JRM-3 Mars—Martin’s work horse flying boat
Coulson Flying Tankers has had owner ship of the remaining two (originally six were produced by Martin) Mars aircraft—the Hawaii Mars and the Philippine Mars. The JRM-3 Mars is the largest flying boat design produced by a U.S. manufacturer and was needed to prosecute the war against Japan in World War II as it was thought it would stretch into 1946 or 1947 at the time. Flying boats offered logistics delivery (troops or cargo) to nearly anywhere in the Pacific Theater of Operations with its innumerable isles and atolls. Today, this brace of fine aircraft are working flying boats, being employed to combat forest fires delivering water mixed with gel (which is carried on board to provide 30 drops). Flying three hours per mission and able to scoop water every 15 minutes should a lake be nearby) these Mars aircraft can be remarkably effective placing enormous amounts of water where needed with speed and no requirement for access roads. Water loading is done by landing the aircraft on water but keeping it on the step—as the pilot lowers the two scoops from the hull the copilot adjusts the throttles to keep the aircraft on its step as more than a ton of water comes aboard per second—for a half-minute while two flight engineers monitor engines as well as other systems.