Sikorsky S-38B amphibian replica c/n B-414-20 N28V, temporarily on exhibit at the Aviodrome museum at Lelystad airport in The Netherlands (EHLE). The aircraft is painted to resemble the S-38BS c/n 414-20 NC29V that went on a safari tour in Africa in the 1930's, with a zebra camouflage livery and the name "Osa's Ark", which is also painted on the nose of the replica. The aircraft was named after Osa Johnson, who toured Africa with her husband Martin. Replica N28V arrived in Europe in 2010 on its way to South Africa, but because of the political turmoil in Africa the flght was cancelled. Since then the Sikorsky, owned by Unlimited Adventure LLC, took part in various European airshows. It was recently bought by American collector Kermit Weeks for his Fantasy of Flight museum near Orlando, Florida, which already houses a one-engined Sikorsky S-39. The replica was built in 2001 by Born Again Restorations. "Osa's Ark" will be dismantled, crated and shipped back to the U.S. in March 2013, so there is still plenty of time to visit the Aviodrome museum and take a close look at the aircraft. The photo was taken in the Aviodrome's T2 hangar on 23 September 2012.
The S-38 was the first succesful amphibian designed by Igor Sikorsky, with 114 being built. The prototype was completed in May 1928. Charles Lindbergh surveyed new routes for Pan American with the S-38 and the type played a major role in the development of Pan Am's seaport network ("a seaplane carries its own airport on its bottom," Pan Am's chief engineer stated). The aircraft had a quite special shape, with the tailplane, twin fins and rudders carried by two booms, extending from the upper wing and braced by struts at the end of the fuselage (see the photo of the flying S-38 on Flyvertosset's gallery in the link below). Because of its peculiar appearance, its was described by a contemporary as "a collection of aeroplane parts flying in formation".
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Sikorsky S-38 flypast on Flyvertosset's gallery
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