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CAP Sikorsky S-39 NC54V.jpg
Sikorsky S-39 of the Civil Air Patrol, 1942
Role Flying boat
National origin United States
Manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft
First flight 24 December 1929; 92 years ago (1929-12-24)
Number built 21

The Sikorsky S-39 was an American light amphibious aircraft produced by Sikorsky Aircraft during the early 1930s. The S-39 was a smaller, single-engine version of the S-38.[1]

Operational history

Spirit of Africa

Filmmakers Martin and Osa Johnson used a giraffe-patterned S-39 Spirit of Africa, with companion zebra-striped S-38 Osa's Ark, to explore Africa extensively, making safari movies and books.[2]

Military usage

The C-28
The C-28

One example of the S-39 was acquired by the United States Army Air Corps in 1932, given the designation Y1C-28. It was evaluated for use in coastal patrol and light transport roles; in 1934 it was redesignated C-28 and assigned as a liaison aircraft to the United States Military Academy.[3]

At least one S-39 saw service with the Civil Air Patrol Coastal Patrol from 1942 to 1943. This was part of a fleet of civilian aircraft flown by volunteers along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, searching for both German submarines and for allied ships in distress. Seaplanes such as the S-39 were sometimes used for search and rescue if another aircraft crashed or went missing.[4] A surviving CAP S-39, previously based at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, is currently on display at the New England Air Museum.


Edward A. Deeds had the yacht Lotosland designed to incorporate aircraft capability. After loss of the planned aircraft on first loading Deeds ordered an S-39-A replacement the next day. The aircraft was intended to allow Deeds to quickly travel from his yacht to business and events ashore.[5][6][7]


4-seat version[8]
Improved 5-seat version of the S-39-A[8]
Converted from S-39-B[9]
One example of the S-39 acquired by the United States Army Air Corps

Surviving aircraft

Sikorsky S-39-B
Sikorsky S-39-B

Specifications (S-39A)

Data from Aerofiles : Sikorsky,[14] American flying boats and amphibious aircraft : an illustrated history[15]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 or 2
  • Capacity: 4 or 5 pax / 1,145–1,300 lb (519–590 kg) payload
  • Length: 31 ft 11 in (9.73 m)
  • Wingspan: 52 ft 0 in (15.85 m)
  • Wing area: 320 sq ft (30 m2)
  • Airfoil: Sikorsky GS-1 [16]
  • Empty weight: 2,678 lb (1,215 kg)
  • Gross weight: 4,000 lb (1,814 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 300 hp (220 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 115 mph (185 km/h, 100 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 97 mph (156 km/h, 84 kn)
  • Stall speed: 54 mph (87 km/h, 47 kn)
  • Range: 375 mi (604 km, 326 nmi)


  1. ^ a b "Sikorsky S-39B "Jungle Gym"". New England Air Museum. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Flying Expedition To Africa To Visit Forbidden Area." Popular Mechanics, April 1933.
  3. ^ "Sikorsky Y1C-28." National Museum of the United States Air Force, June 24, 2009. Retrieved: July 15, 2017.
  4. ^ Blazich, Frank A.,Jr. (2020). An honorable place in American air power" : Civil Air Patrol coastal patrol operations, 1942-1943 (PDF). Air University Press. p. 109-112. ISBN 9781585663057. Retrieved September 21, 2021.
  5. ^ "The Diesel Yacht Lotosland". MotorBoating. February 1931. pp. 90–91. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  6. ^ Pacific American Steamship Association; Shipowners Association of the Pacific Coast (August 1929). "Diesel Yacht Lotosland". Pacific Marine Review. San Francisco: J.S. Hines: 29. Retrieved 23 October 2020.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "S38" (PDF). NEAM News. Windsor Locks, Ct.: New England Air Museum. Fall 1994. p. 4. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  8. ^ a b "A.T.C. #375" (PDF). Golden Wings Flying Museum. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b Jackson, Dick. "40 Years and 40,000 Hours". Spirit of Igor. Richard Jackson. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  10. ^ "1930 Sikorsky S-39". Fantasy of Flight. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  11. ^ "FAA REGISTRY [N50V]". Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  12. ^ Jackson, Dick. "40 Years and 40,000 Hours - Part 2". Spirit of Igor. Richard Jackson. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  13. ^ "FAA REGISTRY [N58V]". Federal Aviation Administration. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  14. ^ Eckland, K.O. "american airplanes: Sikorsky". Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  15. ^ Johnson, E.R. (2009). American flying boats and amphibious aircraft : an illustrated history. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. pp. 188–189. ISBN 978-0786439744.
  16. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 16 April 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 May 2022, at 19:19
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