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Glenn L. Martin Company: Wikis


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Glenn L. Martin Company
Fate Merged with American-Marietta Corporation
Successor Martin Marietta
Founded 1912
Defunct 1961
Headquarters Santa Ana, California
The B-26 Marauder, a bomber produced by Martin during World War II.
The Vanguard rocket, designed and built by Martin for Project Vanguard, prepares to launch Vanguard 1.

The Glenn L. Martin Company was an early U.S. aircraft company founded by aviation pioneer Glenn Luther Martin. The company went through a number of mergers over time and now exists as Lockheed Martin.[1]



Glenn L. Martin Company was founded by aviation pioneer Glenn Luther Martin on August 16, 1912.[2] Martin started out building military trainers in Santa Ana, California, and then in 1916, accepted a merger offer from the Wright Company, creating the Wright-Martin Aircraft Company in September.[1] This apparently did not go well, and Martin left to form a second Glenn L. Martin Company on September 10, 1917, this time based in Cleveland, Ohio.[2]

Martin's first big success came during World War I with the MB-1 bomber,[3] a large biplane design ordered by the US Army on January 17, 1918. The MB-1 entered service after the end of hostilities, but a follow up design, the MB-2, was also proved successful[3] and 20 were ordered by the Air Service, the first 5 under the company designation and the last 15 as the NBS-1 (Night Bomber, Short range). Although the War Department ordered 110 more, it retained the ownership rights to the design and put the order out for bid. Unfortunately for Martin, the production orders were given to other companies that had bid lower, Curtiss (50), L.W.F. Engineering (35), and Aeromarine (25).[4] The design was the only standard bomber used by the Air Service until 1930 and was used by 7 squadrons of the Air Service/Air Corps: 4 in Virginia, 2 in Hawaii, and 1 in the Philippines.

In 1924, Martin underbid Curtiss on production of a Curtiss-designed scout bomber SC-1, and ultimately produced 404 of these. In 1929, Martin sold the Cleveland plant and built a new one in Middle River, Maryland, northeast of Baltimore.

During the 1930s, Martin built flying boats for the U.S. Navy, and the innovative B-10 bomber for the Army. It also produced the famous China Clipper flying boat used by Pan American Airways for its San Francisco to Manila route.

During World War II, a few of Martin's most successful designs were the B-26 Marauder and A-22 Maryland bombers, the PBM Mariner and JRM Mars[5] flying boats, widely used for air-sea rescue, anti-submarine warfare and transport.

The company built the 531 B-29 Superfortresses and 1,585 B-26 Marauders at its Omaha plant at Offutt Field (later known as Offutt Air Force Base). Among the B-29s were the Enola Gay and Bockscar which dropped the war-ending atomic bombs on Japan.

Postwar efforts included unsuccessful prototype XB-48 and XB-51 bombers, the B-57 Canberra night bombers, the P5M Marlin and P6M SeaMaster flying boats, and the Martin 4-0-4 twin-engine passenger plane.

Martin produced the Vanguard rocket, which was used by the US space program as one of its first launch vehicles as part of Project Vanguard; the Vanguard was the first US rocket designed from scratch to be an orbital launch vehicle rather than a modified sounding rocket (Juno I) or ballistic missile (Redstone). Martin also designed and manufactured the LGM-25C Titan II intercontinental ballistic missile.

Martin merged with the American-Marietta Corporation in 1961 to form the Martin Marietta Corporation, which eventually merged with the Lockheed Corporation in 1995 to form Lockheed Martin.

The Martin Company employed many of the founders and chief engineers of the American aerospace industry, including Dandridge M. Cole, Donald Douglas, Lawrence Bell, James S. McDonnell, J.H. "Dutch" Kindleberger (North American Aviation), Hans Multhopp, and C.A. Van Dusen (Brewster Aeronautical Corporation). Martin also taught William Boeing how to fly and sold him his first airplane.


  • Aero-engines
    • Martin 333 4-cylinder inveted in-line piston engine


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