|Prvi let||13 August 1937|
Čaj Sikorsky VS-44 was a large four-engined flying boat built in the United States in the early 1940s by Sikorsky Aircraft. The VS-44 was designed primarily for the transatlantic passenger market, with a capacity of 40+ passengers. Three units were produced: Excalibur, Excambian, and Exeter.
Izvor: Sikorsky VS-44 on Wikipedia
|Sikorsky VS-44A Flying Boat Excambian Walk Around|
|Localisation||New England Air Museum|
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The Sikorsky VS-44 was a large four-engined flying boat that was developed by Sikorsky Aircraft in the early 1940s. It was based on the XPBS-1 patrol bomber, a prototype that was rejected by the US Navy in favor of the Consolidated PB2Y Coronado. The VS-44 was designed primarily for the transatlantic passenger market, with a capacity of 40+ passengers and a range of over 6,000 km. Only three VS-44s were built: Excalibur, Excambian, and Exeter. They were operated by American Export Airlines, a subsidiary of American Export Lines, a shipping company that had a contract with the US government to transport priority cargo and personnel across the Atlantic during World War II.
The VS-44s were fast, comfortable, and reliable, earning them the nickname “Flying Aces”. They also set several speed and distance records, such as the fastest crossing from New York to Foynes, Ireland in 1942. After the war, the VS-44s continued to serve as civilian airliners until the late 1940s, when they were replaced by land-based planes. Excambian was the only VS-44 that survived into the 1950s, flying for various operators in Central and South America. In 1967, it was acquired by Antilles Air Boats, a seaplane airline based in the Virgin Islands. It was restored to its original American Export Airlines colors and flew as a tourist attraction until 1968, when it suffered an accident and was retired. It was donated to the New England Air Museum in 1974, where it is currently on display as the last surviving VS-44.
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