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Martin M-130 China Clipper


The Martin 130 was a large four-engined monoplane flying-boat designed for transoceanic services. Three were built for Pan American Airways in 1934-1935 and on 21 October 1936 began operating over the Pacific from San Francisco to Manilla, Philippine Islands.

The first designated flight engineer was required on the Martin M-130 ‘China Clipper', flying boat. On the M-130, a separate cabin was constructed for the flight engineer, communication with the pilots being carried out via interphone. His principal responsibilities were supervision of aircraft maintenance on the ground, advising the flight crew of the aircraft maintenance status, and in-flight operation of the engines and aircraft systems. In the absence of flight time limitations, these engineers performed some prodigious feats of repair in addition to their normal functions.

Lateral buoyancy of the hull was provided by stub wings or 'seawings' instead of the conventional sponsons or outboard stabilising floats. Accommodation was provided for a crew of four and 36-48 daytime passengers or 18 sleeping bunks for night flying.

First flying in 1934, the four-engine Martin Model 130 flying boat entered service on 21 October 1936 with Pan American Airways on the San Francisco-Manila air route in 1935. The Martin Clipper carried 10 passengers on overseas flights with a range of 3,200 miles. The M-130 had a cruising speed of 163 mph, weighed 53,000 pounds when fully loaded, and a wingspan of 130 feet.

Two were impressed by the US Navy in 1942.

Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S1A4G Twin Wasp, 830 hp / 610kW
Prop: three-blade.
Wing span: 130 ft 0 in (39.62 m).
Length: 90 ft 71 in (27.62 m).
Height: 7.3 m / 23 ft 11 in
Wing area (incl. sponsons): 2,315 sq.ft (215.07 sq.m).
Empty weight: 13160 kg / 29013 lb
Gross weight: 52.000 lb (23,587 kg).
Max. speed: 290 km/h / 180 mph
Max cruising speed: 163 mph (262 kph) at 7000 ft (2,135m).
Range: 3,200 miles (5,150 km).
Crew: 4.
Pax cap: 36-43 (18 in sleeper con-figuration).
Ceiling: 5200 m / 17,000 ft.


Martin 130 China Clipper


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