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P5M Marlin
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P5M Marlin

Martin P5M Marlin

US Coast Guard Martin P5M-2G Marlin
Role Naval patrol and ASW flying boat
Crew 8
First Flight 1948
Entered Service
Manufacturer Glenn L. Martin Company
Length 100 ft 7 in 30.7 m
Wingspan 117 ft 2 in 35.7 m
Height 32 ft 9 in 10.0 m
Wing area 1,406 ft² 130.1 m²
Empty 50,485 lb 22,900 kg
Loaded 85,000 lb 38,600 kg
Maximum takeoff lb kg
Engines 2 × Wright R-3350-32WA radials
Power 2 × 3,450 hp 2,570 kW
Maximum speed 251 mph 404 km/h
Combat range 2,050 miles 3,300 km
Ferry range miles km
Service ceiling 24,000 ft 7,300 m
Rate of climb ft/min m/min
Wing loading lb/ft² kg/m²
Power/Mass hp/lb kW/kg
Avionics AN/APS-44 radar

The Martin P5M Marlin, built by the Glenn L. Martin Company of Middle River, Maryland, was the last flying boat in service with the United States Navy and the US armed forces in general. Built as a successor to the PBM Mariner, the new hull form and new conventional tail were fitted to a Mariner to become the XP5M Marlin prototype.

The Marlin was designed as a gull-winged aircraft to lift the engines and propellers high above the spray. Power was by two Wright R-3350 radial engines. The hull, somewhat inspired by the Japanese Kawanishi H8K of World War II, did not lift sharply from the water at the tail, instead rising up steadily; this gave the aircraft a longer base of flotation and reduced "porpoising" over waves.

The prototype had nose and tail turrets bearing twin 20 mm cannon each, as well as a dorsal turret with two 0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine guns. The cockpit area was the same as the Mariner's. It first flew in May 1948.

The first of 167 production P5M-1 aircraft was produced in 1949. Changes from the prototype included a raised flight deck for improved visibility, the replacement of the nose turret with a large radome for the APS-80 search radar, the deletion of the dorsal turret, and new, streamlined wing floats. The engine nacelles were lengthened to provide room for weapons bays in the rear.

116 P5M-2 planes followed. These had a 'T'-tail to keep the tail surfaces out of the spray, a MAD boom at the rear of the tail-tip, no tail guns, better crew accommodation and an improved bow to reduce spray during takeoff and landing.

US Coast Guard service

Seven P5M-1Gs and four P5M-2Gs were built for the US Coast Guard for air-sea rescue service, but the service found the planes difficult to maintain and surplus to requirements. They were given to the Navy, which used them as trainers since they had no provision for armament.

French navy service

The French navy took delivery of ten ex-USN Marlins in 1959 to replace Shorts Sunderlands in maritime patrol service, based out of Dakar. They were returned five years later.

Related content
Related Development PBM Mariner - P7M Submaster
Similar Aircraft Beriev Be-12 - Short Sunderland
Designation Series PM - P2M - P3M - P4M - P5M - P6M - P7M
Related Lists List of military aircraft of the United States - List of flying boats and seaplanes

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