Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)
Vucano Market - US Navy Blue Angels Towels (Officially Licensed)

Martin Mars Stars In AirVenture Lineup, Recovers From Damage

posted in: Airshows, Warbirds | 2

Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

The famous Martin Mars water bomber was one of the main attractions at EAA AirVenture this year, but it did not survive the show unscathed. The aircraft, which performed in the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday airshows, suffered a bird strike to one of its four engines on Friday. In the ensuing landing on Lake Winnebago, it hit a rock that tore a basketball-sized hole in the flying boat’s hull. The damage forced the plane to miss its planned Saturday airshow appearance, but after extensive pumping and some repair work, it was able to fly home and did so on Tuesday, August 2nd.

Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016
Pumping underway to keep the Martin Mars afloat

The “Hawaii Mars II”, the aircraft showcased at AirVenture, is the lone flying example remaining of the type. Only seven aircraft were built in the 1930’s and 1940’s, with with most destroyed or scrapped long ago. She is owned by Coulson Flying Tankers in British Columbia, and has been used to fight wild fires in the region. A second intact Mars, named “Phillipine Mars”, is also owned by Coulson but does not currently fly. Phillipine Mars is painted in the colors she wore during her service in the US Navy as a long range patrol aircraft. There was previously a deal in place to send her to the National Museum of Naval Aviation, but it fell through and Coulson Flying Tankers is currently seeking a buyer for both aircraft as they are no longer being tasked with firefighting duties.

Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016Martin Mars - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

You can check out the stunning performance of the Martin Mars during AirVenture in our video:

Last Surviving Martin Mars – World’s Largest Flying Seaplane – To Appear At EAA AirVenture 2016

posted in: Airshows, Miscellaneous, Warbirds | 1
Martin Mars - EAA Airventure 2016
Photo source: EAA

EAA recently announced that this year, the Martin JRM Mars water bomber will appear for the first time at EAA AirVenture. It will perform during the airshow several times throughout the week and will be parked near the seaplane base for up-close spectator viewing. The aircraft is unable to actually land at Wittman Regional Airport because it is a true flying boat, and will land on Lake Winnebago instead. The Martin Mars is the largest operational seaplane ever made. The largest seaplane of all time, the Spruce Goose, only performed one flight.

Martin Mars - EAA Airventure 2016
Photo source: EAA

The Martin Mars first flew in June of 1942, and entered service with the US Navy as a long-range transport aircraft. Only six were built. During World War II they acted as troop transport aircraft, shuttling soldiers across the Pacific. After the war it was used as a water bomber, fighting forest fires in the Western United States. It is capable of carrying 7,200 gallons of water and ingesting one ton of water per second when it skims over water.

Part of what makes EAA AirVenture so special is its ability to bring in unique aircraft every single year. EAA’s Vice President of Communities and Member Programs, Rick Larson, stated, “There aren’t many airplanes that have never been to Oshkosh, but this is one of them, so this is both literally and figuratively a huge addition to this year’s lineup”. The Martin Mars is, literally, the world’s largest warbird.

EAA Airventure Sea Plane Base - Patrick Barron
EAA AirVenture Sea Plane Base

Shuttle buses to the seaplane base are available from inside the show grounds.

What do you think? Are you excited to see the Martin Mars make its first ever appearance at EAA AirVenture? Let us know what you think in the comments!