Coulson Aviation’s Philippine Mars Waterbomber to land permanently at Arizona museum

Coulson Aviation's Philippine Mars Waterbomber to land permanently at Arizona museum
Coulson Aviation
A photo of the Philippine Mars Waterbomber in action.

Coulson Aviation’s Philippine Mars will soon find its forever home at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona, this year. The Philippine Mars is one of only five Martin JRM Mars flying boats ever produced.

The Philippine Mars Waterbomber was one of the five surviving planes that were sold in 1958 to a group of timber companies in British Columbia and converted into the world’s largest waterbombers, carrying 7,200 U.S. gallons (27,255 litres) per drop.

Coulson aviation also announced the donation of another Martin JRM Mars, the Hawaii Mars, earlier this month to the BC Aviation Museum in North Saanich.

“This has been an exciting month for both Martin Mars waterbombers,” said Wayne Coulson, CEO of Coulson Group. “As a fitting tribute to their years of service and years of hard work by many people in B.C. and the U.S., we are pleased to see both Mars aircraft landing to rest at world-class institutions in 2024.”

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An interior photo of Martin JRM Mars Waterbomber Philippine Mars. (Coulson Aviation)

Produced between 1942 and 1947, the Mars fleet flew cargo between Hawaii and the Pacific Islands to support the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, they supported the Korean War with medical air transport lifts between Hawaii and California, later transitioning to cargo lift work between Hawaii and California before being decommissioned in 1956.

The Hawaii Mars and Philippine Mars are the only Martin JRM Mars aircraft remaining today.

Pima Air and Space Museum is one of the largest aerospace museums in the world and is excited to add the historic bomber to it’s collection.

“We are pleased to have the Philippine Mars join our museum where we will preserve this World War II-era aircraft for decades to come,” said Scott Marchand, CEO, Pima Air and Space Museum.

WATCH: ‘It’s an honour’: Retired water bomber pilots will fly Mars on final mission to Victoria museum


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