The Glenn L. Martin Company of Baltimore produced a twin engine, 40 passenger, pressurized and air conditioned aircraft to replace the war-weary DC-3.  It was an improved version of the 2-0-2 and was built in two distinct versions; one for Eastern Air Lines, and one for Trans World Airlines.  In all, 103 4-0-4's were built, of which sixty were delivered to Eastern Air Lines.  Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, famous WWI Ace and president of Eastern, said that the 4-0-4 was the best airliner available, and that Eastern had worked with Martin in making some 260 improvements to the design.  Said to be built like a tank, only three 4-0-4's were lost in its ten-years of service, all due to pilot error and with no fatalities.

The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum's Martin, serial number 14141, joined Eastern's "Great Silver Fleet" as 'Silver Falcon' N450A on January 23rd, 1952 and was the 11th 4-0-4 delivered.  This plane eventually served every airport on Eastern's entire system, including Reading, PA, the home of MAAM.

When EAL sold its 4-0-4 fleet in 1962, 14141 was acquired by Southern Airways and operated as N149S.  From 1978 to 1985 it was owned by Vero Monmouth Airlines in New Jersey where it operated as a charter aircraft.

MAAM acquired the aircraft in 1991 and has restored it as it appeared with Eastern in 1958.

SPECIFICATIONS

Engines:  Two Pratt and Whitney R-2800 radial engines of 2400 HP each

Wing Span:  93 Feet, 3 Inches

Length: 74 Feet, 7 Inches

Height:  28 Feet, 5 Inches

Maximum Speed:  312 MPH

Normal Cruising Speed:  225 MPH

Normal Crew: 2 Pilots, 1 Flight Attendant

Passengers: 40

 

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photo credits: Tom McManus