I just learned a lot about this enormous WW2 Navy airplane, it's a Martin Mars

found on http://steampunkvehicles.tumblr.com/post/71170836271/http-www-jalopyjournal-com

a Martin JRM Mars (built by the Glenn L. Martin Company):
 it is a large, four-engined cargo transport seaplane originally designed and built in limited numbers for the U.S. Navy during the World War II era. It was the largest Allied flying boat to enter production, although only seven were built.
The United States Navy contracted the development of the XPB2M-1 Mars in 1938 as a long range ocean patrol flying boat, which later entered production as the JRM Mars long range transport. By the small number on the tail, that is "Hawaii Mars I" - JRM-1 - first flown on 21 July 1945 and delivered to the United States Navy. It sank on 5 August 1945 in the Chesapeake Bay and was disposed as scrap.

Named the Marianas Mars, Philippine Mars, Marshall Mars, Caroline Mars, and a second Hawaii Mars, the five production Mars aircraft entered service ferrying cargo to Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.

 On 4 March 1949, the Caroline Mars set a new world passenger load record by carrying 269 people from San Diego to Alameda, CA. The remaining "Big Four" flew record amounts of Naval cargo on the San Francisco-Honolulu route efficiently until 1956, when they were beached at NAS Alameda.

In 1959, the remaining Mars aircraft were to be sold for scrap, but a Canadian company, Forest Industries Flying Tankers, was formed and bid for the four aircraft and a large spares holding. The company represented a consortium of British Columbia forest companies

The Marianas Mars crashed near Northwest Bay, British Columbia, on 23 June 1961 during firefighting operations; all four crew members were lost. Just over a year later, on 12 October 1962, the Caroline Mars was destroyed by Typhoon Freda while parked onshore.

The Hawaii Mars and Philippine Mars had their conversions to water bombers accelerated and entered service in 1963

On 23 August 2012, the Coulson Group of Port Alberni, British Columbia announced that the Philippine Mars, due to its lack of use for five years, will be retired and flown to the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida to become a static exhibit. The aircraft was repainted to its original U.S. Navy colors and is expected to be delivered to the museum in July 2013

images and info from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_JRM_Mars

In the Movie The A-Team, the A-Team fly out of Germany with a Martin Mars with the red-white Coulson Flying Tankers livery.


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