Big Boat

by wjw on August 13, 2019

This is the flight engineer’s station on a Pan-Am Yankee Clipper, circa 1941, as displayed at the Flying Boat Museum in Foynes.  (Flying Boat Museum!  This trip is so geeky I want to swoon.)


The flight engineer was kept pretty busy, having to nurse four big radial engines all the way across the Atlantic.  (Or Pacific, more likely.)

The Foynes flying boat station was active 1943-45, taking advantage of Ireland’s unique position as a neutral country  From Foynes the boat could fly on to the west coast of England, or to neutral Portugal, where they could pick up Mr. and Mrs. Victor Laszlo after their escape from Casablanca.

There are no actual flying boats at the flying boat museum, but there’s a replica and lots of pieces and parts like this.

From the replica, here’s a passenger compartment of the Yankee Clipper.  Check out the legroom!  And no eating in your chair, either, you go to the dining room and eat off a table with proper china and white linen.


pecooper August 14, 2019 at 6:13 pm

You can see a real Sikorsky VS-44A Excambian flying boat in the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. This one was flown by Actress Maureen O’Hara when she and her husband ran a passenger airline in the US Virgin Islands in the early 1970s.

It’s worth a look if you are ever in the neighborhood.

wjw August 15, 2019 at 4:27 am

Maureen O’Hara was also prominently featured in the Foynes museum. Her husband flew the last flying boat out of Foynes in 1945, and she also hailed from the area. Several of her movie costumes are on display.

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