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Martin Mars Fire Tanker Photos From October

Posted December 23, 2007, 10:19 PM.



During the October wildfires, a Martin Mars fire-bomber, temporarily leased from Coulson Flying Tankers of British Columbia, Canada, was based on Lake Elsinore. The following are photos from the brief stay of "Hawaii Mars", also called "redtail", during which it dropped water on the Poomacha Fire in San Diego County.

The Martin Mars bombers are World War II vintage planes with a storied history. Six of the flying boats were originally built for the Navy, and initially used as cargo planes.

Two of the planes survive today, are owned by Coulson Flying Tankers, and are used as fire bombers.

Configured for firefighting, the Martin Mars planes are capable of dropping 60,000 gallons of water at a time.

Apologies for the lateness of this story. We were overwhelmed with photos during the October fires and have yet to publish them all.

Tanker photos are courtesy of Laurent Creton, Lou Prijatel, Rita Thompson and Rick Symanski.

Lake Elsinore
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