Oh, for the days when American big airplane manufacturers rightfully claimed air superiority. Boeing, of course, was arguably the leader of the pack, although Douglas and McDonnell ran close at Boeing's heels. The unfortunate incidences of the 737 MAX Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) software issue has delivered a huge black eye to Boeing at a time when they are desperately trying to compete with Airbus in the commercial airline transport market. Boeing enthusiasts who used to recite the "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going," mantra have been forced to reconsider their brand loyalty. This brief inset piece in a 1941 pre-war issue of Air Trails magazine extolled the virtues of Boeing's 314 Clipper amphibious airplane that facilitated Pan American Airway's (PAA) domination of transoceanic passenger and cargo operations. Similar to the manner in which the U.S. Navy used to sponsor the Model Airplane Nationals (Nats) competition in order to promote and encourage aerospace technology (and hopefully induce young men to join the navy), Pan American Airways sponsored the PAAload (aka PAA-load or PAAloader)event to promote and encourage interest in cargo-carrying airplanes, hence the "payload" title. PAAload models required a discernable cockpit cabin area to resemble a real airplane, and then models were burdened with increasing amounts of payload weight to determine who's craft could lift and remain aloft the longest time under the burden.
See also "Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Assembly Line" from the December 1941 Flying Aces magazine.
How Boeing Builds Them - 314 Clippers
These photographs illustrate construction work on the six new giant Boeing Clippers which, according to Company publicity, will be delivered to Pan American Airways system before mid-year. And like the 314 flying boats already in service with PAA, these ships will be used for transoceanic passenger service.
Upper left: This is the bow of one of the 42-ton 3l4-A's, still encased in the scaffolding of the main hull jig. The scaffold members are numbered and named and the entire unit can be dismantled . and easily set up elsewhere.
Upper right: No, these sections aren't part of a fuselage - they're merely assemblies for the engine nacelles! Four power plant streamlines are spaced along the 152-foot wing of each plane. They house the four 1,600-h.p. Wright Cyclone engines.
Lower left: Technically known as a hydrostabilizer, this panel also is a sizable fuel tank. The new planes have a total gasoline capacity of 5,400 gallons, which is enough to fly non-stop from New York to Lisbon - with a good thousand miles to spare.
Lower right: Pan American wants its six new Clippers in a hurry and Boeing would like to clear its plants to concentrate on national defense production, so mechanics work elbow to elbow. Here on a wing-stub is a riveter, his bucker, and two men installing a wing fuel tank. The Clippers are being completed considerably ahead of schedule.
Posted September 28, 2019