The Martin 4-0-4 was a short to medium range twin aircraft powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engines. The 4-0-4 was designed by the Glenn L. Martin Company, who were also responsible for the Martin M-130 flying boat in the 1930s, and the first flight took place on 21 October 1950.

Just two airlines ordered the pressurised aircraft, a derivative of the earlier Martin 2-0-2, and these were Eastern Air Lines and Trans World Airlines. Scheduled services began at Eastern on 5 January 1952.

Martin 4-0-4 Video

Following on from the last video about the Sikorsky S-42 flying boat, this time we stay in the United States for a look at the Martin 4-0-4. First up is a short black and white clip lasting just over a minute of a TWA aircraft arriving at the gate in Indianapolis in 1960.

I think the most fascinating part of that for me was the get-ups the kids are in! Next up is a longer 13 minute presentation of a Martin 4-0-4 in 1994 at an air show. There is plenty of flying in this one.

From about 6:30 to 8 minutes, they are inside the cabin doing a walk through, so you get to check out the interior quite well. Looks like it would have been a grand day out.

Overall Thoughts

Just 103 Martin 4-0-4s were produced from 1951 to 1953, with Eastern taking 60 and TWA taking 40. Apart from the prototype, the remaining two went to the US Coast Guard. The mainline carriers retired their aircraft by 1962 and they went on to fly for second tier operators in the USA.

These included Ozark Air Lines, Pacific Air Lines, Piedmont Airlines, Provincetown-Boston Airlines, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, and of course Southern Airways which had a large fleet of 25 in service. The final aircraft took flight to a museum in February 2008, meaning there are none flying today.

Have you ever been on board a Martin 4-0-4 before? What was that like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by RuthAS via Wikimedia Commons.