The Martin 4-0-4: America’s Forgotten Postwar Airliner
, 2022-10-21 07:00:00,
At the end of World War II, many large and small airlines in the United States had acquired the surplus Douglas DC-3s for their commercial operations. The war-weary DC-3s could only accommodate an average of 25 passengers, and airlines needed a replacement. In 1950, the Glenn L. Martin Company introduced a twin-engine short-/medium-haul aircraft, the Martin 4-0-4.
The 4-0-4 design
The Martin 4-0-4 aircraft had a conventional design with a cantilevered tail section and a single vertical stabilizer. The aircraft could accommodate a total of 40 passengers, with a maximum takeoff weight of 44,900 lb (20,336 kg). Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial piston engines provided a maximum cruise speed of 312 mph (502 kph) over a range of 1,080 miles (1,740 km).
The Martin 4-0-4 design was essentially an improved version of its predecessor, the Martin 2-0-2, with improved wing structure, a stretched fuselage with pressurized cabin, and retractable tricycle landing gears. At its Baltimore factory, the Glenn Martin Company built a total of 103 of the type, between 1950 and 1953.
The 4-0-4 operations
Eastern Air Lines (EAL), who had worked closely with the Glenn Martin Company to make numerous design improvements on the 4-0-4, took delivery of 60 aircraft. Trans World Airlines (TWA) had ordered 40 aircraft for their commercial operations.
TWA operated its first scheduled commercial service with a Martin 4-0-4 “Skyliner” on…
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