P5M Marlin

P5M Marlin

Infobox Aircraft
name = P5M/P-5 Marlin
type = Patrol aircraft
manufacturer = Glenn L. Martin Company

caption = US Coast Guard Martin P5M-2G Marlin
designer =
first flight = 1948
introduction = 1952 Roberts 2000, p,663.]
retired = 1967
status = Retired
primary user = United States Navy
more users = United States Coast Guard French Navy
produced =
number built = 285
program cost =
unit cost =
developed from = PBM Mariner
variants with their own articles =

The Martin P5M Marlin (P-5 Marlin after 1962), built by the Glenn L. Martin Company of Middle River, Maryland, was a twin engined piston powered flying boat entering service in 1951 and serving into late 1960s in service with the United States Navy for naval patrol. It also served in the U.S. Coast Guard and with the French Navy. 285 were produced overall.


Built as evolutionary successor to the PBM Mariner, it had better engines, improved hull form, and more conventional tail. The XP5M Marlin prototypes were based on the last PBM-5 Mariners, the company designation being Model 237. It would be heavily improved again leading to the P5M-2 (Model 237B), which was redesignated SP-5B. A number of P5M-1 models were also used for training, designated TP-5A (after 1962).


The Marlin was designed as a gull-winged aircraft to lift the engines and propellers high above the spray. Power was by two Wright R-3350 radial engines. The rear hull did not lift sharply from the water at the tail, instead rising up steadily, a Martin innovation; this gave the aircraft a longer base of flotation and reduced "porpoising" over waves.

The prototype had nose and tail turrets with twin 20 mm cannon in each, as well as a dorsal turret with two 0.5 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns. The cockpit area was the same as the Mariner's. It first flew in May 30 1948. Swanborough and Bowers 1976, p.323.]

The first of 167 production P5M-1 aircraft was produced in 1951, flying on June 22 1951. Changes from the prototype included a raised flight deck for improved visibility, the replacement of the nose turret with a large radome for the AN/APS-44 search radar, the deletion of the dorsal turret, and new, streamlined wing floats. The engine nacelles were lengthened to provide room for weapons bays in the rear.

The P5M-1 was followed by 116 P5M-2 planes. These had a T-tail to put the tail surfaces out of the spray, a AN/ASQ-8 MAD boom at the rear of the tail-tip, no tail guns, better crew accommodation and an improved bow to reduce spray during takeoff and landing.

Operational history


The last flying boat operations of the United States Navy were Market Time patrols of VP-40.An Illustrated Guide to The Air War Over Vietnam by Nalty, Bernard C., Watson, George M., and Neufeld, Jacob: Arco Publishing (1981) pp.106-107.] Maritime surveillance began in February 1965 to locate small craft transporting supplies from North Vietnam to Viet Cong units in South Vietnam.The Naval Air War in Vietnam by Mersky, Peter B, and Polmar, Norman: Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company of America (1981) p.30.] VP-40 operated from seaplane tenders and patrolled off the Mekong delta between Phú Quốc and Vung Tau.The Vietnam War by Bonds, Ray: Salamander Books (1979) p.132.] The last U.S. Navy P5M was flown to the Smithsonian Institution on 12 July 1968.Flecknoe, Harold J. "Progress". "United States Naval Institute Proceedings", October 1968.]

US Coast Guard

Seven P5M-1Gs and four P5M-2Gs were built for the United States Coast Guard for air-sea rescue service, but the service found the planes difficult to maintain and surplus to requirements. They were given to the Navy, which used them as trainers since they had no provision for armament.

French Navy

The French Navy took delivery of ten ex-USN Marlins in 1959 to replace Short Sunderlands in maritime patrol service, based out of Dakar, Senegal in West Africa. They were returned five years later.


;XP-5M:Prototype converted from a PBM Mariner with modified hull.Andrade 1979 p207] ;P5M-1:Production model for the United States Navy, 160 built, later re-designated "P-5A".;P5M-1G:Modified P5M-1 for the United States Coast Guard, seven conversions, later returned to the Navy as P5M-1T.;P5M-1S:Modified P5M-1 with upgraded electronic and anti-submarine equipment, eighty conversion later re-designated SP-5A.;P5M-1T:Seven former USCG P5M-1Gs returned to Navy as crew trainers and one former P5M-1, later re-designated TP-5A.;P5M-2:Updated production model, 108 built for the US Navy and 12 built for the French Navy, United States aircraft later re-designated P-5B.;P5M-2S:Most P5M-2s were modified with upgraded electronic and anti-submarine equipment, later re-designated SP-5B.;P5M-2G:Four P5M-2s built for the USCG, later transferred to US Navy as P5M-2s.;P-5A:P5M-1 re-designated in 1962.Andrade 1979 p157] ;SP-5A:P5M-1S re-designated in 1962.;TP-5A:P5M-1T re-designated in 1962.;P-5B:P5M-2 re-designated in 1962.;SP-5B:P5M-2S re-designated in 1962.


* French Navy

* United States Coast Guard
* United States Navy


One P-5 is at the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola, Florida. It is currently in poor condition but is scheduled for partial and, eventually, full restoration. The restoration is being financed by the museum and by the Mariner/Marlin Association.

pecifications (P5M-2)

aircraft specification

plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
ref=United States Navy Aircraft since 1911 Swanborough and Bowers 1976, p.325.]
length main=100 ft 7 in
length alt=30.7 m
span main=117 ft 2 in
span alt=35.7 m
height main=32 ft 9 in
height alt=10.0 m
area main=1,406 ft²
area alt=130.1 m²
empty weight main=50,485 lb
empty weight alt=22,900 kg
loaded weight main= 72,600 lb
loaded weight alt=33,000 kgFact|date=March 2008
max takeoff weight main=85,000 lb
max takeoff weight alt=38,600 kg
more general=
engine (prop)=Wright R-3350-32WA
type of prop=radial engines
number of props=2
power main=3,450 hp
power alt=2,570 kW
max speed main=218 knots
max speed alt=404 km/h, 251 mph
cruise speed main=130 knots
cruise speed alt= 242 km/h, 150 mph
range main=1,783 NM
range alt=3,300 km, 2,050 miles
ceiling main=24,000 ft
ceiling alt=7,300 m
climb rate main=1,200 ft/min
climb rate alt=6.1 m/s
loading main=60.5 lb/ft²
loading alt=287 kg/m²
power/mass main=0.081 hp/lb
power/mass alt=0.13 kW/kg
more performance=
*AN/APS-44 radar
*4x 2,160 lb (980 kg) torpedoes "or"
*4x 2,000 lb (907 kg) mines or bombs "or"
*8x 1,000 lb (454 kg) mines "or"
*16x 500 lb (227 kg) bombs "or"
*16x 330 lb (150 kg) depth charges "or"
*1x Mk.90 "Betty" nuclear depth charge

ee also

* PBM Mariner
* P7M Submaster
similar aircraft=
* Beriev Be-12
* Short Sunderland
* ShinMaywa US-1A
* List of military aircraft of the United States
* List of flying boats and seaplanes




* Andrade, John, "U.S.Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909", Midland Counties Publications, 1979, ISBN 0 904597 22 9
* Roberts, Michael D. "Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons: Volume 2 The History of VP, VPB, VP(HL) and VP(AM) Squadrons". Washington DC: Naval Historical Centre, 2000.
* Swanborough, Gordon and Bowers, Peter M. "United States Navy Aircraft since 1911". London:Putnam, Second edition 1976. ISBN 0 370 10054 9.
* The "Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft" (Part Work 1982-1985), 1985, Orbis Publishing, Page 2420

External links

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