The Sikorsky S-36 was an eight-seat amphibian sesquiplane designed and built by the Sikorsky Manufacturing Company in the late 1920s. The aircraft was ordered by Pan American Airways, the start of a long association with Sikorsky flying boats.
The S-36 was a modified and larger version of the earlier S-34 and was designed as a commercial aircraft for six passengers or freight. It was an amphibian sesquiplane with a boat hullfuselage and retractable landing gear. It was powered by two Wright Whirlwind J-5 engines and had a crew of two and room for six passengers on two facing bench seats. Only six aircraft were built.
One aircraft named Dawn was sold to Mrs Frances Grayson for an attempt to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. As a passenger in Dawn and after two false starts the aircraft departed for the Atlantic attempt on 23 December 1927 but was not seen again.
The United States Navy bought one aircraft, designated the XPS-1, for evaluation as a patrol aircraft, it was fitted with a gunner's position in the bow although it was used as a transport.
A wealthy divorcee, Mrs. Francis Grayson, Brice Herbert Goldsborough (navigator) and Oskar Omdal, and Fred Koehler (passenger) set off to cross the Atlantic (a 3rd attempt) on Dec 23, 1927 in a Sikorsky S-38 (36?)[clarification needed], named "The Dawn". She was determined to be the first woman to fly the Atlantic. Sea conditions were stormy and rough, but she was determined. They passed Cape Cod, 8 am, due for Harbor Grace, Newfoundland. The Sable Island wireless station picked up "Something's wrong here" with their call letters...30 miles distant. They did not reach a landing port. This began the first ever air relief expedition, including 2 destroyers and the USS Los Angeles dirigible. A message in a bottle was found on Jan 29, 1929, it read "1928, we are freezing. Gas leaked out. We are drifting off Grand Banks. Grayson." Nothing more is known.