Martin 404

The Martin-404

Martin made many great military planes during World War II, but knew there would be an excess of them when the war was over. Glenn Martin was determined to make the earliest possible entry into the post-war airliner market. He unveiled a full-size mock-up of the new Martin 2-0-2 less than two weeks after the Japanese surrender. Many of the planes were sold, but the company suffered heavy losses. By 1949, the Martin company had recovered and embarked on its 4-0-4 project. A total of 103 Martin 404s were manufactured. Sixty were purchased by Eastern Airlines & forty by Trans World Airlines (TWA) with interiors seating up to 44 passengers. Three months later, the Korean War broke out and costs escalated, but the contracted were for a fixed price. Losing money on every plane, Martin refused to make any more. However the 404 became legend. After a decade or so with the trunk lines, they joined the former Northwestern 2-O-2's in service on regional carriers. Some were converted into executive planes (including one for Frank Sinatra) and others were used to carry cargo (not always legal). One aircraft was purchased by billionaire Howard Huges as his personal transport & two were acquired by the United States Coast Guard. These aircraft were factory delivered with V.I.P executive interiors.

Several were still flying in the 1990's, including 4-O-4's owned by the Mid Atlantic Air Museum, Save a Connie, Inc., and a private collector in Washington - displaying the liveries, respectively, of Eastern, TWA, and Pacific Airlines. At least two 4-O-4's have been impounded by the U.S. Customs Service and await possible restoration.

The Martin 404 served the U.S. Coast Guard & later the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1970 transporting not only top-level military brass but high-ranking members of the U.S. Treasury Department, Department of Defence & other U.S. Government Agencies.

The Aircraft in the photo N404CG, serial number 14235 was completed by the Glenn L. Martin Company, Baltimore, Maryland on 22nd October 1952. From 1978 to 1985 it was used to transport various entertainment groups throughout the U.S. & Canada including, The Doobie Brothers, The Beach Boys & Lionel Richie.

In 1997 an extensive restoration effort was undertaken lasting 2½ years. To learn more about the aircraft in the above photo log on to:

For more info on this series of aircraft in PDF format click Complete Model Specifications

For more info on this series of aircraft in html format click Complete Model Specifications

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