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I took this photo of a Grumman Goose at Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island in British Columbia in August of 1988 (here are some Goose statistics). There are two Martin Mars water bombers stationed there for use in fire fighting operations. The goose is used as the "bird dog" airplane, and in that kind of operation, I imagine the highly visible color scheme is quite appropriate. Other pictures of this same airplane are at

Here is one of the Martin Mars water bombers that is also stationed at Sproat Lake. Some statistics on this aircraft are below the photo.
The Martin Mars can carry 60,000 pounds of water to a fire. That water load is scooped up from a suitable nearby lake in about 22 seconds at 80 mph. Here are some statistics on the Martin Mars.
According the the 1978 Seaplane Pilots Association Water Flying Annual, five Martin Mars were built, and put into service by the navy in 1946. It was the first airplane to fly non-stop between Chicago and Honolulu (4728 miles). Three of these aircraft have been lost (one by the navy, one while anchored by a storm, one in fire fighting operations). The remaining two are stationed at Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island in British Columbia where they continue to serve as water bombers for the Forest Industries Flying Tankers Limited. Their homepage has some neat pictures and more information on the Mars and their operations. Length120 feet
Height48 feet
Wing span200 feet
Gross weight162,000 pounds
Cruising speed175 mph
Touchdown speed80 mph
Fuel Capacity11,000 gal
Additional information on the Martin Mars is available at The Seaplane Pilots Page. This page has a link to a recent article on the Mars which includes several more great photos. Also check out the Seaplane Pilots Homepage.

Here is some information about the Grumman goose.
The first goose was built in 1937. Data in this table is for an early military version. The retractable gear on this model was operated by a hand crank next to the pilot's seat. Later models had both retractable gear and floats, and a higher gross weight. Some gooses were used in submarine patrol along the Atlantic coast during World War II. Military gooses could be fitted with two 100 pound bombs or two 325 pound bombs. (I have it on good authority that the plural of "goose" is "gooses" when referring to a Grumman!) Length38 feet 4 inches
Wing span49 feet
Gross weight8000 pounds
Empty weight5450 pounds
Cruising speed140-190 mph
Fuel Capacity220 gal
Additional information is available at the Grumman Goose Page.

The Mars water bomber is from (Brad Lane's homepage), and is used with his kind permission.
Some information on the Martin Mars is from the Water Flying Annual Vol. 2, published in 1978 by the Seaplane Pilots Association.
Some information on the Grumman Goose is from U.S. Civil Aircraft Vol. 7 (pages 189-192), by Joseph P. Juptner, published by Aero Publishers in 1978

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Date last modified: 3/12/01

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