Flying Boats

From:         "Walter E. Shepherd" <walter.e.shepherd@aero.org>
Organization: The Aerospace Corporation
Date:         12 Apr 96 02:11:25 
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I have this unexplained love affair with flying boats... they were
before my time, but I'd give my right arm to retrace the route of the
China Clipper in a reasonable facsimile to a Martin 134.  I've devoured
most books on the subject and believe that the really great ones (Martin
134 and Boeing 314's) are all long gone.  Strangely, I have overlooked
the obvious... Empire Airways of the UK... until last nite on Discovery
Channel.  They broadcast a flight retracing the Route of the Empire
Flying Boats from Cairo, down the Nile and along the East African coast
to South Africa.  Unfortunately they did it in a PBY Catalina (don't get
me wrong... I admire the PBY... I used to work where they came off the
line... I think they are the prettiest ugly airplane ever built... but
that old war horse is just that). It is also unfortunate that that route
is laced with civil wars... I'm not that desperate for a ride.
   Anyway I've two questions:
1. Are there any UK passenger flying boats still in airworthy condition?
If so, where?
2. Has anyone ever attempted to build a replica flying boat for the
purpose of revenue making specialty cruises?  If so, what happened?

Thanks to all who care about airplanes.