S-38 Production History

Model s/n Registration Name S-38A 14-A NC5933 S-38A 14-1 NC8000 S-38A 14-2 NC8005 S-38A 14-3 NC8019 S-38A 14-4 NC8020 S-38A 14-5 NC8021 S-38A/S-38AH 14-6 NC8022 S-38A 14-7 NC8043 S-38A 14-10 NC8044 S-38B 114-1 NC9753 S-38B 114-2 NC9775 S-38B 114-3 NC9776 S-38B 114-4 NC9105 S-38B 114-5 NC9106 S-38B 114-6 NC9107 S-38B/S-38B Special 114-7 NC9143 S-38B 114-8 NC9144 S-38B 114-9R NC9137 S-38B 114-10 NC9151 S-38B 114-11 NC9138 S-38B/S-38C 114-13 NC9139 S-38C 114-14 NC9140 S-38B 114-16 NC196H S-38B 114-18 NC158H S-38B 114-19 NC159H S-38B/S-38C 114-20 NC160H S-38B 214-1 NC197H S-38B 214-2 NC198H S-38B/S-38C 214-3 NC199H S-38B 214-4 NC73K S-38B 214-5 NC74K S-38B 214-6 NC75K S-38C 214-7 NC111M S-38C 214-8 NC112M S-38B 214-10 NC113M S-38B 214-12 NC141M S-38B 214-13 NC142M S-38B 214-14 NC143M S-38B 214-15 NC144M S-38B 214-16 NC145M S-38B 214-17 NC146M S-38B 214-18 NC300N S-38B 214-19 NC301N S-38B 214-20 NC302N S-38B 314-1 NC943M S-38B 314-2 NC944M S-38B 314-3 NC945M S-38B 314-4 NC946M S-38B 314-5 NC1V S-38B 314-6 NC2V S-38B 314-7 NC3V S-38C 314-8 NC4V S-38B 314-9 NC5V S-38V 314-11 NC7V S-38C 314-12 NC6V Carnauba S-38C 314-14 NC10V S-38B 314-15 NC11V S-38B 314-19 NC15V, G-ABYS Blue Falcon S-38BH 314-20 NC16V S-38B 414-1 NC303N S-38B 414-2 NC304N S-38C 414-3 NC305N S-38B 414-4 NC306N S-38B 414-5 NC307N S-38B 414-6 NC308N S-38B 414-7 NC309N S-38BH 414-8 NC17V S-38B 414-9 NC18V S-38B 414-10 NC19V S-38B 414-11 NC20V S-38B 414-12 NC21V S-38BT 414-13 NC22V S-38B 414-14 NC23V S-38BL 414-15 NC24V S-38B/2-38BH 414-16 NC25V S-38C 414-17 NC26V S-38C 414-19 NC28V S-38BS 414-20 NC29V Osa's Ark S-38B/S-38BH 514-4 NC40V

S-38 Production by Model

Model        Quantity
S-38A              9
S-38AH             1
S-38B             55
S-38BH             4
S-38BL             1
S-38BT             1
S-38BS             1
S-38B Special      1
S-38C             12
S-38V              1

Total Airplanes Built: 79 (Note: reconfigured airplanes are counted only once.)

Selected Individual Histories

NC29V "Osa's Ark"

Martin and Osa Johnson, a couple famous in their day for their safari's and related lectures, books and films, purchased an S-38 and an S-39 in December of 1932 for a total of $20,000. They got quite a deal as that was far below market price. The Johnsons had most of the rear cabin seats removed and two light framed sleeping bunks installed along with a washroom and a two burner gasoline stove. The airplane which featured a distinctive zebra stripe paint scheme was loaded onto the ship 'City of New York' and shipped to Cape Town (South Africa) arriving in January 1933. Their safari took a meandering route through Africa, covering 4,400 miles before arriving in Nairobi. Along the way they circled Mount Kilimanjaro and filmed wildlife from the air. Upon reaching Nairobi, Osa was in poor health and the safari was quickly wrapped up. The S-38 carried them onward to England and from their was shipped back to the states.

After returning to America, Martin used to S-38 to ship an elephant from New York to St.Louis. The S-38 was then put in storage and eventually resold. For more information on the Johnson's visit the Safari Museum's website. A selection of their views of Africa from above as well as footage of their Sikorsky's can be seen in the feature film 'Baboona' which is available from the Safari Museum's online bookshop.

NC15V/G-ABYS "Blue Falcon"

Francis Francis, the Standard Oil heir first flew NC15V on 13 February 1932 in North Palm Beach. After a "grand tour" of the North American continent, NC15V was hoisted onto the s/s "Berengeria" (Cunard Line), on 25 May 1932, to cross the Atlantic.

On 4 June and 8 June 1932, NC15V flew at Le Bourget before leaving for a circuitous route to Geneva.

Francis Francis arrived in Heston in NC15V on 1 August 1932 and left on 3 August for Croydon in G-ABYS on 3 August 1932. The Francis family has not heard that he had 2 of these aircraft, so it is likely that the registration was changed at that time to G-ABYS. Francis' last surviving log Book shows a flight in G-ABYS on 10 August 1935, at which point his flying-hours in the S-38 totalled 987.40.


The Southern Sugar Company which owned an enormous sugar cane plantation around on the southern side of Lake Okeechobee (Florida) purchased NC199H in 1928. The Southern Sugar Company went bankrupt in 1929 and NC199H was aquired by a private party in Mukwanago (WI). In 1932, C.H. Wescoat purchased NC199H and set up The Royale Line. The Royale Line was a flying boat service that was set up in 1932 to ferry passengers between Houghton and Lake Superior's Isle Royale. The final disposition of NC199H is unknown.

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