September Contest Photo Martin AM-1 Mauler
Martin AM-1 Mauler
November 1, 2020
First flying on 26 August 1944 as the XBTM-1, the Mauler was one of four single-seat bomber/torpedo planes ordered for testing by the Navy in 1943. The Curtiss XBTC-2 and the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK-1 didn't make it beyond the prototype stage, but the Douglas XBT2D-1, as the AD and in 1962, the A-1, became the famous Skyraider. As for the Martin, it had to settle for second place.
Designed around the huge 28 cylinder 3000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major, the "Able Mable" was a load carrier of great power. Unfortunately, its development was plagued by technical and handling problems, leading one squadron commander to nickname it the "Awful Monster." Armed with four 20 mm wing cannon and up to 6000 pounds of bombs, the AM-1 had a maximum speed of 367 mph and a range of 1800 miles. It served its carrier qualifications aboard the Kearsage, Leyte, and Midway, before entering service with five attack squadrons. Of the 151 built, 18 were configured as electronic countermeasures aircraft with a second crew member in a windowless compartment behind the pilot. Removed from active duty units in 1950, some soldiered on with reserve squadrons until 1953.
The AM-1, Bu-122397, in this photo taken at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in 2010, was used on 6 April 1949 by Martin test pilot Pat Tibbs to takeoff with a record load for a single engine aircraft of 10,648 pounds. After 673 hours of flight time while stationed at Atlanta and St. Louis, it was retired in 1955 to Aberdeen Proving Ground. It was transferred to the museum in 1972.
This month's winner is Michael Lawrence, the Operations Manager of Premier Jet Center at Flying Cloud. Thanks to all. Brief well for fall flying.