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Martin M-130 Philippine Clipper
Copyright © John McCoy

The Philippine Clipper arriving in Hong Kong to establish the first commercial air service between North America and the continent of Asia October 23, 1936

M130 China Clipper History

M130 in San Francisco
On November 22, 1935, in Alameda, California, Captain Edwin C. Musick and First Officer R.O.D. Sullivan stand next to the China Clipper before it leaves San Francisco for Manila with the first transpacific airmail. On the ground, left to right are: Postmaster General James A. Farley, Assistant Postmaster General Harllee Branch, and Pan Am President Juan Trippe.
M130 Take-off
The China Clipper takes off from San Francisco on its maiden commercial flight across the Pacific Ocean to Manila in 1935.

The Crew of the China Clipper
November 22-29, 1935
Edwin Musick
R.O.D. Sullivan
Fred Noonan
George King
C.D. Wright
Victor Wright
William Jarboe

First Officer
Navigation Officer
Second Officer
First Engineering Officer
Second Engineering Officer
Radio Officer
M130 passing over San Francisco waterfront

The China Clipper passes over the San Francisco waterfront. The aircraft completed the trip in six days, with a flying time of 59 hours, 48 minutes. Overnight stops included Honolulu, Midway, Wake Island, and Guam.
M130 Flying over Golden Gate Bridge

The China Clipper clears the Golden Gate Bridge (then under construction) as it begins to head out over the Pacific Ocean.
M130 in Honolulu

The China Clipper flight crew disembarks in Honolulu, Hawaii.
M130 in Manila

The China Clipper is anchored at a pier in Manila harbor, following its historic flight across the Pacific Ocean. Huge crowds lined the shore to catch a glimpse of the aircraft. The Manila Hotel can be seen in the background.

M130 Clipper Aviation Milestones

The China Clipper inaugurates the first trans-Pacific airmail service on November 22, 1935 with 111,000 letters on board. It returned to San Francisco on December 6, 1935.
The Hawaii Clipper inaugurates the first (revenue generating) scheduled transoceanic passenger service between California and the Philippines on October 21, 1936. The round trip flight was completed on November 4, 1936.
The Philippine Clipper inaugurates the first passenger service into Hong Kong on October 14, 1936. Really a public relations VIP flight, it landed in Hong Kong on October 23rd and returned to San Francisco on November 2, 1936.

M-130a.jpg - 7.17 KMartin M-130 Clipper Data Sheet

Flying boat, 1934

Development:Built by the Glenn L. Martin Company, they were known by the company as Martin Ocean Transports. The aircraft first flew on December 30, 1934. Only three of these aircraft were built, the China Clipper, the Philippine Clipper and the Hawaii Clipper. To the public, China Clipper became a generic name and originally was applied to all three of the Martin M-130's in Pan Am's fleet and, later, even to the Boeing B-314's.
Service: With Pan American Airways.
Crew:5 and eventually 8
Wingspan:130 feet / 39.7 m
Length:90 feet 10.5 inches / 27.7 m
Height:24 feet 7 inches / 7.5 m
Gross Weight:52252 lbs / 23701 kg
Engines:4x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S2A5G Twin Wasp 14-cylinder Radial Engines (830 horsepower each - later 950 hp with hydromatic propellers)
Maximum Speed:180 mph
Cruise Speed:163 mph
Cruise Ceiling:17000 feet / 5182 m
Range:3200 miles / 5150 km
Payload:18-46 (18 night) passengers
The Flying Clippers General Specifications Sheet


China Clipper Movie Clip
Humphry Bogart and Pat O'Brian starred in a film called China Clipper. Released in 1936, it is currently owned by Turner Pictures and has not been released to video. At left, is a scene from that movie, of preparations for the trans-pacific flight.

Inspired by Lindbergh's flight,
Dave Logan sets out with a Washington-Philadelphia airline but suffers financial problems. With flying ace Hap Stuart he tries clipper ships on the Caribbean, then aims for the trans-Pacific route. The movie includes great footage of the M-130 in its recreation of the first trans-pacific flight by Pan American Airways.

  Flying on the Pan Am Clippers: The M-130 Experience
  The Martin M-130 Pictorial History
  Flying Clippers: General Specifications Sheet
  The Flying Clippers Main Page
  TransOceanic Travel & Pan Am's Clippers
  Pan American Clippers 1931 – 1946
  Clippers In Time: Their Historical Context
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