This cutaway drawing shows the PanAm Yankee Clipper (B-314), which was built by Boeing on the base of an XB-15 bomber fuselage. On December 21, 1937, Boeing delivered the first Yankee Clipper to PanAm.
The Yankee Clipper was the result of over 6,000 engineering drawings, 50,000 parts, and one-million rivets. But with such complexity came problems. First, it was the spark plugs. Then Boeing discovered that when the plane was loaded light, it was no match for the admittedly weak winds blowing across South Lake Washington (Seattle, WA).
And when the test pilots got the B-314 up in the air, then had yet another problem. As pilot Eddie Allen succinctly put it, “The plane won’t turn.”
But Boeing ironed out these wrinkles and eventually the Yankee Clipper became a graceful, reliable craft. Each Clipper cost $668,908; needed 3,200 of clear waterway to take off; and weighed 84,000 pounds gross.
Boeing eventually stamped out six of these Clippers for PanAm.