Transport: XP3Y-1

San Franciscans, staring aloft last week at a huge, low-slung Navy flying boat droning up from the south, blinked with surprise as the twin-motored monoplane slid down for a landing. As the plane neared the Bay, the blunt tips of its 104-ft. wing split slowly open, hinged downward, became a pair of wing-pontoons which kept the narrow hull upright as it creased the water.

Retractable pontoons were a prime innovation in the Navy's new XP3Y-1. Built by Consolidated Aircraft Corp., it is similar to Pan American's new Martin Clipper in lines, has the same high tail, the same tapering fuselage. Most notable...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!