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  • Martin PBM Mariner Maritime Reconnaissance Flying Boat Aircraft

    While a serviceable and very capable aircraft in its own right, the Martin Mariner flying boat would never reach the popularity of the older Consolidated PBY Catalina.

     Updated: 5/17/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The PBM held origins in private venture work undertaken by Glenn L. Martin Company. Prior to World War 2 in 1937, engineers designed what became the Model 162 as a successor to the aging line of Martin P3M flying boats in service since 1929 (78 were built). The Model 162 carrier a high-wing (gull wing, cantilevered) monoplane design with elevated twin-rudder tail unit. The nose section was stepped to accommodate the flight deck overlooking the nose and the nose proper contained a crewman's station. The fuselage utilized a boat-like hull for water-based landings and take-offs. Outboard pontoon floats (retractable) were set under each wing to stabilize the aircraft in rough waters. The crew numbered seven and included pilots, mission specialists and machine gunners.

    On June 30th of that year, the company was granted a prototype contract to cover a sole XPBM-1 aircraft. To prove the design sound, company engineers fabricated a scale flyable model of their aircraft in the single-seat Model 162A "Tadpole Clipper". This offering carried just one engine, a Chevrolet type of 120 horsepower output. The full-sized prototype then followed to the air on February 18th, 1939.

    Despite the United States Navy (USN) already having committed to the excellent Consolidated PBY Catalina (detailed elsewhere on this site), the XPBM was adopted as the PBM "Mariner" to work alongside it. In December, USN then contracted for twenty-one aircraft to the XPBM-1 standard.

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    Martin PBM-3D Mariner Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1941
    Type: Maritime Reconnaissance Flying Boat Aircraft
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): Martin Company - USA
    Production Total: 1,717

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 7 to 9
    Length: 79.82 feet (24.33 meters)
    Width: 118.01 feet (35.97 meters)
    Height: 27.49 feet (8.38 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 33,175 lb (15,048 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 58,001 lb (26,309 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x Wright Cyclone R-2600-22 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engines developing 1,900 horsepower each.

    Maximum Speed: 211 mph (340 kph; 184 knots)
    Maximum Range: 2,240 miles (3,605 km)
    Service Ceiling: 19,800 feet (6,035 meters; 3.75 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 452 feet-per-minute (138 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    2 x 12.7mm machine guns in bow turret
    2 x 12.7mm machine guns in dorsal turret
    2 x 12.7mm machine guns in tail turret
    1 x 12.7mm machine gun in left beam position
    1 x 12.7mm machine gun in right beam position

    Up to 4,000 lb (3,630 kg) of bombs or depth charges (OR 2 x Mark 13 torpedoes).

    Global Operators / Customers

    Argentina; Australia; Netherlands; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    Model 162 - Company model designation

    XPBM-1 - Single prototype; outfitted with 2 x R-2600-6 engines of 1,600 horsepower each.

    PBM-1 - Initial production model; R-2600-6 engines; armament of 5 x 12.7mm machine guns; 21 examples completed.

    XPBM-2 PBM-1 conversion for catapult testing

    PBM-3 - Improved production model; R-2600-12 engines; 32 examples completed.

    PBM-3R - Unarmed transport; 18 completed with 31 conversions (PBM-3 stock).

    PBM-3C - Improved patrol platform; additional machine guns; AN/APS-15 series radar fitted; 274 completed.

    PBM-3B - Ex-Royal Air Force Mariners in USN service.

    PBM-3S - Dedicated submarine hunter; reduced machine gun load; 94 completed with 62 conversions.

    PBM-3D - Patrol platform; R-2600-22 engines of 1,900 horsepower; additional machine guns; 259 completed.

    PBM-4 - Proposed model with Wright R-3350 engines of 2,700 horsepower; not furthered.

    PBM-5 - Model with Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engines of 2,100 horsepower; 628 examples completed.

    PBM-5E - PBM-5 with improved radar fit

    PBM-5S - Lighter weight submarine hunter

    PBM-5S2 - Improved submarine hunter with improved radar fit.

    PBM-5A - Amphibious variant with retractable undercarriage; 36 completed with four converted.

    Mariner I - RAF variant