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  • Martin AM Mauler


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    The Martin AM Mauler (originally XBTM) was a single-seat carrier-based attack aircraft built for the United States Navy.

    General Information

    Designed during World War II, the Mauler encountered development delays and did not enter service until 1948 in small numbers. The aircraft proved troublesome and remained in frontline service only until 1950, when the Navy switched to the smaller and simpler Douglas AD Skyraider. Maulers remained in reserve squadrons until 1953. A few were built as AM-1Q electronic-warfare aircraft with an additional crewman in the fuselage.


    The XBTM-1 was a low-wing, all-metal monoplane with folding wings to allow more compact storage in carrier hangar decks, and conventional landing gear. Its fuselage was an oval-shaped stressed-skin semi-monocoque with the single-seat cockpit and its teardrop-shaped canopy positioned just aft of the air-cooled engine. Just behind the cockpit was a 150-US-gallon (570 l; 120 imp gal) fuel tank. The large wing consisted of a two-spar center section with hydraulically-folded three-spar outer panels. A large dive brake was positioned on the trailing edge of the wing. When closed it could be lowered for use as a landing flap or it could be split into alternating upper and lower sections, with intermeshing "fingers" for use in its intended role. It was very effective in this role, mainly due to its great surface area, but this was at the cost of the width of the ailerons, which significantly reduced their efficiency. A pair of 180-US-gallon (680 l; 150 imp gal) fuel tanks were positioned in the roots of the center section. All fuel tanks were self sealing and the pilot and oil cooler were protected by 297 pounds (135 kg) of armor.


    The aircraft was powered by a 28 cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-4360-4 Wasp Major Radial, with four rows of seven cylinders. It was referred to as the mechanics nightmare.


         Two prototypes built.
         A total of 131 production aircraft, another 651 aircraft were cancelled.
         An electronic warfare variant, 18 aircraft built or converted.
         Proposed carrier onboard delivery variant of the AM, named Mercury; not built.


    For more information on the development and design, and operational history, click here.




    The "mechanics nightmare" 28 cylinder engine.




    Martin AM Mauler 308.jpg


    Crew: one (two for AM-1Q)
    41 ft 3 in (12.57 m)
    50 ft 0 in (15.24 m)
    16 ft 10 in (5.13 m)
    Wing Area:
    496 sq ft (46.1 sq m)
    Empty Weight:
    15,257 lb (6,920 kg)
    Gross weight: 25,737 lb (11,674 kg)
    Fuel Capacity:
    510 US gallons (1,900 l; 420 imp gal)
    1 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360-4 Wasp Major Radial, 3,000 hp (2,200 kW)
    Maximum speed: 334 mph (538 km/h, 290 kn)
    Cruise Speed:
    189 mph (304 km/h, 164 kn)
    Combat range: 1,524 mi (2,452 km, 1,324 nmi)
    Rate of Climb:
    Time to altitude: 5.9 minutes to 10,000 feet (3,048 m)
    Service Ceiling:
    27,000 ft (8,200 m)

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    It's a lot of power for a single prop and must have been quite a handful on a wave off.  The engine must have also had some restricted RPM ranges with the long crankshaft it had, It had a record of engine problems in other aircraft it was fitted to. Complex it is. I've never heard one running, but it must have had an interesting sound.  Nev

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