Kit #AA2114. 1/72 scale. . This is a highly-detailed
resin kit of the Sikorsky S-42,
complete with decals.
In 1931, Russian expatriate aviation pioneer
Igor Sikorsky – who created the first four-engined transport, and the first
four-engined bomber, all the way back in 1914 – laid out plans for a new, larger flying boat.
Juan Trippe at Pan Am had let him know that he wanted a flying boat that could
cross the Atlantic or Pacific with a useful load. Visionary that he was, Trippe
wanted to have a flying boat that could cross the Atlantic or open up the Far
East – and Sikorsky was asked for his ideas.
Sikorsky’s “idea,” one that he laid out with Pan Am consultant Charles
A. Lindbergh, was his S-42. It was a four-engined, high-winged flying boat
based on his earlier – and very successful – Sikorsky S-40. Powered by four nine-cylinder Pratt &
Whitney R-1690 Hornet supercharged radial engines with more than 700 horsepower
each, this art-deco beauty could fly 2,500 miles against a 30 mph headwind, and
do so more quickly than any plane in the sky.
Glenn L. Martin’s company was the
competition, with his M-130 China Clipper – but it was a year behind the S-42 in
terms of production, so Sikorsky got the first shot – 10 aircraft. Martin’s later order was for nine (the M-130
is also produced by Anigrand, kit # 2113).
A total of ten S-42s were ordered from
Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft division of United Aircraft in Stanford, Connecticut.
The prototype first flew in March, 1934, and the aircraft quickly demonstrated
its impressive abilities. This aircraft broke all existing world records for
load, speed, range and altitude. For the first time the airline's publicists
could rightfully declare these machines as luxury airliners. Pan Am used S-42
on Latin America routes, then on Transpacific & Transatlantic routes. The survivors were operated by Pan Am during
World War II, and did not see military service.