Coulson Aviation’s Martin JRM Mars Waterbomber Philippine Mars to land at Arizona’s Pima Air and Space Museum

Thermal, California – April 25, 2024: Coulson Aviation’s Philippine Mars will soon find its forever home at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona this year. The Philippine Mars is one of only five Martin JRM Mars flying boats produced.

Coulson announced the donation of another Martin JRM Mars, the Hawaii Mars, earlier this month to the BC Aviation Museum in Sidney, British Columbia.

“This has been an exciting month for both Martin Mars waterbombers,” said Wayne Coulson, CEO of Coulson Group. “As a fitting tribute to their years of service and years of hard work by many people in BC and the U.S., we are pleased to see both Mars aircraft landing to rest at world-class institutions in 2024.”

Produced between 1942 and 1947, the Mars fleet flew cargo between Hawaii and the Pacific Islands to support the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, they supported the Korean War with medical air transport lifts between Hawaii and California, later transitioning to cargo lift work between Hawaii and California before being decommissioned in 1956.

The surviving fleet of four aircraft were sold in 1958 to a consortium of timber companies in British Columbia, Canada, and converted into the world’s largest waterbombers carrying 7,200 U.S. gallons per drop.

Coulson purchased two of the aircraft, the Hawaii Mars and the Philippine Mars, in 2007, which marked the beginning of the company’s fixed-wing air tanker operations for aerial wildfire support.

Hawaii Mars and Philippine Mars are the only Martin JRM Mars aircraft remaining today.

“We are pleased to have the Philippine Mars join our museum where we will preserve this World War II-era aircraft for decades to come,” said Scott Marchand, CEO, Pima Air and Space Museum.

About Coulson Aviation

Throughout the company’s 60+ years, the mission has remained the same: to protect the world from forest fires. Our organizational capabilities allow our team to provide simultaneous aerial support across numerous continents. As a leading supplier to county, state, and federal governments worldwide, Coulson has focused its next-generation multi-mission fleet on sustainable, in-production aircraft. Working in partnership with OEMs and leveraging the latest technology allows Coulson to provide superior all-hazard response aircraft. Learn more about Coulson Aviation by visiting:

About Pima Air and Space Museum 

Pima Air and Space Museum is one of the largest aerospace museums in the world. Opening in 1976 with about 50 aircraft, the museum now displays more than 400 of the most significant aircraft in the history of flight from a Wright Flyer to a 787 Dreamliner. The international collection features a wide variety of civil, commercial, military, and experimental aircraft. The 80-acre campus includes access to six hangars with 300,000 sq ft of exhibit space. The museum is operated by the non-profit Arizona Aerospace Foundation that provides free admission to around 30,000 children every year through the education program for schools and youth groups. To learn more about the museum, please visit

AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Staff
AerialFire Magazine strives to provide you with breaking aerial firefighting industry news and information.

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