Re: Flying Boats

From: (Phil Budne)
Organization: Computer Science Department, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
Date:         01 May 96 11:19:58 
References:   1 2 3 4
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

In article <>,
Tom Speer  <> 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: (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$>,
Paul Tomblin <> 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
>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: (Phil Budne)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: C Class Flying Boats -- Martin Mars
Date: 1 Mar 1995 07:56:04 GMT

In article <>, Jim Richardson <> wrote:
> (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

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