• Public Gallery  • Help  
• Join Now!  • Log In  • Feature Tour
 John Schmidt (dc8schmidt@twc.com) | Home > 
The Star-Crossed Martin Airliners 9 / 17
By 1946 the race was on for a DC-3 replacement. Convair and Martin both had twin engine proposals on the table. Martin promised an earlier delivery, albeit an unpressurised airliner. The pressurized  240 offering was approximately a year behind.                        Pennsylvania Central had ordered 50 of the proposed Martin 202 "Executives" and Colonial added 20 to the order book. Northwest, TWA and even LAN Chile added to an order book totaling 270 Martin aircraft. But by 1947, certification delays and an economic downturn dissolved the order book. Only Northwest, and later TWA among American Trunk airlines took delivery of 202s.
Adding to the collapse in confidence were numerous operational issues including structural failures and unexplained loss of control of several Northwest aircraft. Ultimately Northwest pilots refused to fly the aircraft, resulting in its removal from service in 1951. Only 46 202s were delivered.
Nevertheless Martin aggressively marketed the improved 404 version, even claiming that the model would be suitable for conversion to jets. Only Eastern and TWA took the bait, along with two for the Coast Guard. A total of 103 404s were built as Convair's rugged, reliable 240s and340s racked up over 1000 orders.
   The Martin production quietly died, but second hand Martins fared reasonably well, operating into the 1970s.
   Only a few airline issued Martin cards were produced, but following are all of the postcard views of Martins I have acquired.
Album by John Schmidt. 1 - 46 of 46 Total. 7807 Visits.
Start Slideshow 
Enlarge photo 1
Martin 202 Prototype KCF
This was the 202 prototype. The flat wings and small vertical stabilizer were modified for the production aircraft, but the early fatigue issues were obviously  not anticipated.  The card is a recent publisher card kindly provided by Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 2
Northwest Martin 202 #1
One of my favorite cards is this rare announcement card from Northwest describing the new state of the art Martin 202

Enlarge photo 3
Northwest Martin 202 #3
N93050 was delivered in June 1948, and operated until March of 1950, when it crashed on approach to MSP.
By 1951 Northwest had lost 5 202s to crashes, the last in jan 1951 due to unexplained loss of control. That was enough for Northwest pilots. Afterward Northwest leased and sold the fleet.
The card is a very nice Northwest issue.

Enlarge photo 4
Northwest Martin 202 #2
Certainly the best 202 card is this excellent in flight view of N 93051.  This airliner had a long career, spanning more than 20 years, serving Northwest until 1951, joining Pioneer in 1952, then serving Allegheny from 1955-1966, and finally operating for Rutas Aereas Panamenas at least through 1972.

Enlarge photo 5
Northwest Martin 202 #4KCF
A very nice publisher card of the Northwest 202, that would appear to be taken immediately before the airline issued image. Card by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu

Enlarge photo 6
TWA Martin 202 #2
This very common TWA postcard was distributed long after arrival of the 404s. Apparently TWA saw no need to issue a separate 404 card given their similar
appearance. The text would seem to describe the 404.  Shown is N 93201, which served TWA for 8 years before becoming an Allegheny Martin "Executive".
    It operated for Allegheny from April 1958 to August, 1966.

Enlarge photo 7
TWA Martin 202 #1
Aviation World contributed a little better image of the TWA 202

Enlarge photo 8
TWA Martin 202 #3KCF
A little more dramatic view of N 93201 by courtesy of Kuo-Ching Fu

Enlarge photo 9
Allegheny  Martin 202 #1
Allegheny operated a substantial fleet of the Martin "Executives" from 1955-1966. About half were ex Northwest and half TWA aircraft.  This is one of the few airline issued aftermarket 202 cards.

Enlarge photo 10
Allegheny  Martin 202 #2
A very nice Hazleton Airport Issue of Allegheny's 202 N170A, which was delivered new to Northwest in October of 1947. It was sold to California Central in 1951, where it was christened City of Oakland. It was sold to Allegheny in March of 1955 and served for 11 years as the "Pennsylvanian" until sold to RAPSA of Panama in 1966.

Enlarge photo 11
Japan  Martin 202 #1
Japan Airlines took delivery of 5 ex Northwest 202s in late 1951 and early 1952 for domestic services some of which were in conjunction with Northwest. They were then sold to Southwest (later Pacific) in October of 1952. Shown is N93043 on a Japan historical issue.

Enlarge photo 12
Japan  Martin 202 #2
This is another Japan Airlines issue showing N 93043 on the ramp. Sadly this one crashed into Mt. Mihara on a flight from Tokyo to Osaka in April 1952.

Enlarge photo 13
California Central Martin 202
A rare postcard view of California Central's "City of Burbank".  N 93045 also was delivered to Northwest  in November of 1947,  was sold to California Central in 1951, joined Allegheny as "The New Yorker" in 1955, and was retired in November 1966.
Card is an outstanding IAWP issue.

Enlarge photo 14
Southwest  Martin 202 #1A
An interesting Los Angeles Airport issue of Southwest's Martin 202 N93049. It was delivered to Northwest in December 1947, and went to Southwest in 1952. After operating nearly 8 years with Southwest/Pacific, it was acquired by Admiral Airways of Philadelphia.                     When Admiral collapsed in 1962, it became a corporate aircraft for Sperry Co. And others until scrapped in Puerto Rico in 1974.

Enlarge photo 15
Pacific  Martin 202
An IAWP issue of  Southwest's 202 N 93047, also ex Northwest, but with a different window configuration.
It left Northwest in 1951 and operated for California Central until purchased by Southwest in march 1955.
It's last operator was RAPSA of Panama. This aircraft is shown in its RAPSA colors on the following photo.

Enlarge photo 16
RAPSA Panama Martin 202
Panamanian domestic carrier RAPSA operated two Martin 202s on its domestic flights in the late 1960s and early 70s.. A flight from Panama City to David was 1hr. I would have loved to make that flight

Enlarge photo 17
Pioneer Martin 202
The first "Local Service Airline", which was under duress for introducing the Martin 202 to its routes in 1952, as at the time, Local Service Airlines were restricted to DC-3s. Ultimately the airline was sold to Continental in 1955. Shown is N93038, originally a Northwest airliner, that was leased to Transocean for a year before delivery to Pioneer in 1952. It was titled the Stephen F Austin at Pioneer. Sold to Allegheny in January 1956, it crashed in 1959 at Williamsport.
     The card is from an unidentified publisher.

Enlarge photo 18
Central American Martin 202
A really obscure airliner was this Central American Airways Martin 202, seen at Bowman Field in Louisville. Like most 202s, N71R was originally a Northwest airliner delivered in 1947. It's 2nd career was with Pioneer from 1952-1955.
From 1955-1966 it was passed around to several operators including a short lived Lloyd Airlines, but in 1966 it arrived at Central American. There it operated charters until 1973, when sold to Aero Proveedora of Columbia, where it was ultimately scrapped.

Enlarge photo 19
Eastern Silver Falcon
Eastern produced this rather artistic  card as part of their "Silver Falcon" promotion. No other Eastern airliner was ever marketed as aggressively as the "Silver Falcon"

Enlarge photo 20
Eastern Martin 404 #3
I believe this likely is the most common airline postcard ever issued. They were present  in every flight pack, in stacks on ticket counters and even travel agencies.

Enlarge photo 21
Eastern Martin 404 #4
This is the only alternate printing I have noticed, with slightly different view and text. Eastern's order amounted to 60 aircraft with deliveries beginning in 1952. After 1962, Eastern Martins began to populate Local Service airline fleets.

Enlarge photo 22
Eastern Martin 404 #8KCF
This rare in flight view of The 1st production Martin 404 was produced by Erdmann's International Airline Museum. N440A was delivered to Eastern in October of 1951. it was sold to Mohawk in 1962, then transferred to Ozark in June of 1965.  Ozark operated it only until July 1967, when traded to Fairchild Hiller. After 1967 it was operated by multiple individuals.
This card kindly provided by Kuo-Ching Fu.

Enlarge photo 23
Eastern Martin 404 #6
A really nice view of Eastern's 404 N466A on a Daytona airport issue. This airliner was delivered to Eastern in April of 1952, operating until July of 1961. It then became a Southern Airways "Aristocrat", flying passengers throughout the southeast until September 1973.

Enlarge photo 24
TWA Martin 404 #2
It seems strange that TWA did not issue a Martin 404 card. This IAWP issue would certainly have made a nice complement to the Constellation cards TWA was issuing. N40401 was delivered to TWA in February of 1952, and operated 1o years before sale to Piedmont. It was then immediately lost in a training accident at Wilmington, NC.

Enlarge photo 25
TWA Martin 404 #3
Another excellent view of N40401 on an Aviation World issue.

Enlarge photo 26
TWA Martin 404 #1
This is an outstanding Newark Airport issue of TWA's Martin N40426, which operated for TWA from 1952-1959. It then became a corporate aircraft for a number of entities, and finally served as an aircraft for Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass.

Enlarge photo 27
Southern  Martin 404 #1
A beautiful Southern Airways issue of their 404 N141S, delivered from Eastern in July 1961. Southern really committed to the 404, operating a fleet of 25 for up to 17 years. As time passed a number of the Southern aircraft were acquired by some of the Florida  based local airlines.

Enlarge photo 28
Southern  Martin 404 #2
A very nice view of Southern's N252S on a Birmingham Airport issued card. It's career with Southern was comparatively short, lasting only for 8 years, and apparently scrapped in 1970.

Enlarge photo 29
Piedmont Martin 404 #1
Although Piedmont operated an astonishing 36 Martin 404s, it was up to IAWP to issue an in flight card of the aircraft.
N 40402, the Savannah River Pacemaker was delivered to TWA in January of 1952,  It was sold to Piedmont in February 1965, operating for a little over 7 years.

Enlarge photo 30
Piedmont Martin 404 #4
A Huntington, WV airport issue, showing Piedmont's 404 N 40430.  The Chesapeake Pacemaker was an ex TWA aircraft, delivered to Piedmont in 1961, which operated until December 1968.
In 1970 it went to Atlantic Southeast until WFU at Sebring, Fl.  In 1979 it was acquired by Knight Airlines, and was finally seized by the Sebring Airport Authority in 1983.

Enlarge photo 31
Ozark Martin 404 #1
Ozark took delivery of N 463M from Mohawk Airlines on August 23, 1964, it operated only until July 1967, when traded to Fairchild Hiller.
It was originally an Eastern Aircraft until sold to Mohawk in 1961. Last registered to an individual.
Card is an IAWP issue.

Enlarge photo 32
Ozark Martin 404 #2
A very rare card showing Ozark's N 470M, which was the first Martin 404, originally delivered to Eastern in  October, 1951. It was sold by Eastern to Mohawk, then resold to Ozark in 1965. Ozark operated  it only 2 years, awaiting delivery of FH-227s.
Card is an Ilford issue.

Enlarge photo 33
Mohawk Martin 404
Mohawk purchased 16 Eastern Martin 404s to supplement its Convair fleet in 1961 and 62. Most were re-sold to Ozark after 2 to 4 years of service. N462M, shown in the above IAWP issue, went to Ozark in 1965, was traded to Fairchild Hiller in late 1966, and was resold to Piedmont in September 1967 apparently to replace an aircraft lost in a crash.

Enlarge photo 34
Pacific  Martin 404 #3A
Pacific Airlines Purchased 8 ex TWA Martin 404s in 1960, followed by 2 additional Eastern aircraft in 1962. N 455A was one of the Eastern aircraft, which served briefly with ASA International before arrival at Pacific. In 1966 it was sold to Piedmont, operating a little over 3 years as the "York River Pacemaker".

Enlarge photo 35
Provincetown Boston Martin 404
One of only 3 airline issued Martin 404s, this PBA in flight card is my favorite. This beauty was originally the Skyliner Louisvile, delivered to TWA in May 1952 and sold to Piedmont in January 1962. After 10 years with Piedmont, it went to Southeast from July 1972 to January 1976. It joined PBA's expanding fleet in June of 1976, wearing the full Naples Airlines livery. The Martins were still operating in 1983 as PBA began to collapse.

Enlarge photo 36
Naples Martin 404
Provincetown Boston's Naples Airlines division was prospering in the early 1970s, and the Martin 404 was ideal for the increased demand. N40424, originally a TWA aircraft was acquired from Southeast on Nov 28, 1975, and wore permanent Naples titles, along with the PBA logo. It later operated in its new PBA identity into the 1980s.

Enlarge photo 37
Air South Martin 404 #1KCF
A nice in flight card of an Air South Martin 404. An IAWP card by courtesy of Kuo-Cing Fu.

Enlarge photo 38
Florida Martin 404
The Air South Martins flew for affiliated Florida Airlines in 1979,80 and 81.  Also an IAWP issue.

Enlarge photo 39
Ocean Martin 404
Ocean Airways of New Jersey took over the Atlanta based routes of Air South in 1980. N258S had  flown for Air South and Florida Airlines. It was previously a Southern Aircraft.

Enlarge photo 40
Air Florida  Commuter Nartin 404
As Air Florida grew and prospered, they, like others contracted code sharing partners to operate inter Florida connecting flights. This Martin 404 would have been a Florida Airlines Aircraft sometime between 1982 and 1984.

Enlarge photo 41
Marco Island Martin 404
A great view of Marco Island Airways' N968M, acquired from Southern in 1974 to accommodate expanding traffic  at Marco Island Airport. Service was to Miami initially and later to Tampa. In 1986 PBA acquired the airline and the aircraft.

Enlarge photo 42
Flamingo Martin 404
Flamingo Airlines of the Bahamas flew an assortment of aircraft including this ex-Eastern  404. It flew for Piedmont from 1964-1968, was briefly in private hands and was sold to Flamingo in November 1971. It was scrapped in Miami several years later.

Enlarge photo 43
Southeast Martin 404 #1
Southeast was a Florida and Florida Keys operator in the early 70s, flying with Martins as well as F-27 aircraft. This one, N 40424 was originally delivered to TWA, operated by Piedmont from 1962-1968 and  delivered to Southeast in 1972. It was sold to Naples in Nov 1975, and is the aircraft shown on the Naples card above.

Enlarge photo 44
Southeast Martin 404 #2
A nice IAWP card of the Southeast Martin 404 in its more appealing livery. N40413 also came to Southeast from TWA, by way of Piedmont. Delivered to Southeast in 1972, and sold to Naples/PBA in 1975

Enlarge photo 45
Pacific  Martin 404 Restored #1
And last but certainly not least, is the current airworthy restoration of a Pacific 404 by Airliners of America.

Enlarge photo 46
Pacific  Martin 404 Restored #2 KCF
This in flight view of the Pacific Martin 404 was provided by Kuo Ching Fu. Produced by Airliners of America, it is a glimpse of the 404 that Pacific never provided.

 Email a Comment
 Your Comment is
 immediately emailed
 to the album owner
Name:   Enter your comment
Album Properties. Email Album. Send Invitation. Share URL