Consolidated Commodore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
CommodorePAA300dpi (4482563266).jpg
Consolidated Commodore flying boat
Role commercial transport flying-boat
Manufacturer Consolidated Aircraft
Introduction 1930
Primary user Pan American Airways
Number built 14
Variants Consolidated P2Y

The Consolidated Commodore was a flying boat built by Consolidated Aircraft and used for passenger travel in the 1930s, mostly in the Caribbean, operated by companies like Pan American Airways.


A pioneer of the long haul passenger aircraft industry, the Commodore "Clipper" grew out of a Navy design competition in the 1920s to create an aircraft capable of nonstop flights between the mainland of the United States and Panama, Alaska, and the Hawaiian Islands. In response to these requirements, Consolidated produced the prototype XPY-1 Admiral designed by Isaac M. Laddon [1] in January 1929 but lost the contract to the Martin aircraft company. The aircraft represented a marked change from earlier patrol boat designs such as the Curtiss NC.

In response to losing the Navy contract, Consolidated offered a passenger-carrying version of the XPY-1, which became known as the Commodore. A parasol wing monoplane with all-metal hull, it could accommodate 32 passengers and a crew of three. The full complement of passengers, located in three cabins, could be carried only on relatively short route segments. For a 1000-mile flight, the boat probably could accommodate no more than 14 people including the crew. Wing and tail construction consisted of a metal frame structure covered with fabric, except for metal-covered leading edges.

With a first flight in 1929, a total of 14 Commodore boats were built. They were used in airline service from the United States to South America where routes extended as far south as Buenos Aires, a distance of 9000 miles from Miami.[2] As the 1930s progressed the Commodores were gradually superseded by more efficient aircraft such as the Sikorsky S-42, Boeing 314, and Martin 130. The Commodore may be considered a first step in the United States along a road that was to lead to the highly efficient monoplane-type patrol and transport flying boats later in the 1930s. The XPY-1 and its civil counterpart, the Commodore, may be considered progenitors in a series of flying boat developments that led to the famous Consolidated PBY Catalina of World War II fame.


The only known Model 16 Commodore remaining has been located in a northern Canadian lake. There is currently an ongoing project to raise and restore this airframe for display at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.[1]


 Republic of China
 United States

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On April 16, 1935, a Pan Am Commodore, registration NC660M, was destroyed in a hangar fire at Miami.[citation needed]
  • On June 18, 1942, an American Export Airlines Commodore, registration NC664M, caught fire and sank at Takla Lake, Canada, during a refueling stop; the wreckage was located in 1963.[citation needed]
  • On September 24, 1943, a Pan Am Commodore, registration NC668M, crashed at Miami while on a test flight, killing one of three on board.[citation needed]
  • On December 24, 1948, an ALFA Commodore, registration LV-AAL, was destroyed in a hangar fire at Puerto Nuevo, Argentina.[citation needed]

Specifications (Commodore 16-1)[edit]

Data from [5][6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: three
  • Capacity: 22 passengers
  • Length: 61 ft 6 in (18.75 m)
  • Wingspan: 100 ft in (30.48 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 8 in (4.78 m)
  • Wing area: 1,110 ft2 (103 m2)
  • Empty weight: 10,500 lb (4,760 kg)
  • Gross weight: 17,600 lb (7,980 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-1860 Hornet B radial piston, 575 hp (429 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 128 mph (206 km/h)
  • Range: 1,000 miles (1,600 km)
  • Service ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
  • Rate of climb: 600 ft/min (3 m/s)

See also[edit]

Related lists


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Flying Boats Cuts The Time To South America
  3. ^ Popular Aviation. September 1930.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "CNAC Consolidated Commodore". China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC). 13 December 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Grey, C. G.; Bridgman, Leonard, eds. (1930). Jane's All the World's Aircraft. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. 
  6. ^ Federal Aviation Administration, Type Certificate Data Sheet ATC 258, retrieved December 3, 2013 
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft. London: Aerospace Publishing. 
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. 
  • World Aircraft Information Files. London: Bright Star Publishing. 

External links[edit]