×
Military Pay Military Ranks Aircraft / Aviation Land Systems Small Arms Naval Warfare
HOME
AVIATION
MODERN AIR FORCES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR
GOLDEN AGE
PEARL HARBOR
WORLD WAR 2

Sikorsky S-43 (Baby Clipper)


Flying Boat / Amphibious Transport Aircraft


Aviation / Aerospace

Sikorsky introduced their S-43 flying boat during the pre-war 1930s and built some 53 of the type for service locally and overseas.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 6/15/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
Prior to becoming a world-renown helicopter-maker, Sikorsky delivered to the United States military and civilian markets many fixed-wing aircraft types. One product of the pre-World War 2 years was the "S-43" flying boat / amphibious boat which arrived during the middle part of the 1930s. Fifty-three examples were competed with most of the stock taken on by Pan American World Airways to service passenger routes between the United States, the Caribbean and Central America. During its time in service, the aircraft came to be known as the "Baby Clipper".

The aircraft, on the whole, relied on proven flying boat qualities such as a high-wing mainplane, boat-like hull and deep fuselage. The high-wing arrangement mounted the twin air-cooled radial piston engines well-above the waterline to protect them from the salty sea spray. The boat-like hull was necessary for water landings and take-offs to which outboard pontoons ensured that the aircraft did not tip over in seas. The S-43 also became a true "amphibian" in that a wheeled, retractable undercarriage was also part of its base design which allowed for operation from traditional airstrips. Beyond its standard operating crew of two, the passenger cabin accommodated up to 25 in relative comfort. A conventional tail unit was featured showcasing a single vertical fin and low-set horizontal planes. However, the "S-43B" variant introduced a twin-fin appearance.

Beyond its service in and around Latin America, S-43 aircraft were featured as an inter-island flyer over Hawaii and was one of the aircraft types present at the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. Some operated over Alaska and portions of South America while American aviation pioneer Howard Hughes thought enough of the type to purchase one for his collection. At least five examples were taken on by the U.S. Army in 1937 as the "OA-8" and the U.S. Navy operated some seventeen of the type from 1937 onward under the designation of "JRS-1" (a pair from this stock was also in use by the USMC for a time).

S-43s were in active use up until the latter part of the 1940s by which time most were given up for better alternatives or lost to accident and not reclaimed.

As completed, the S-43 design was powered by 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-1690-52 series radial piston engines of 750 horsepower each. Maximum speed was 190 miles per hour with a range out to 775 miles. Its service ceiling reached 20,700 feet. An S-43 carrying 1,100lb in cargo set an altitude record for a flying boat / amphibian on April 14th, 1936, reaching 27,950 feet over Stamford, Connecticut.


Specifications



Year:
1935
Crew
2
[ 53 Units ] :
Sikorsky Aircraft - USA
National flag of Brazil National flag of Chile National flag of China National flag of United States Brazil; Chile; China; United States
- Navy / Maritime
- Transport
- Commercial Market
- Search and Rescue (SAR)
- Reconnaissance (RECCE)
Length:
51.18 ft (15.6 m)
Width:
85.99 ft (26.21 m)
Height:
17.65 ft (5.38 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Sikorsky S-43A production model)
Empty Weight:
12,754 lb (5,785 kg)
MTOW:
19,092 lb (8,660 kg)
(Diff: +6,338lb)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Sikorsky S-43A production model)
2 x Pratt & Whitney R-1690-52 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 750 horsepower each.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Sikorsky S-43A production model)
Max Speed:
190 mph (306 kph; 165 kts)
Service Ceiling:
20,702 feet (6,310 m; 3.92 miles)
Max Range:
775 miles (1,247 km; 673 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Sikorsky S-43A production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
Typically none.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Sikorsky S-43A production model)
S-43 - Sikorsky Company Model; initial production model.
S-43B - Twin-Tailed Design
OA-8 - US Army Air Corps Designation; five aircraft acquired.
JRS-1 - US Navy / USMC Designation; 17 aircraft acquired; 2 examples serving with USMC.
"Baby Clipper" - Nickname
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies
Military Ranks | Military Pay | Aviation | Land Systems | Infantry | Navy Warfare | American War Deaths | 5-Star Generals | Military Alphabet Code | DoD Terms | Convert Knots to Miles-per-Hour



The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-