With the PILOT’s Boeing 314 Clipper, a really unique aircraft is coming along for FSX and Prepar3D. A few hours ago, the development team has announced a release for the middle of the year. Also new previews can be seen: On their Facebook page, PILOT’S shows the gigantic flying boat from the outside, including Physically-Based-Rendering (PBR). Photos from the virtual cockpit will follow in a few weeks.
The Boeing 314 Clipper was put into service in 1939 and is considered one of the largest aircraft of its time. Due to its design as a flying boat, the Clipper could only take off and land on the water. Boeing produced a total of twelve copies for Pan American Airways, three of which went to the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), the predecessor of British Airways. On 28 June 1939, Pan Am carried out the first transatlantic passenger flight with the Boeing 314, from New York via Lisbon to Marseille in France. At that time, a single ticket cost 375 US dollars, which would correspond to about $6,859 today.
Thus the Boeing 314 was a means of transport for the super-rich. This was also reflected in the equipment on board. There were separate changing rooms for men and women, and cooks from four-star restaurants worked in the galley. The five- or six-course menus were always served with shiny silver cutlery. Compared to today, however, the flight took an eternity: for the first leg from New York to Lisbon, the Clipper took about 27 hours. Only the next day it went on to Marseille. Therefore the 74 seats could be converted into 36 berths.
Boeing 314 Clipper: First luxury plane, then military transporter
However, this luxury offer did not exist for a particularly long time anyway. With the entry of the United States into the Second World War, the Clipper was misappropriated for the transport of soldiers and materials. That was in 1941. Even the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the British Prime Minister used the Boeing 314 for some flights at that time. After the war, they were quickly decommissioned. Finally, with the Douglas DC-4 and the Lockheed Constellation, much more powerful aircraft were available for passenger transport.