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With as many as 12 seats, 900 hp, and amphibious capabilities, the S-38 was a very useful airplane.With as many as 12 seats, 900 hp, and amphibious capabilities, the S-38 was a very useful airplane. Used by both corporate operators and airlines, the airplane proved itself as a long term airliner in several parts of the world. With its retractable landing gear, the airplane could be taxied in and out of the water, thus eliminating the need to load passengers at sea and also eliminating the need for a runway at either end of the trip. The airplane was ideal for inter-island work; four were used for many years in Hawaii. Johnson’s Wax also used an S-38 as an executive airplane, and it proved itself very useful in a South American exploration flight in search of Carnauba trees. The company recently commissioned a replica of this airplane and reenacted the trip to South America. There was a single-engine version of this basic design, the S-39, which was also a very successful airplane for Sikorsky.

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