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Martin Aviation Museum attempts to bring Martin Mars flying boat home

Martin Mars aircraft
An example of the Martin Mars flying boat which the Maryland Aviation Museum is attempting to return to its home in Middle River, Md.

1/9/2007––The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum is attempting to obtain one of the two remaining Martin Mars flying boats and return it to its birthplace in Middle River, Maryland. Besides saving the aircraft for future generations, the aircraft would become a very noticeable landmark and monument to the State's aviation and maritime heritage. As the centerpiece for the Museum, it would be a lasting tribute to those who worked at the Martin Company.

Over the past year Maryland Wing members have helped substantially with the formation of an aerospace education center in the Lockheed Martin Corporation Middle River facility. Our planning study remains one of the more detailed and concrete suggestions for renovation, and we have contributed many worker-hours to the site cleanup. The center is viewed by many as an important regional aerospace education resource, particularly if it develops in a rich context with the museum. Obtaining this aircraft will strengthen this cultural environment.

These giant aircraft ( their 200 ft. wingspans exceed the Boeing 747 ) were built in 1945 for the US Navy in the Martin factory at Martin State Airport and achieved record breaking performance as the largest operational seaplanes ever built, and the largest aircraft ever produced in Maryland. Since 1959, the aircraft have served as water bombers suppressing forest fires in British Columbia, Canada.

This may be the last opportunity to obtain a Mars — only one is potentially available to Maryland since upon retirement the second aircraft is committed to a static display at its Canadian home base. Both are currently in excellent, airworthy condition, but it is doubtful either will ever again be in as good a condition for a long distance flight.

The Museum, in collaboration with other parties, will attempt to acquire an aircraft and fly it home. The size, rarity, and fame of the Martin Mars would create a major attraction and educational resource for the Museum, Baltimore County, and State of Maryland. Clearly the Maryland Wing would share in these benefits and all of us can support this enterprise with pride and enthusiasm.

There is very little time — bids are due not later than January 31st. This is an enormous undertaking demanding significant support for the purchase, flight home, and long term care of the aircraft. The Museum needs an immediate outpouring of financial and other support, large and small, from the community as major donors require demonstrated interest and commitment. The Museum is seeking volunteers, funding and in-kind support, and the donation of Martin Mars related artifacts, documents, and photos. Donations may be tax deductible as the Museum is IRS designated a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and a Maryland charitable organization.

For more information about the Maryland Aviation Museum, visit http://www.marylandaviationmuseum.org/mars/links.html.

CAP, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 57,000 members nationwide. CAP volunteers perform 95 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counterdrug missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies.

Members take a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the almost 23,000 young people currently participating in the CAP Cadet Program. CAP's cadet programs provide young men and women with a safe and motivating environment in which to grow and explore opportunities in the military and aviation industries. Cadets progress through a 16-step program of leadership and aerospace education. CAP has been performing missions for America for more than 65 years.

There are approximately 1,300 members of CAP in Maryland.

For information about the Maryland Wing of CAP, visit http://mdcap.org/ or listen to weekly episodes of "Civil Air Patrol Today" broadcast every Sunday morning on the following radio stations:

  • Annapolis, MD - WYRE-AM 810, 8:00-8:30 a.m. ET
  • Baltimore, MD - WFBR AM 1590, 8:00-8:30 a.m. ET
  • Ocean City, MD - WKHZ-AM 1590, 7:00-7:30 a.m. ET
  • Potomac, MD - WCTN 950 AM, 6:00-6:30 a.m. ET
  • Rockville, MD - WLXE-AM 1600, 7:00-7:30 a.m. ET
  • Washington, DC - WZHF-AM 1390, 7:00-7:30 a.m. ET

In addition, programs may be listened to at the Maryland Wing web site at http://mdcap.org/radio/ and can also be subscribed to as a podcast. Maryland Wing Public Affairs also offers an e-mail alert system for news releases. When news breaks, a subscriber receives an automatic e-mail with a summary of the news release and a link back to the story on the MDWG web site. Signing up for e-mail news alerts is easy. Just go to: http://mdcap.org/?fuseaction=newsalert.form and fill in your e-mail address.