Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sikorsky VS-44 Excambian

Henry R Palmer, The Seaplanes, Leonard Morgan Publishing, 1965
Len Martin, Airliners of the World, Arco Publishing 1966
This VS-44 flying boat, shown here in Catalina Air Lines service, was one of three that served with the the Navy during WW2. Following several South American owners postwar, it was rescued by Catalina Air Lines and was the last 4 engine flying boat operating in the US- ferrying tourists to and from Catalina Island.  It was retired in 1967.
 In the early seventies it had been reduced to serving as a hot dog stand in the Virgin Islands after being damaged in an taxiing accident before being rescued again.  After being ferried to Pensacola, it was moved to Connecticut in 1983 where it was restored.
 It is currently on display at the New England Air Museum.

Below, sister ship Excalibur, built for American Export Airlines, crashed on takeoff from Newfoundland in 1942.

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