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World Airliners 1913 to 1939

A brief description & profiles or photos of notable Airliner Aircraft amalgamated from web
sources. Original article from

1913 to 1930

Benoist XIV

1913 December 31
The first airliner in the World. In 1914, the
St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat line carried
passengers between Tampa and St.
Petersburg, Florida, using a Benoist flying
boat. The service was quite successful but
in service for only a few months.

De Havilland DH-16

1919 The first British airliner. Flew in

briefly Europe and South America.

Farman F-60 Goliath

1919 The first French airliner. Flew with

European airlines in the 1920s.

Fokker F.II

1919 The first airliner of Fokker. Flew in

Western Europe in 1920s - 1930s.

Handley Page W.8 (H.P.18)

1919 The popular British airliner of 1920s.

Flew in Europe.

Junkers F-13

1919 The most popular airliner of 1920s.

The first passenger plane which flew

Lawson C-2 Airliner
1919 Built for the Lawson Transportation
Company, Milwaukee Wisconsin, USA. Totally
enclosed large aircraft, 27 Passengers & 2
crew. Not commercially accepted.

Vickers 66 Vimi Commercial

1919 The first twin-engined British airliner.

Flew in Europe, USSR and China.

Blériot-Spad 33

1920 The popular French airliner of

1920s. Flew in Europe.

Fokker F.III

1920 The popular Dutch airliner of 1920s.

Flew in Europe, USSR and USA.

De Havilland D.H.34

1922 The British airliner of 1920s. Flew in


Supermarine Sea Eagle

1923 The British 6-seats amphibian. Flew

across English channel in 1920s

Alexandrov - Kalinin AK-1

1924 The first Soviet airliner. It worked on

the Moscow - Nizny, Novgorod - Kazan
routes during the summer of 1924.

Fokker F.VII (1m)

1924 Popular airliner by Fokker company

during the 1920s - 1930s

Handley Page W.8e/f Hamilton

1924 The British airliner of European

routes during the 1920s. It also opened
the first airline route in the Belgian Congo.

Junkers G-23/G-24

1924 The first all-metal trimotor airliner in

the World.

Short Calcutta

1924 Airline: Imperial Airways Country:

UK, 3 Bristol Jupiter XIF radial engines,4
to 5 crew, 15 passengers, 97 mph cruise

Boeing Model 40

1925 The first airliner of Boeing Company

Fokker F.VII/3m

1925 Most popular pre-war (WW2) airliner

by Fokker. It remained in service up to the
end of 1940s

Kalinin K-1

1925 The first airliner of K.A. Kalinin.

Polikarpov PM-1 (P-1)

1925 The first Soviet international airliner.

Savoia-Marchetti S.55Ñ/P

1925 The popular Italian passenger flying

boat of the 1920s.

Armstrong Whitworth AW 154 Argosy

1926 The main airliner of Imperial Airways

on European routes in second half of

De Havilland D.H.66 Hercules

1926 The main Imperial Airways airliner

used in Eastern long-haul routes during
the second half of the 1920s.

Ford 4-AT Trimotor

1926 The first American all-metal multi-

engine airliner. In service up to 1973.

Junkers G31
Airline: Guinea Airways Country:
Germany. All-metal trimotor of second half
of the 1920s. 3 Junkers L.5 engines
110 mph cruise
Span 99 feet
Length 53 feet

Lioré et Olivier LeO-21

1926 One of most comfortable airliners of

the 1920s. Was used on the Paris -
London route.

Rohrbach Ro VIII Roland

1926 One of most successful German all-

metal trimotor airliners of the 1920s.

Fokker F.VIII

1927 Airline: KLM Country: Holland

The twin engine pre WW2 production
airliner of Fokker. 15 passengers, 2 Pratt
& Whitney Wasp engines,105 mph cruise
Span 75 feet
Length 57 feet

Lockheed Vega

1927 The fastest airliner during the late


Rohrbach Ro V Rocco

1927 All-metal flying boat, which was

briefly used on the Germany - Northern
Europe route.

Boeing Model 80

1928 The first multi-engine airliner of

Boeing. The first airliner with stewardess

Consolidated Model 16 Commodore

1928 Extensively used by Pan Am

Airways on Caribbean over ocean routes
from 1929-1935. 14 to 33 passengers,
three crew, Two Pratt & Whitney R-1860
Hornet B radial engines, cruise 108 mph,
range 100 miles

Ford 5-AT Trimotor

1928 The standard US long-range airliner

from the end of the 1920s to the beginning
of the 1930s.

Kalinin K-4

1928 The first soviet production airliner.

Short S.8 Calcutta

1928 The first British airliner with an all-

metal fuselage.

Sikorsky S-38

1928 The first commercially successful

airliner of Igor Sikorsky.

Rohrbach Ro X Romar

1928 The first attempt to build a

Transatlantic airliner.

Curtiss Model 18/CO Condor

1929 The first airliner of Glenn Curtiss.

This passenger plane had lowest noise in
passenger cabin. Last aircraft ever flown
by Glenn Curtiss

Junkers G-38
1929 Airline: Deutsche Luft Hansa
Country: Germany
34 passengers, 4 Junkers Jumo engines
129 mph cruise
Span 144 feet
Length 75 feet

Latécoère Laté 28

1929 It worked the route from France to

West Africa and in South America.

Tupolev ANT-9 (Trimotor)

1929 The first Soviet all-metal airliner. The

first Soviet exported airliner.

Westland IV Wessex

1929 British short haul airliner of the

1930s. The first multi-engine airliner in

1931 to 1939

By 1930 airlines like Lufthansa, QANTAS, SWISSAIR, VARIG, VASP, UNITED,

AMERICAN, TWA, SABENA, KLM and Imperial Airways (later BOAC) were flying across
a wide network of air-routes with regular services across the world.

The early post-Great War aircraft had been replaced with multi-engined aircraft specially
designed for airline service and carrying many tens of passengers per flight.

The first modern-looking sleek metal airliners also came into service in the 1930s.
Arguably the most important airliner that came from pre-World War Two designers was
the Douglas DC-3.

Europe introduced several important new airliners in 1938/39, notably the Savoia-
Marchetti 73/83 airliners. Were it not for the war these planes would most likely have
become commonly used by European airlines. Due to the war the post-war airliner that
took the airline market was to be American-made.

The nature of airline operations showed hopeful signs of long-haul possibilities in the
1930s, when Pan American Airways and Imperial Airways competed in trans-oceanic
services using large flying boat airliners. This would give important experience for the
wartime operations over the Atlantic and for post-war airline operations.

Handley Page HP.42 Heracles

1931 Airline: Imperial Airways Country: UK

38 passengers, 4 engines, 100 mph cruise
Span 130 feet
Length 90 feet
The sedate H.P. 42 had a perfect safety
record and no accidents.

Lockheed Model 9 Orion

1931 Airline: Swissair

6 passengers, 1 engine
200 mph cruise

Sikorsky S-40

1931 Airline: Pan American Airways

System Country: USA
40 passengers, 4 Pratt & Whitney Hornet
engines, 117 mph cruise
Span 114 feet
Length 77 feet

Boeing 247D

1932 Airline: United Air Lines Country: USA

10 passengers, 2 Pratt & Whitney 1340
engines,160 mph cruise
Span 74 feet
Length 54 feet

Fokker F.22

1932 Country: Holland

22 passengers, 2 Pratt & Whitney Wasp
engines, 140 mph cruise
Span 99 feet
Length 70 feet

Junkers Ju-52\3m

1932 Airline: MALERT Hungarian Airlines

Country: Germany
15 passengers, 3 BMW 132h engines
125 mph cruise
Span 96 feet
Length 62 feet
The Ju-52/3m was widely used in the 1930s
by world airlines

Curtiss Wright Condor II

1933 Airline: American Airways Country:

USA ,15 passengers, 2 Wright Cyclone
1820 engines,167 mph cruise
Span 82 feet
Length 49 feet

De Havilland D.H.84 Dragon

1933 Airline: Railway Air Services G-ACPX

at Croydon Country: UK, 6 passengers
2 d.h. Gipsy Major engines, 114 mph cruise
Span 47 feet
Length 35 feet

Douglas DC-1

1933 Airline: TWA (Only one experimental

DC-1 was produced) Country: USA
12 passengers, 2 Wright 1820 engines
170 mph cruise
There was only one DC-1 - and
experimental plane flown on passenger
services and used to perfect the DC-2.

Fokker F.20

1933 Airline: KLM Country: Holland

12 passengers, 3 Wright Cyclone R1820
engines, 171 mph cruise
Span 90feet
Length 55feet

Martin M-130

1933 Airline: Pan American Airways

System Country: USA, 48 passengers
4 P&W Twin Wasp engines, 163 mph cruise
Span 130 feet
Length 91 feet

Wibault - Penhoët 282

1933 Airline: Air France Country: France

10 passengers, 3 G-R-K-7 engines
150 mph cruise
Span 74 feet
Length 56 feet

Armstrong Whitworth Aw.15 Atalanta

1934 Airline: Imperial Airways Country: UK

17 passengers, 4 A-S Serval engines
125 mph cruise
Span 90 feet
Length 71 feet

Barkley Grow T8P1

1934 Airline: Mackenzie Air Services

Country: Canada, 6 passengers
2 Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior engines
204 mph cruise
Span 52 feet
Length 37 feet

De Havilland D.H.86 Express 'Jupiter'

1934 Airline: Railway Air Services Country:

UK, 12 passengers, 4 Gipsy Six engines
145 mph cruise
Span 64 feet
Length 46 feet

De Havilland D.H.89 Rapide

1934 Airline: British European Airways -

BEA Country: UK, 8 passengers, 2 d.h.
Gipsy 6 engines, 132 mph cruise
Span 48 feet
Length 34 feet

Douglas DC-2

1934 Airline: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Country: USA, 14 passengers, 2 Wright
1820 engines, 170 mph cruise
Span 85 feet
Length 62 feet

Fokker F.36

1934 Country: Holland, 32 passengers

4 Wright Cyclone engines,142 mph cruise
Span 108 feet
Length 79 feet

Junkers Ju-86

1934 Airline: South African Airways

Country: Germany
10 passengers, 2 BMW 132d engines
200 mph cruise
Span 74 feet
Length 57 feet

Lockheed L.10 Electra

1934 Airline: British Airways Ltd Country:

8 passengers, 2 Pratt & Whitney R.985
engines,180 mph cruise
Span 55 feet
Length 39 feet

Savoia-Marchetti S.M.73

1934 Airline: SABENA Country: Italy

18 passengers, 3 Piaggio Stella 9 RC
engines, 174 mph cruise
Span 79 feet
Length 57 feet

Short L.17 Scylla

1934 Airline: Imperial Airways

39 passengers, Crew: 4, Power Plant: Four
555 h.p. Bristol Jupiter, Weight (All-Up):
32,000 lb, Max Speed: 137 m.p.h.
Range: 500 miles
Span: 113 ft 0 in
Length: 83 ft 10 in

Sikorsky S-42

1934 Airline: Pan American Airways

System Country: USA
37 passengers, 4 Pratt &Whitney Hornet
engines, 160 mph cruise
Span 118 feet
Length 68 feet

Wibault - Penhoët 283

1934 Airline: Air France Country: France

10 passengers, 3 G-R-K engines

Dewoitine 338

1935 Airline: Air France 24 passengers

3 Hispano-Suiza 9V engines, 174 mph
Span 96 feet
Length 73 feet

Potez 62

1935 Airline: Air France Country: France

14 passengers, 2 G-R Kirs engines
174 mph cruise
Span 74 feet
Length 57 feet

Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota

1936 Photo: prototype Douglas DC-3

NC3000, 21 seats, 2 Wright 1820-G2
engines, 170 mph cruise

Farman 2200

1936 Airline: Air France mail Country:

France, Mail only, 4 Hispano-Suiza 12 Lbr
engines, 130 mph cruise
Span 118 feet
Length 69 feet

Short S23 Empire Boat
1936 Airline: Imperial Airways
'Canopus' Country: UK
24 passengers, 4 Bristol Pegasus
164 mph cruise
Span 114 feet
Length 88 feet
The Empire boat was used on the
“horseshoe” route by Imperial and
Qantas. BOAC used them in the war in

Bloch 120

1937 Airline: Regie Melgache Country:

France, 10 passengers, 3 Lorraine
Algol engines, 124 mph cruise
Span 67 feet
Length 51 feet

Focke-Wulfe 200 Condor

1937 Airline: DDL Det Danske

Luftfartselskab Country: Germany
26 passengers, 4 BMW 132G engines
170 mph cruise
Span 108 feet
Length 78 feet

Junkers Ju-90

1937 Airline: Lufthansa Country:

40 passengers, 4 BMW 132h engines
160 mph cruise
Span 115 feet
Length 86 feet

Lockheed L.14

1937 Airline: British Airways Ltd

Country: USA, 12 passengers, 2 Pratt
& Whitney Hornet engines or Wright
Cyclone engines
200 mph cruise
Span 65 feet
Length 44 feet
The Lockheed Hudson maritime aircraft
came from the L.14

Nakajima P-2 AT

1937 Airline: NKKK (now Japan Air

10 passengers, 2 Nakajima Kotobuti 2B
engines, 217 mph cruise
Span 65 feet
Length 50 feet

Armstrong Whitworth Aw.27 Ensign

1938 Airline: Imperial Airways Country:

40 passengers, 4 A-S Tiger engines
170 mph cruise
Span 123 feet
Length 114 feet

Bloch 220

1938 Airline: Air France Country:

16 passengers, 2 GR. 14N.16 engines
186 mph cruise
Span 75 feet
Length 64 feet

De Havilland D.H.91 Albatross

1938 Airline: Imperial Airways Country:

22 passengers, 4 d.h. Gipsy 12 engines
210 mph cruise
Span 105 feet
Length 71 feet

Savoia-Marchetti S.M.83

1938 Airline: Linee Aeree

Transcontinentali Italiane - LATI
Country: Italy
10 passengers, 3 Alfa-Romeo 126
RC34 engines, 235 mph cruise
Span 66 feet
Length 53 feet

Boeing 314 Clipper

1939 Airline: Pan American Airways

System Country: USA, 74 passengers,
4 Wright Cyclone engines, 165 mph
Span 152 feet
Length 106 feet