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Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98)

United States (1939)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98) Long-Range Flying Boat Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 10/23/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98)  
Picture of Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98) Long-Range Flying Boat Aircraft
Picture of Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98) Long-Range Flying Boat Aircraft Picture of Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98) Long-Range Flying Boat Aircraft

The Boeing Model 314 Clipper flying boat saw only 12 such examples produced in two variations.

The Boeing Model 314 "Clipper" was a flying boat developed by Boeing Aircraft Company to fulfill a Pan American requirement for a long-range passenger flying boat transport. The system saw only 12 examples produced in two variants and could ferry up to 68 passengers in late 1930's/early 1940's comfort. Clippers served in a military capacity once the war was in full swing for America, gradually returning to civilian flight in the post-war world - naturally outclassed by the new crop of longer-range aircraft no available.

The 314 Clipper followed suit with other flying boat aircraft designs of the time, featuring a monocoque stout fuselage and high-mounted engines on a monoplane wing assembly. The crew sat high atop the flight deck and consisted of 11 personnel that would include stewards. Passenger accommodations were variable in that 68 could be flown through daytime routes whilst seating was limited to 36 passengers on overnight route - the seats could be fully converted to sleeping bunks in this case, dropping the total amount of passenger space in this respect. One highly distinguishable design aspect of the Clipper was in the use of a three-fin tail assembly, utilized when testing of single and double tail fins proved inadequate at providing the airframe with additional control.
Picture of the Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98) Long-Range Flying Boat Aircraft
Picture of the Boeing 314 Clipper (C-98) Long-Range Flying Boat Aircraft

Make no mistake, these aircraft were built with a certain clientele in mind. Professional chefs were hired to provide quality meals from the inflight galley. A separate dining area and changing rooms were also fitted into the design. In essence, the Boeing 314 series was the flying boat of choice for the wealthy American during this time. Transatlantic flying had now undergone a rich evolution, offering up an inflight playground for passengers willing to brave the long overseas flights in style.

Two variations of the 314 Clipper existed as the base 314, fitted with 4 x Wright R-2600 Double Cyclone engines at 1,500 horsepower a piece and the 314A, which saw use of the more powerful Wright Double Cyclone 1,600 horsepower engine. Six of each variation were produced for a total of 12 full operational examples. Clippers were in service with distinguishable names from 1939 through 1951 and were represented as the Honolulu Clipper, Cape Town Clipper, Anzac Clipper, Pacific Clipper, American Clipper, Yankee Clipper, California Clipper and the Atlantic Clipper - all operated by Pan Am. The remaining three Clippers were flown with the British Overseas Airways Corporation and represented with the Bristol, Bangor and the Berwick. Unfortunately, no full examples of the Clipper exist today, with the preceding models being either purposely destroyed, dismantled or lost to accident (three such incidents in this case).
Boeing 314A Clipper (C-98) Specifications
National Flag Graphic
United States
Year: 1939
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Type: Long-Range Flying Boat Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Boeing Aircraft Company - USA
Production: 12
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 11
Length: 106.07 ft (32.33 m)
Width: 152.10 ft (46.36 m)
Height: 20.41 ft (6.22 m)
Empty Weight: 48,281 lb (21,900 kg)
MTOW: 83,776 lb (38,000 kg)

Installed Power
4 x Wright R-2600-3 radial engines developing 1,600 horsepower each.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 211 mph (340 kph; 184 kts)
Maximum Range: 3,664 mi (5,896 km; 3,184 nm)
Service Ceiling: 19,619 ft (5,980 m; 3.72 mi)


Operators List
United Kingdom; United States

Series Model Variants
• 314 - Base Production Model Designation; fitted with 4 x Wright R-2600 Double Cyclone 1,500hp engines; 6 such examples produced.
• 314A - Improved 314 Model; fitted with 4 x Wright Dougle Cyclone 1,600hp engines; increased range; increased fuel capacity; redesigned propeller systems; 6 examples produced.
• C-98 - Military Designation

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