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MARTIN MARS

The Martin Mars was designed for a need that evaporated before it went into service.The Martin Mars was designed for a need that evaporated before it went into service. That need was as a wartime long-range patrol airplane. After the prototype flew, the U.S. Navy ordered 20 examples, but before they were produced the War had ended, and the order was reduced to only five. By the time they were delivered, patrolling was not a priority, and the airplanes were soon converted to transports capable of carrying over three hundred passengers. They were seen after the War taking off and landing on the San Francisco Bay enroute to and from Hawaii. When they were sold, there were four examples left, and they were all sold to a company in Canada to be converted to huge water dropping fire bombers. One was destroyed in an accident, and another was destroyed in a windstorm; the other two still survive. They are both working for a living in Sproat Lake, British Columbia, Canada, as they have been for over forty years, protecting Western Canada’s valuable lumber industry from forest fires.

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