It’s a Boat! It’s A Plane! No It’s a Martin Mars Waterbomber!

Imagine enjoying a nice Sunday afternoon waterskiing with you family on the lake and all of a sudden…

YouTube – “Hawaii Mars” Bomber Fire Plane Picking up water off of Lake San Antonio to drop on Cal. Wild Fires

These amazing flying boats have recently been working hard fighting fires in California. From the Coulson Flying Tanker’s website:

Flying Tankers Inc. was formed in 1959 by a consortium of forest companies after experiencing several catastrophic fire seasons. The new company then purchased the remaining four of the world’s only fleet of mighty Martin Mars aircraft from the US Navy.

Originally, the Martin Mars flying boats were produced for the US Navy and were used as troop and cargo transports among the islands of the Pacific. Firefighting certainly wasn’t what the aircraft’s manufacturer, Glenn L. Martin had in mind….. however, all four aircraft, the Marianas, Philippine, Hawaii and Caroline Mars were ferried to British Columbia where three were fitted with 7,200 gallon (27,276 litres) water tanks and converted to waterbombers!

Video of the MartinMars in action:

Promotional video from the Coulson Group:

Here’s a link to a Martin Mars Flickr Group which has some cool photos and videos.

Wikipedia – Martin JRM Mars