Sikorsky S-36

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Sikorsky S-36
Sikorsky S-36 in flight.jpg
Role Eight-seat amphibian
National origin United States
Manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft
First flight 1927
Introduction 1927
Primary user Pan American Airways
Number built 6
Developed from Sikorsky S-34
Developed into Sikorsky S-38

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.[1]


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 hull fuselage 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.

Operational history[edit]

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.[1]

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.[1]

The fourth aircraft was delivered to Pan American Airways in December 1927.[1]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

A wealthy divorcee, Mrs. Francis Grayson, Brice Herbert Goldsborough (navigator), Oskar Omdal, and Fred Koehler (passenger) set off to cross the Atlantic (a 3rd attempt) on Dec 23, 1927 in a Sikorsky S-36 named "The Dawn".[2] Sea conditions were stormy and rough, but she was she was determined to be the first woman to fly the Atlantic. They passed Cape Cod at 8 AM, headed for Harbour 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 caused 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.[3]


The XPS-1
Production aircraft, five built.
Evaluation aircraft with Wright J-5 engines for the United States Navy as the XPS-1, one built.
One S-36B for evaluation by the United States Navy


 United States

Specifications (S-36 production version)[edit]

Data from [4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: Six passengers
  • Length: 34 ft 0 in (10.36 m)
  • Wingspan: 62 ft 0 in (18.9 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 0 in (3.66 m)
  • Wing area: 585 ft2 (54.35 m2)
  • Empty weight: 3950 lb (1792 kg)
  • Gross weight: 6000 lb (2722 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Wright Whirlwind radial engine, 200 hp (149 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 120 mph (193 km/h)
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4572 m)
  • Rate of climb: 600 ft/min (3.05 m/s)

See also[edit]

Related lists


  1. ^ a b c d Best 2003, page 31
  2. ^ Sikorsky, Sergei (2007). The Sikorsky Legacy. Arcaida Publidhing. p. 47. ISBN 9780738549958. 
  3. ^ Goldsborough Families, Karin Martin, 2010, pp. 146-150
  4. ^ Flight 1927, p. 739

External links[edit]