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Mon, Apr 18, 2016

AeroSports Update: The Mars Makes Appearance At AirVenture

World’s Largest Flying Water Bomber Coming To EAA Airventure 2016

Okay sports fans, if you’re looking to see something really different at AirVenture this year, EAA has just announced that you’re in for a treat. The gigantic Martin Mars aircraft, the world’s largest flying water bomber and the last of its kind, will make its first trip to Wisconsin to participate at EAA AirVenture.

Because this airplane is a true flying boat, the massive airplane will be parked near the EAA Seaplane Base on Lake Winnebago, just a few miles east of the main fly-in grounds. It will also fly several demonstrations throughout the week during the daily afternoon air shows.

If you’ve never been to the seaplane base at AirVenture, you have missed out on one of the really neat things that you can do while participating in AirVenture. Now, there’s even more of a reason to take the short bus ride to the SeaVenture at AirVenture.

The Martin Mars is the largest flying boat ever flown operationally, with a height of 38 feet, a length of 120 feet, and a wingspan of 200 feet. It’s powered by four 28-cylinder Pratt & Whitney 4360 engines, commonly referred to as the “Corncob.” Only six of the massive aircraft were built, with Coulson Flying Tankers of Port Alberni, British Columbia, owning the two remaining examples since 2007 and using them as water bombers on forest fires throughout the western United States, Canada, and Mexico.

“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,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programs who coordinate features and attractions at AirVenture. “Among flying boats, only the legendary Spruce Goose is bigger, but the Martin Mars is the largest ever to be operational on a regular basis.”

The Martin Mars was originally built as a long-range U.S. Navy troop and freight transport to fly between the continental U.S. and Hawaii, and first flew in 1942. The conversion to water bombers gave the aircraft the ability to carry as much as 7,200 gallons of water, enough to cover 4 acres of land in a single pass.

“This is the last flying Mars in the world and the largest warbird ever built,” said Wayne Coulson, chief executive officer of Coulson Flying Tankers. “There isn’t a better aviator’s venue than EAA AirVenture, so it’s an honor to be part of this world-class event. We’re very excited to bring the Hawaii Mars to Oshkosh as we look for new opportunities and host potential clients, as well as showcase this magnificent airplane’s capabilities.”

(Image provided by EAA)

FMI: www.eaa.org

 


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