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Martin PBM Mariner

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One of the truly great flying boats of all time, the Martin PBM Mariner was produced in seaplane and amphibian versions. It was the most important naval aircraft in its class during World War II. Largely used as a replacement for the Consolidated PBY Catalina, which was perhaps the only better-known flying boat, the big, sturdy PBM Mariner served in every combat theatre. Many other countries used the Mariner well into the 1950s.

The Mariner was designed in 1937 when the US Navy wanted a new patrol flying boat. The big, gull-wing Mariner was sturdy and tough and featured weapons bays in its engine nacelles.

The pilots and crew of the Mariner had tremendous confidence in a ship that had been optimized to give them the strongest chance of surviving combat and getting home safely. There were numerous combat actions in which the PBM Mariner excelled, beginning on 30 June 1942, when a crew headed by Lieutenant Richard E. Schreder sank the German submarine U-158 near Bermuda. Exactly a dozen U-boats had been sent to the bottom of the sea by Mariners by the time the war ended.

In the Pacific, Mariners fought just about everywhere, but were particularly active at Saipan and in the liberation of the Philippines. In the post-war era, Mariners took part in atomic weapons tests in the Pacific and fought in the 1950-53 Korean War. Production of the Mariner ceased in 1949, but the aircraft remained a mainstay of the US Coast Guard for many years.


Martin PBM Mariner

Martin PBM Mariner US Navy patrol flying boat British's Martin PBM Mariner role as search and rescue British's Martin PBM Mariner search radar
Although the Mariner could reach an altitude of 6095 m (20,000 ft) patrols were normally flown at low level. Attacks on submarines were made at wave-top height using bombs and depth charges. Used in the search and rescue role after World War II, the Mariner served on into the 1950s with the US Coast Guard and US Navy. Radar allowed the Mariner to hunt for submarines and ships. Later it was useful in the search and rescue role, operating far out to sea.

Martin PBM Mariner (Technical Specification)
Role Seven or eight seat patrol flying boat
Manufacturer Martin
Maximum Speed 338 kmh (210 mph)
Maximum range 3,597 km (2,235 miles)
Ceiling 6,095 meters (20,000 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

15,017 kg (33,106 lbs)
26,253 kg (57,878 lbs)
Wing Area

35.97 meters (118 ft)
24.38 meters (80 ft)
8.23 meters (27 ft)
130.71 square meters (1,407 sq ft)
Engines Two Wright R-2600-22 Cyclone radial piston engines each providing 1417-kW (1,900 hp)
Armament Eight 12.7 mm (0.50 cal) machine guns in nose, dorsal turrets, waist and tail
1,646 lbs of bombs, torpedoes or depth charges

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