WW1 Planes
An encyclopediae of 1914-18 aircraft types


From records and movies to Production

Glenn martin starring in
Glenn martin starring in "A Girl of Yesterday" with Mary Pickford, 1913. Behind, his martin T.

Glenn L. Martin was born in Macksburg, Iowa, January 17, 1886 and after moving to Salina, Kansas, in a wheat farm he built many kites, being paid for it eventually. After studying business at Kansas Wesleyan he received an honorary Bachelor of Science degree. He was soon fascinated with flight, seeing the feats of the Wright brothers. In 1909 he started building a Curtiss June Bug model and later modified it used silk and bamboo, making a short flight. In 1912, he flew a seaplane from Newport Bay (California) to Avalon (Catalina Island) and back, breaking the English Channel record with 68 miles (109 km), winning a $100 prize. In 1913, he lost his competition in the Great Lakes Reliability Cruise (900 miles or 1,400 km) race, hitting a wave at high speed, low altitude and destroying the plane and went back on his business.

Martin MB-1
Martin MB-1 bomber. The company's best seller during WW1

In 1912, Martin created a large workshop for airplanes in an old Methodist church in Los Angeles, stunt-flying at fairs to raise money and make advertisement, also trying to be recruited as a pilot for movies. He played indeed the role of a dashing hero in the silent A Girl of Yesterday in 1915 co-starring with Mary Pickford. Founding the Glenn L. Martin Company he devised models for the military and in 1916 was merged with the Wright Company, giving the Wright-Martin Aircraft Company. A second Glenn L. Martin Company was created by him in 1917, later merging in turn with the American-Marietta Corporation in 1961, giving the Martin Marietta Corporation, joining Lockheed in 1995 (as Lockheed Martin). During his WW1 years he designed a numbers of models, with a best seller, the MB-1 bomber, followed by the MB-2 and following models in the interwar culminating with the Collier Trophy for the B-10 bomber in 1932. The company had meanwhile from 1928 onwards moved to Maryland, bringing much-needed jobs on the area. One of the most famous WW2 models of the company was the Martin B-26 Marauder, but the company also built other heavy-duty planes like the A-22 Maryland bomber, PBM Mariner and JRM Mars, and also produced the very complicated Boeing B-29 Superfortress. After he passed out in 1955 his company would built numerous advanced experimental jets and became a prominent aerospace company, between the Vanguard rocket, ballistic missile program and satellites, up to the space shuttle.

WW1 Martin Models:

  • Martin T (trainer, 1913) (?)
  • Martin S (trainer floatplane, 1915) (c6-16)
  • Martin MB-1 bomber (1918) (20)
  • Martin NBS-1/MB-2 bomber (1918) (8?)

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