So today the family went out to celebrate the largest flying boats in the world.
The Martin Mars Water Bombers.
Here are some pictures of the event, which marked the purchase of the two bombers by a local forest company after much handwringing and worrying that the Alberni Valley and City of Port Alberni might lose two of it’s more important citizens.
This is the Philippine Mars. She’s out of the water right now, on Backup. Coulson has said she can be readied to fly and rolled into the water within an hour. The other bomber (Hawaii Mars, flying below) can be in the air fully watered-up in less than 15 minutes.
Here is one of the 4 giant engines. They are the last of their kind, the bomber base is home to the only remaining spares (a few dozen that are constantly rebuilt and stored sealed in oil).
To see the events of the day… click
…. The originals of all these photos, plus many more, are all located here:
An unfortunate shot of me (holding Ellie the Elephant)… but at least you can see the scale of the event, and the plane! (She doesn’t have wheels of course, being a float plane… she’s on a sort of truck that is rolled down the ramp into Sproat (Spr-oat) Lake.
Alright, Fire it up!
Outta the way boats!
At this point Hawaii Mars hadn’t actually filled her 7200 gallon (60,000lbs) tanks of water. She circled around to the back of the lake and skimmed out of our sight…. then it was time for the show we were waiting for.
But they weren’t done yet… next the pulled a turn that frankly i didn’t think a plane that big could pull. And in case anyone didn’t think they were both the biggest, and loudest planes around, there were no doubters after this.
A beautiful day… congratulations to Coulson Aircrane for taking over these magnificient machines. And indeed congratulations to the people of Port Alberni for having these incredible, 61 year strong, airplanes as a part of their landscape and heritage.