclosed cabin; engine Continental straight-4 of 37 HP; cruise speed 60 mph, landing speed about 20 mph; maximum weight 932 lbs.; no brakes are fitted to this small airplane -- not recommended for flight in any but the calmest, clearest weather. Cost $1,325.

Travel Aire SA-6000A

  • high-wing cabin monoplane, pilot + co-pilot/passenger + 4 passengers; Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engine of 420 HP; cruise speed 120 mph, top speed 145 mph, range 730 miles, ceiling 18,000'; span 54' 5", length 31' 1", empty weight 3225 lbs., maximum weight 5250 lbs.; options include lavatory, floats, extra instruments; cost $15,000.

Vultee V-1A

  • all-metal cabin monoplane, 2 pilots + 8 passengers; engine Wright R-1820 of 750 HP; cruise speed 215 mph, top speed 235 mph, landing speed 65 mph, range 1000 miles, ceiling 20,000'; span 50', length 37', empty weight 5300 lbs., maximum weight 8500 lbs.. Landing flaps, retractable landing gear, radio; with extra fuel tanks installed it can make trans-Atlantic flights; military versions are used in China and Spain as transports and bombers. Produced from 1933; cost $35,000 new.

Waco 9

  • biplane, pilot + 2 passengers in open cockpit; engine Curtiss OX-5 90 HP; cruise speed 85 mph, top speed 96 mph, range 425 miles, ceiling 14,000'; span 31', length 23' 6", empty weight 1200 lbs., maximum weight 2025 lbs.. Engines are rebuilt; cost $2565.

Waco QDC-2

  • cabin biplane, pilot + copilot/passenger + 2 passengers; engine Continental radial of 165 HP; cruise speed 98 mph, top speed 116 mph, range 575 miles, ceiling 16,000'. Span 30' 7", length 23' 1", empty weight 1585 lbs., maximum weight 2586 lbs.. Cost $5,575; many versions are available, with other engines or cockpit arrangements, floats.

Wedell-Williams 44 Special


  • low-wing fixed landing gear monoplane racer; pilot only (or pilot plus lion); engine Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engines of various models up to 800 HP; span 26' 2", length 21' 3". A famous American racing plane, costing about $50,000; the colorful Roscoe Turner is the most famous owner of a 44 Special.

Westland Wessex

  • high wing monoplane trimotor transport, similar to Ford or Fokker models; 2 crew + 10-20 passengers


Sources: The Great Book of World War II Airplanes, pub. Bonanza Books, 1984; Seaplanes of the World, by Bill Yenne, pub. First Glance Books, 1997; Flying Boats and Seaplanes, by Stephane Nicolaou, pub. Bay View Books, 1998; Aircraft of the National Air and Space Museum, compiled by Claudia M. Oakes, pub. Smithsonian Institution Press, 1976; Fighting Wings of the Navy 1911-41, ed. Edwin Schnepf, pub. Challenge Publications, 1984; Seaplanes At War, ed. Michael O'Leary, pub. Challenge Publications, 1988; Sketches of the Thirties, by Capt. Vern Renaud, pub. Aviation Publishing, n/d; The Grand Days of Travel, by Charles Owen, pub. Webb & Bower, 1979; "The Uncompetitive Condor", in Air Enthusiast #6, by H.A. Taylor, pub. Pilot Press, 1978; "Dr Dornier's Great White Wal", in Air Enthusiast #13, by John Weal, pub. Pilot Press, 1980; What Were They Like To Fly?, by Murlin Gene Smith, pub. Motorbooks International, 1990; Boeing, by Guy Norris and Mark Wagner, pub. Motorbooks International, 1998; The American Fighter, by Enzo Angelucci, pub. Orion Books, 1987; World Encyclopedia of Civil Aircraft, ed. Enzo Angelucci, pub. Crown Publishers, 1982; The International Encyclopedia of Aviation, ed. David Mondey, pub. Crown Publishers, 1977; Classics of the Air, ed. Len Cacutt, pub. Exeter Books, 1988; 1930-1931 Directory of Approved American Airplanes, pub. Western Flying Magazine, 1930; Aerofiles

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