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Attempt to salvage Boeing Clipper flying boat

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posted on Sep, 26 2011 @ 08:29 PM
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Again from the FSF email service so I cant' link to an online source sorry -


Funds sought to retrieve submerged Boeing Flying Clippers
A Kirkland-based nonprofit wants to recover the Honolulu Clipper, Pan American World Airways' "flying boat" which sank in the South Pacific in 1945.

Deep in the Pacific Ocean lies an estimated 18 tons of history - a "flying boat" credited with being among the first aircraft to bring the people of the world closer by reducing overseas travel time.

The flying boat is one of only 12 Boeing 314 Flying Clippers made, although there were some Clippers made by other companies. The Clippers flew for little more than a decade before planes with extended flying range and more destinations with runways made the water-landing aircraft obsolete.



The company planning to do this is Underwater Admiralty Sciences - there's some older info on their website - but nothing after about 2008 by the look & I haven't found anything else about this on the web, but there's a nice Clipper page here

I'm old enough to remember the Sunderland flying boats that operated in the Sth Pacific until the mid 1960's......except I didn't actually live anywhere enar the bases they use - I have some colleagues who actually worked or crewed on them tho - a bygone age....probably for the best but it's still fascinating!


Edit - silly me - there 's a link to a Seattle Times article in hte email I have!! sheesh - seattletimes.nwsource.com...
edit on 26-9-2011 by Aloysius the Gaul because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 27 2011 @ 06:07 AM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 
Very nice find Aloysius,

Im just that little bit too young to remember the flying boats that ran out of Rose Bay Sydney and serviced parts of the Pacific. Originally they were Empire class and later Catalina's, then the Sunderland and finally the last to operate until the mid 70's were the Ansett airlines Sandringham's to Lord Howe Island. A great age in aviation that passed surprisingly quickly. It would be nice to see one of these Boeing Clippers recovered as along with the Empire's they truly represented the epitome of late 1930's transcontinental aviation, and they were beautiful looking machines.

LEE.



posted on Sep, 27 2011 @ 06:25 AM
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reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
 




Attempt to salvage Boeing Clipper flying boat


For a very brief period, the (flying) clipper ships were there to bridge the span between the ocean-going passenger liners and the long legs of the jet age. The melding of the boat and the airplane was the perfect marriage of need and service. Before there were airports and technologies available to provide safety for such long journeys, these graceful machines offered an airplane ride that was as romantic as a sea cruise but mercifully less time consuming for anyone who needed to get to the other side a little faster.

The Boeing 314 was the finest of type; offering luxury, comfort and attention to detail. Unfortunately, she was also the last of her kind.

S&F - I am a hopeless romantic when it comes to the old Pan Am clippers.



posted on Sep, 27 2011 @ 07:06 AM
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reply to post by redoubt
 
redoubt,

Whilst I agree that along with the Short S-23 Empire the Boeing Clipper 314's were the finest if not the finest of there type, and offered a level of luxury that even today cannot be matched (even by the now defunct Concorde), they were thankfully certainly not the last of there kind. As I said the Sandringham's operated into the mid 70's and Saunders-Roe came up with the equally impressive Princess in the early 1950's although none were eventually sold. In addition BOAC actually continued operations of it's three 314's after Pan Am discontinued operations, albeit for only a year or so. Numerous other operators either re-instated or started up operations with surplus models such as Sunderland's post war with some continuing into the 1950's and a small number into the 60's. Even the USN continued using its small number of Martin flying boats into the late 60's or early 70's I recall.

Either way, you are right they were at the pinnacle of there type and sadly the world wont see there kind again. Sometimes progress really is a backwards step.

LEE.


edit on 27-9-2011 by thebozeian because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 08:47 PM
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I emailed them through their website a few days ago explaining that it would be much faster and cheaper to attempt to salvage the "Yankee Clipper" (NC-18603) which crashed in the Tagus River near Lisbon, Portugal in 1943.

But so far, no reply. They've been trying to find and salvage one of these beasts since 2005. The aircraft have no salvage value so finding investors will be tricky if not impossible, unless they can get Boeing to foot the bill for the nostalgia.

It would be so much easier to retrieve one from a relatively shallow river bottom than 18,000 feet down in the Pacific.



posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 09:02 PM
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Originally posted by thebozeian
reply to post by redoubt
 
redoubt,
Even the USN continued using its small number of Martin flying boats into the late 60's or early 70's I recall.


Japan and the USSR continued to use flying boat amphibians for naval patrol and S&R, and China built a hadful of Harbin SH-5's in the mid 1980's.


Either way, you are right they were at the pinnacle of there type and sadly the world wont see there kind again. Sometimes progress really is a backwards step.


Nah - I don't see a step backwards here at all - "the good old days" involved long noisy flights, prices that were only affordable to the filthy rich, and engine failure and accident rates that would be scandalous today!

The sort of people who could afford to fly in luxury 60 years ago still do so today in Citations or Falcons or Boeing BBJ's or hte like, and slightly lesser lights still get 1st class at a relatively lesser price.



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 09:12 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Apr, 29 2015 @ 07:26 PM
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Greetings all,

Just wanted to give an update to this thread. I realize it is somewhat old, but thought it might be worth a shot.

I am the Aircraft Technical Director for the Honolulu Clipper Discovery Team. We founded our mission in 2005 and have continued the research and seeking funding sources since that time. We have also spent significant time with people that flew and maintained them by conducting HiDef videotaped interviews including Wally
Reed (First Officer on the '01), sailors from the USS San Pablo seaplane tender that came to the rescue, Ralph Savory (former Pacific-Alaska Division Chief Pilot) among others at Pan Am Reunions.

Yes, it has been awhile since our last update, but look for our new website B314Clipper.org to be up and running soon. Other projects have taken time from the search for the Honolulu Clipper (NC18601) and several funding sources didn't quite pan out. We are, however, looking to start a KickStarter campaign sometime this year.

AlleninIdaho: my apologies for not getting back to you. My email has changed since publishing the newsletter and the Yankee Clipper in the River Tagus would be an ideal shallow-water project if there was anything left. Photos from the aftermath show most of the wreckage was recovered as part of the accident investigation. The 18,000 foot depth of the Honolulu Clipper may seem daunting, but you may have seen the National Geographic special "Mysteries of the Deep: The Hunt for the I-52". I am friends with the sonar expert on that mission. That Japanese submarine was in 17,000 feet in the middle of the Atlantic and the show provided incredible footage of two Russian Mir 2=man subs flying over the remains of the I-52 and documenting the site. It was incredibly well preserved due to the depth and lack of organisms to create oxidation. We expect the same of the B-314 and have been working with Boeing Archives people who are familiar with the materials and construction during that time period and they believe we will find some significant pieces. What we lack is photo documentation showing the condition of the aircraft when it went under. That's what Phase II (Discovery) and III (Survey) is all about. That will tell us if it is worth recovering.

-Capt. Jeff Johnston
Aircraft Technical Director
Honolulu Clipper Discovery Team
an Underwater Admiralty Sciences project
B314hunter@me.com



posted on Apr, 29 2015 @ 10:19 PM
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Best of luck!A lot of work and money in raising and restoring these things.



posted on Apr, 29 2015 @ 11:06 PM
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a reply to: B314hunter
I hope we can hear more from you in the future Jeff. Aircraft recovery has been a fascination of mine ever since I found and bought a book as a teenager in the 80's titled "Pacific Aircraft Wrecks". I actually know a few people here in Australia that are regularly involved in recovering aircraft from around the world including a Catalina and Super Constellation, but nothing quite so ambitious as a Clipper boat from 18,000ft. Ironically I work next door to what was originally a flying boat hangar during WWII. After the war it was dismantled and moved from Rose Bay Sydney to Mascot airport where it still is today, albeit in a dilapidated condition and possibly scheduled for demolition. Best of luck to you all and hope to hear updates. Will definitely be looking at the new website.

LEE.



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