Re: Flying Boats

From:         budd@csa.bu.edu (Phil Budne)
Organization: Computer Science Department, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Date:         01 May 96 11:19:58 
References:   1 2 3 4
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In article <airliners.1996.541@ohare.chicago.com>,
Tom Speer  <speer%do.edw@mhs.elan.af.mil> wrote:
>Walter E. Shepherd wrote:
>>
>>...  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. ....
>
>I believe that the Smithsonian Air and Space magazine had an article in
>the last year or two about a MARS flying boat that is doing fire service
>duty in the US.  I think that would qualify as one of the great ones.

Here is my re-re-posting about the A&S article;

From: budd@csa.bu.edu (Phil Budne)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.misc,rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: Mars Water Bombers (was Re: Fire Bombers, Minden Nevada)
Followup-To: rec.aviation.misc
Date: 16 May 1995 14:10:15 GMT
Organization: Computer Science Department, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA

In article <3ot7fv$ped@thetimes.pixel.kodak.com>,
Paul Tomblin <tomblin@ekfido.kodak.com> wrote:
>All this talk of fire bombers got me thinking.  I saw the Mars sitting out
>there on Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island, and that is one HUGE mother of a
>plane.
>
>Can anybody post a brief summary history of the plane, like what is was built
>for and whether it ever saw service as anything other than a water bomber?

Here is something I posted in March;

From: budd@cs.bu.edu (Phil Budne)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: C Class Flying Boats -- Martin Mars
Date: 1 Mar 1995 07:56:04 GMT

In article <D4nDBK.Jyr@eskimo.com>, Jim Richardson <warlock@eskimo.com> wrote:
>pierre@tin-fish.dircon.co.uk (Pierre Chandless) writes:
>
>>I'm doing some research into various "classic" aircraft & I am tring to
>>find out if there are any C Class flying boats (Sunderlands, Shetlands,
>>Empire Class etc.) still around. If there are are there any that are still
>>airworthy? I heard that there was one in New Zealand in the 70's and there
>>are rumours of one in the Virgin Islands in the 60's.
>
>My understanding is that there are some Sunderlands? flying out of
>Victoria as flying firetankers, they can load up by skimming along a
>lake, and carry a *lot* of water, but their maintenance costs are
>incredible and they may be phased out soon. This is from memory from a
>wings (I think) episode a few months back, so caveat emptor.

The Octover/November 1993 Smithsonian Air&Space article covers the 2
BIG red Martin Mars water bombers flown in the Vancouver Island area.
It has lots of color photos of the planes flying, moored, and on the
ground.

Original designation was XPB2M-1, designed as a long-range patrol
bomber, went into service in 1943 as a general-purpose transport.
There were 6 built, one damaged in a 1945 test flight, one burned off
Honolulu in 1950. The remaining 4 (named Marianas, Philippine, Hawaii,
and Caroline Mars) were retired by the Navy in 1956, and purchased for
firefighting in 1959.  The Marianas Mars was lost in 1961 fighting a
fire, and the Caroline Mars was wrecked by a storm.

Specs from the article text;
	Length: 120ft (two decks)
	Wingspan: 200ft
	Beam: 13.5ft
	Power: 4 2,500HP Wright Cyclones w/ 15ft 4-blade props
	Capacity: 300+ people or 68,195 lbs cargo (or 7,200 gallons of water)
	Weight: 162,000lbs (loaded with water?)
	Height: 44ft (tail above water line)

The largest problem mentioned in the article was getting props, the
same type is used by 749 Connies.  They also fly Grumman Geese as lead
aircraft.