BC provides $250,000 to help preserve Martin Mars water bomber

The one-time funding from the provincial authorities to the museum will assist set up the plane because the centrepiece of its new B.C. wildfire aviation exhibit

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The ultimate flight of the Hawaii Martin Mars water bomber is getting a $250,000 increase from the provincial authorities because the firefighting plane travels from Sproat Lake to the B.C. Aviation Museum in North Saanich.

Officers on Thursday confirmed a plan that may make the huge plane operational by the tip of the 12 months in order that it may be moved to the museum.

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The one-time funding from the provincial authorities to the museum will assist set up the plane because the centrepiece of its new B.C. wildfire aviation exhibit.

Lana Popham, minister of tourism, arts, tradition and sport, known as the plane a proud image of B.C.’s ingenuity and innovation, representing cutting-edge know-how in aviation firefighting of its time.

“We acknowledge the worth the Hawaii Martin Mars water bomber holds for many individuals and have heard their need to have it housed within the British Columbia Aviation Museum, the place it may be displayed and guarded as an necessary piece of our province’s historical past,” she mentioned at a press convention at Coulson Aviation’s air tanker base at Sproat Lake.

The water bomber, with its 60-metre wingspan, was final combating fires in 2015 and was operational on the Island for greater than a half century, capable of drop 25,000 litres of water on fires in a single move.

Its remaining flight is predicted earlier than the tip of 2024 and can be a multi-phased course of that features passing federal inspections, crew coaching and take a look at flights.

The Hawaii Martin Mars can land and take off solely on water, so its final flight can be from Sproat Lake to the Saanich Inlet close to the Victoria Worldwide Airport.

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The plane can be introduced up on a ramp at Canadian Coast Guard Base Patricia Bay, a former seaplane port, mounted on a trailer in a swivelling cradle and transported throughout Victoria Worldwide Airport runways.

A flight plan is predicted to be closely publicized so folks alongside the route will be capable of see the aircraft fly a final time.

The museum is elevating funds to construct a brand new hangar to accommodate the Martin Mars Hawaii and different B.C. firefighting plane on land donated by the Victoria Airport Authority. The brand new exhibit can be interactive, inviting guests to discover the options of the plane up shut.

The Hawaii is one among solely two Martin Mars water bombers left. The opposite, Philippine Mars, was retired in 2012 and isn’t thought of airworthy. It stays on the Coulson air base.

Martin Mars
The Hawaii Mars, owned by the Coulson Group of Corporations, was used as a water bomber till 2015. jpeg

Coulson Aviation will enlist 5 former licensed upkeep engineers and 4 flight crew to finish about 10,000 hours of plane preparation and flight retraining over the subsequent six months to arrange the red-and-white Hawaii Martin Mars for its final flight.

Wayne Coulson, CEO of the Coulson Group of corporations, didn’t attend the press convention, however mentioned in an announcement he was happy to associate with the museum within the “necessary endeavour” to protect it.

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“The Hawaii Martin Mars water bomber is a tremendous plane,” Coulson mentioned. “After this flight, you’ll most likely by no means see one fly once more.”

Steve Nichol, president of the B.C. Aviation Museum, mentioned the mission to amass the water bomber began greater than two years in the past.

“I’m overjoyed on the prospect of not solely preserving this classic plane, however to have the ability to showcase its fascinating historical past as a B.C. aviation story,” Nichol mentioned.

The museum attracts about 20,000 guests a 12 months, and having the water bomber is a chance to lift the profile of British Columbia’s aviation historical past.

Richard Mosdell, the mission lead in getting the bomber for the museum, mentioned he’s been overwhelmed with the help.

“There hare so many individuals on the Island with Mars DNA. … They’ve labored on the planes, flown them, seen them and simply love them,” Mosdell mentioned. “They’re coming as much as me and shaking my hand, saying thanks for not letting this aircraft go away the Island.”

Solely seven Martin Mars have been made by the California-based Glenn L. Martin Firm, all for the U.S. Navy as ocean patrol and long-range transports throughout the Second World Battle. Most have been used for naval cargo within the Pacific.

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The Hawaii Martin Mars was additionally enlisted as the biggest air ambulance throughout the Korean Battle till it was transformed in 1958.

The final 4 planes, bought as scrap, have been purchased by a B.C. forestry consortium and later transformed to water bombers. One Mars crashed whereas firefighting close to Nanoose Bay in 1961, with the lack of 4 crew. One other was critically broken in a storm.

The remaining two Martin Mars bombers have been acquired by the Coulson Group in 2007 from Timberwest and its subsidiary, Forest Industrial Flying Tankers.

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