View Full Version : Martin Mars

14th Sep 2013, 10:55

I see on the Fire Aviation website that the last flying Mars has been retired as Coulson have lost the B.C. contract for next year.
Any further news on this?
Also as I am typing this in Newton Abbot, Devon, a Catalina has just flown over our bungalow!



joy ride
14th Sep 2013, 17:44
Perhaps the same Catalina (white, smoky bubbles) that flew over me in S E London a couple of weeks ago on its flight around Britain.

15th Sep 2013, 03:22
Hawai'i Mars has been retired as you have stated, because of the loss of the BC contract. I haven't heard just what will happen to it. Coulson's have acquired a Lockheed C-130J that they will be using next season. Philippine Mars has been painted blue and was being made ready to be flown to the US Navy Museum in Florida, but I've heard there is a fly in the ointment and the powers that be at the museum may have gotten cold feet on the deal.


15th Sep 2013, 22:42
Let's hope that they can be preserved at least.

Martin Mars water bomber grounded after 53 years in B.C. - Times Colonist (http://www.timescolonist.com/martin-mars-water-bomber-grounded-after-53-years-in-b-c-1.624458)

17th Sep 2013, 12:26
So, that's it - no more Big Boats left flying. (Sorry, the Catalina is an amphibian, albeit an excellent one, not a Flying Boat.)

It brings a tear to the eye to think that an era has really ended.

17th Sep 2013, 13:01
Thought I might correct you with the Shin Meiwa, but you win! Anyway, worth looking at these photos of Japanese amphibians.

The Shin Meiwa PS-1 / US-1 / US-2 & Harbin SH-5 Flying Boats (http://www.airvectors.net/avps1.html)

17th Sep 2013, 14:42
Thought I might correct you with the Shin Meiwa, but you win!A flying boat is any aircraft with a hull that allows it to land on water, and can be amphibious (like the US-1) or non-amphibious (like the Mars).

18th Sep 2013, 10:37
I wonder if Coulson's had any inkling that they would'nt get the contact plus its a great shame that there were no special celebrations to end such a long career of this unique aircraft.

18th Sep 2013, 12:49

Nice photos of a drop near 2 cruise ships

20th Sep 2013, 14:56
Last year, whilst on holiday on Vancouver island, I happened to pass Coulson's base. A short detour off the main rod, and there they sat: one on the ramp and the other afloat in the middle of the lake. To have seen the last two survivors was a highlight of the holiday,

Coulson used to allow site visits until some morons tried to trash the aircraft. There was a plan to preserve one aircraft on the island, which apparently was superseded when the US Navy collection stepped in. Now, from an earlier post, it seems that this plan is doubtful. Hopefully they may go back to plan one again?

I'll dig in my files and see if I can add a picture over the weekend.

India Four Two
20th Sep 2013, 17:04
Many, many years ago, early in my oil-industry career, I was on a seismic vessel in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, south of Vancouver Island, when I saw a four-engined, water-bomber flying-boat attacking a fire near Port Renfrew.

My initial thought was "A Sunderland! Surely not?" Then I noted the tall fin and the V-struts on the floats and vaguely remembered the Martin Mars from a WWII aircraft recognition book that I acquired in my youth. I found it hard to believe.

Fast forward until my son was at U. Vic. and he called me one day, after he had driven out to the suburbs of Victoria to see a Mars fighting a fire. "Dad," he said, "listen to this. It's a Mars. I can't believe how big it is!"

The Mars has a 200' wingspan - that's 4' more than a 747-100!

21st Sep 2013, 07:31
This video on the bottom of this page (http://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/346633-flying-boats-2.html) has some good coverage of the Mars.

1st Oct 2013, 13:05

A flying boat is any aircraft with a hull that allows it to land on water, and can be amphibious (like the US-1) or non-amphibious (like the Mars).

I accept your "correction". Howover, my point was that there are amphibious flying boats still in the air but, as far as I am aware, there are no longer any non amphibious ones still flying. (I have had two weekis of not looking at a computer, so have only just seen your comment).

13th Oct 2013, 05:15
When I first arrived at North Island NAS many years ago it was getting late in the month and it didn't appear that I would get my minimum flight time to collect flight pay so the CO suggested that I jump on one of the very last flights of the Mars. I was primarily rotor wing and did't know a Mars from a door stop so I said "sure". I figured a 4 hour flight along the Mexican coast would be pretty cool. We departed around 6 am, were served breakfast in the galley, served lunch in the galley, served dinner in the galley, lumbered on and on down the coast and eventually returned for an dawn landing. For those who don't know their history, there were originally only 6 of them. One was destroyed during test, one was destroyed in a hurricane, one was stripped out for parts and the rest including all of the spares went to the Canadians who got them for a bargain as I understand. Forty years later I was working for underwriters who insured Colson and had a chance to re-visit the old bird....Hawaii Mars at their facility in BC. The original navigators desk with the star fixes printed on it was still in the aircraft. These aircraft are truely treasures and deserve to be preserved somewhere accessible to the public for viewing.

14th Mar 2014, 18:49
Hi all,
I was exceptionally fortunate to witness the last two flights of Hawaii Mars and her beaching last August/September. Extremely sad but I had a good view of the last flight and the beaching from a boat I hired! It was my fourth visit and first to see one fly!
Hopefully a miracle might occur but sadly unlikely.