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Martin P5M Marlin

United States (1952)
Picture of Martin P5M Marlin Maritime Service Flying Boat Aircraft
Picture of Martin P5M Marlin Maritime Service Flying Boat Aircraft Picture of Martin P5M Marlin Maritime Service Flying Boat Aircraft
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Martin P5M flying boats served both the French and American navies, the aircraft line formally retired in 1967.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Martin P5M Marlin Maritime Service Flying Boat Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 2/20/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

World War 2 showcased the value of large flying boats in the long range maritime patrol and anti-shipping roles. The Glenn L. Martin Company, established in 1912, had been building aircraft for some time before the Second World War and it sold various global military services on its PBM "Mariner" flying boat design which appeared in 1940. 1,285 of this aircraft were produced with the last retired from Uruguayan service in 1964. In the post-war years, Martin tried its hand at a modernized version of its Mariner which went on to become the P5M "Marlin" (Model 237). An improvement overall, the aircraft was procured in just 285 examples by the USN/USCG and the French Navy.

Design experience produced an elegant flying boat through smooth lines and an aerodynamically refined form. The aircraft carried the usual boat-like hull seen in others of this class. Other traditional features were also retained - the high-mounted wing mainplanes, leading edge engine nacelles, outboard wing pontoon floats. The cockpit sat high in the fuselage for good vision out-of-the-cockpit. There were two engines - Wright R-3350 radials of 3,450 horsepower - fitted to streamlined nacelles. A single vertical tail fin was used with low-set horizontal planes. In its original form, the aircraft carried cannon-armed turrets at both the nose and tail sections for defense and a 2 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine gun dorsal turret emplacement.

First flight of an XP5M prototype was recorded on May 30th, 1948.

The aircraft was adopted by the USN/USCG as the P5M-1 and an initial order was for 167 examples. By this time, the finalized aircraft was revised some from its prototype days - most notably was the deletion of the nose cannon turret (replaced by AN/APS-44 series radar under a cone assembly) and dorsal turret, introduction of a raised cockpit flight deck for improved vision, and extended engine nacelles. Production of this form began in 1951 with formal service introduction occurring in 1952.

Martin engineers were not done with evolving their Marlin design. The P5M-2 variant appeared in 116 examples with the most obvious difference being the switch to a "T" tail configuration which set the horizontal planes high atop the vertical tail fin. The tail turret was also deleted and an AN/ASQ-8 MAD ("Magnetic Anomaly Detector") boom assembly added. Other equipment added included the AN/APN-122 DNS ("Doppler Navigation Set"). The lines of the hull were also redrawn form better water performance.

While the USCG was an initial recipient of the Marlin (to be used in the SAR role), the aircraft did not live up to the requirements of the service which led to some eleven machines being passed on to the USN which reconstituted them as training platforms under the TP-5A designation. Original USCG designations were P5M-1G (seven examples) and P5M-2G (four examples). From the period of 1957 to 1959, the French Navy borrowed (and returned) at least ten USN P5Ms for service over Senegal.

P5M Marlins served during the Vietnam War (1955-1975) with the United States Navy where they undertook maritime patrol and surveillance missions in an attempt to stem the tide of supplies reaching the enemy by water. Operations were flown into the late 1960s.


Picture of the Martin P5M Marlin Maritime Service Flying Boat Aircraft
Picture of the Martin P5M Marlin Maritime Service Flying Boat Aircraft


In 1962, the United States military revised its aircraft designation system which resulted in the P5M-1 becoming the "P-5A" and the P5M-2 becoming the "P-5B". The other variants followed suit (see variants listing for full breakdown).

The P5M-2S mark were upgraded P5M-2Ss outfitted with Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) equipment and upgraded electronics. The P5M-3 (Model 313) was a proposed flying boat of 1956 fitted with a turbojet engine. It competed unsuccessfully with a Lockheed proposal which went on to become the P-3 "Orion" series.

Many of the Marlin production stock were scrapped after their flying days were over. The only known preserved examples resides at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida, USA. The aircraft in question made a tribute flight to USN flying boat operations on November 6, 1967 when it flew over Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island and landed on the waters of San Diego Bay.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (252mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Martin P5M Marlin's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
285
285


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1952
Type: Maritime Service Flying Boat Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Glenn L. Martin Company - USA
Production: 285
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
France; United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Martin P5M Marlin model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
11


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
100.72 ft


Meters
30.7 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
117.13 ft


Meters
35.7 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
32.81 ft


Meters
10 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
50,486 lb


Kilograms
22,900 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
85,098 lb


Kilograms
38,600 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Wright R-3350-32WA radial piston engines developing 3,450 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
252 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
405 kph


Knots
219 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
2,051 mi


Kilometers
3,300 km


Nautical Miles
1,782 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
23,950 ft


Meters
7,300 m


Miles
4.54 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,200 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
366 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

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Graphical image of an air launched nuclear weapon
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (4):

VARIABLE:

Up to 8,640lb of conventional or nuclear stores from torpedoes to bombs and depth charges to naval mines.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• P5M - Base Series Designation
• XP5M - Prototype
• P5M-1 (P5A) - Initial production model; 160 completed.
• P5M-1G (P5M-1T) - P5M-1 for USCG service
• P5M-1S (SP-5A) - Upgraded electronics; improved submarine hunting equipment; 80 conversion examples.
• P5M-1T - USN crew trainers (former USCG mounts).
• P5M-2 (P5B) - Upgraded variant; T-style tail unit.
• P5M-2S (SP-5B) - Improved submarine hunters
• P5M-2G - P5M-2 models for USCG service; 4 examples.
• P5M-3 - Proposed prototype Model 313 aircraft with turbojet installation.
• P-5A - 1962 redesignation of P5M-1
• SP-5A - 1962 redesignation of P5M-1S
• TP-5A - 1962 redesignation of P5M-1T
• P-5B - 1962 redesignation of P5M-2
• SP-5B - 1962 redesignation of P5M-2S