American Export Airlines  Vought-Sikorsky VS-44A Excaliber   NX41880     (c/n 4401)


                                American Export Airlines was incorporated in April of 1937 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the
                                American Export Lines shipping concern.   Transatlantic surveys were done with a Consolidated
                                PBY-5 flying boat and in 1939 the line ordered three Vought-Sikorsky VS-44A 'boats. The first
                                of these is seen above, named "Excaliber", a name which later became the generic name for the
                                type.  That same year (1939) the line made application to the C.A.B. for routes across the Atlantic
                                from the U.S. to the U.K., France and Portugal (causing, no doubt, apoplexy on the part of Pan
                                American's president Juan Trippe who always considered his line America's "Chosen Instrument"
                                as far as international routes were concerned).   Nevertheless, on 15 July 1940, and despite Trippe's
                                protestations, President Roosevelt gave his approval to American Export for a seven year temporary
                                certificate to serve Lisbon from its base at New York's La Guardia Flying Boat dock. Later services
                                were also flown to Foynes, Ireland.  These operations ceased at the end of 1944 when AEA started
                                operations for Air Transport Command flying C-54s (mainly from the US to North Africa).