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Sikorsky S-37


Despite the S-35 tragedy, Capt. Rene Fonck decided to try again, in a new Sikorsky aircraft, the S-37. Powered by two 500hp Jupiters, it cruised at 190km/h and had a designed range of over 6400km, which would have taken it to Paris with fuel to spare.

Tests at progressively increased loads included the overload weight needed for the transatlantic flight, but the planned attempt was abandoned after the Orteig prize had been won by Charles Lindbergh.

The S-37 was sold by Fonck's sponsors to American International Airways of Argentina as the Southern Star airliner for twenty passengers. During its delivery flight, begun on 30 June 1929, it became the first commercial transport to cross the 5700m Andes mountains, carrying eight people and a total useful load of 2300kg. Further flights over the Andes, between Buenos Aires and Santiago, became routine for several years.



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