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.
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.
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!