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  • Cool Retrotech

    Posted by David Foster on November 2nd, 2009 (All posts by )

    I was vaguely aware of the Martin Mars, a very large seaplane built in the 1940s for the U.S. Navy…but had no idea that any of these airplanes were still flying in commercial service.

    Turns out that two of these planes–the Hawaii Mars and the Philippine Mars–are in regular use as water bombers for forest-fire fighting. Tailspin Tom has a great set of photographs.

    Via Neptunus Lex, who notes that the Mars is less a flying boat than a flying ship.


    4 Responses to “Cool Retrotech”

    1. Doug Says:

      Even more impressive when you note that these planes were designed without the ubiquitous computer program aids available today. This was all done with slide rules and pencil on paper.

    2. Lexington Green Says:

      Nice to see these birds still working for a living, not just showing up at airshows.

    3. Jonathan Says:

      Very impressive.

    4. jsb Says:

      On that wiki page, you can see the Caroline Mars parked in the St. John’s River. Too cool.