Boeing's Model 314-A Clipper was the culmination of a series of PanAm Clipper flying-boat international transports. They turned out to be the final word in flying-boat transports, since the range and capacity of land-based planes, with their inherently greater flexibility in destinations, had grown so dramatically during the course of World War II. The Martin JRM Mars and Consolidated PB2Y Coronado planes had some success as cargo carriers for the US Navy but were never picked up as passenger transports.

Generically named in honor of the British tea clippers, fastest sea transport of their times, the Clippers, both the Boeing planes and their predecessors, offered rapid, luxurious overseas transport in the years before and during World War II.