Martin P4M Mercator
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Martin P4M Mercator

The US Navy made several attempts to gain the benefit of high over-target performance combined with long range by introducing mixed powerplant. The Martin Model 219 patrol bomber represented one of the results of such a specification, two XP4M-1 prototypes being ordered on 6 July 1944. The first was flown on 20 September 1946 as a cantilever shoulder-wing monoplane with retractable tricycle landing gear. Its powerplant comprised two 2218kW Pratt & Whitney R-4360-4 Wasp Major radial engines, but each nacelle also incorporated a 17,350kg thrust Allison J33-A-17 turbojet. After a protracted development programme 19 P4M-1 production aircraft were built, the first being delivered to US Navy Squadron VP-21 on 28 June 1950, and all served with this unit. Most of them were converted into P4M-1Q Elint aircraft, one being shot down.

 ENGINE2 x Pratt Whitney R-4360-20A piston engines, 2424kW + 2 x Allison J33-A-10A, 2087kg
    Take-off weight40000 kg88185 lb
    Wingspan34.75 m114 ft 0 in
    Length25.50 m84 ft 8 in
    Height7.95 m26 ft 1 in
    Wing area121.79 m21310.94 sq ft
    Max. speed660 km/h410 mph
    Ceiling10545 m34600 ft
    Range4570 km2840 miles
 ARMAMENT2 x 20mm cannons, 4 x 12.7mm machine-guns, 2700kg of bombs

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80
roger reid, 02.03.2018

Norm Anderson: Regarding the January 1960 Mercator P4M crash in Turkey, in which you lost your best friend. I am so sorry. My close friend was in the British RAF MR SAR party that effected to retrieval of the USA servicemen. They were treated with the greatest dignity and respect.
There were reports in two British MR books. If you are interested, please contact me.
Might you have any Official Crash Report of this crash on Karanfil Dag, or other "American perspective"? If so, that would be greatly appreciated

Donald R. Sullivan, Jr, 25.11.2017

Sitting here with my brother, Kevin, talking about the P4M and the one shot down June 16, 1959. Our father, LTJG Donald R. Sullivan was a pilot on the aircraft that day (he was acting as a Navigator that day from what we can tell). Noticed Mr. Owen Farley said he was also part of that crew. Wish we'd come across this page earlier. Anyone else with knowledge of the shootdown? Understand they landed (or crash-landed) at Miho. Please feel free to email me... thanks!

Ned Rankin, 10.10.2017

I was co-pilot with C.O. CDR Sparks in Napler,Italy in 1957 on a P4M-1Q when the gear collapsed upon landing at Naples

Bill Bonney, 18.08.2017

Flew as a ecm operator on P4M1Q. Port Lyauty French Morocco in 1952-1954. The plane was owned by Sqadron and we flew as passengers since we were in cumminication unit 32g. Had to fly in uniform and change to civies before getting off plane. Have seen cowl flaps broken in powered dive in Black Sea

steven biffoni, 18.04.2017

Having always been fascinated by the rarer aircraft that the Navy had over the years, after reading a book about it,
I wonder if more would have been manufactured had the plane been proposed as an electronic warfare.reconnaissance aircraft for its era, instead of being a rival to the Neptune.

Omer Tuzel, 12.02.2017

I would appreciate anyone who is knowledgeable regarding the engines used on the P4 MQ1 to inform me whether any type of hybrid engine with three propeller blades were fitted on any P4 MQ1 and if so whether the propeller blades would have been out of wood or metal?

Jo Ann Hofhine, 09.02.2017

Husband, Duane Hofhine was one of the original pilots of the P4M from June 1950 for the next 4 yrs. Retired after 25+ years of Naval service.

Grif Drew, 30.01.2017

My father LT Joseph Cole Drew was a pilot of this aircraft and was stationed in Port Lyautey French Morocco from around 1950 to 1954. Could never speak about why we were there because it was classified. I was very young but still remember our time there. He was very fond of this plane.

Joe L. Stauffer ADR-2, 19.05.2016

2PC on P4M-1Qs 56/58. Saw Tom Glovers post and remember him well.He was one of the first PCs on the first 2 A3Ds in the Navy. Want to let him know I am still in San Diego where I saw him last, 1959. The Mercater was an amazing A/C for it's time and remember my last flight, Iwakuni to Atsugi, enroute back to the land of the "round eye". Wish there was one I could go see!

BOB H., 03.04.2016


William Woodcock, 17.02.2016

Ya, I remember you Gerald Tripp. I was there the same time as you. I was a machinist on the p4m. I was stationed in Patuxent River after that when Peterson got killed when they were bring his plane back to the states for over hall.

Leroy McVay, 23.08.2015

Stationed at North Island, San Diego, in 1953. Every time one of these would call tower for landing instructions the tower would TRY to direct them to sea plane tower thinking it was a flying boat!

Klaatu83, 21.07.2015

The main reason why only a few of these airplanes were produced was because the Lockheed P-2 "Neptune" could perform the same mission and was far less expensive.

Gilbert C. (Van) Vandling, 10.04.2015

I was an Aviation Electronics technician assigned to a communications Unit in French Morocco between April 53 and Nov. 54. Our unit flew missions aboard the P4M-1Q. I would like to contact other members of our unit that served during that time.

Jim Price, 19.12.2014

I was in VQ-1 from 59-61. I worked in the ECM office and flew on many of the missions. I remember many of them. The WV-2's we started flying after the P-4's were bigger and roomier. Many years ago.

Jim Price, 19.12.2014

I was in VQ-1 from 59-61. I worked in the ECM office and flew on many of the missions. I remember many of them. The WV-2's we started flying after the P-4's were bigger and roomier. Many years ago.

Roy Wolfe, 24.10.2014

Interested in contacting Mark Baker Jr. Flew with his dad during Port Lyautey

Willis E.Vanderberg, 08.01.2014

The squadron in Port Lyautey was a VP not a VR.My error.

Willis E. Vanderberg, 08.01.2014

I was stationed in Port Lyautey French Morocco in 53-54 VR-24 was flying this type of aircraft.I was a member of the crash crew when one P4M landed with the gear up and smashed the radar dome all to pieces.Because of the J-33 in the Nacelles the landing gear was a long legged affair that folded outboard up aginst the wing bottom. We raised the old girl with a bunch of life rafts and lowered the gear.

John Ivory, 23.10.2013

Looking for people who knew my Father JOHN E.IVORY. He flew out of Sangley Point and was a bow gunner on the P-4M's. I believe he was NAS Whiby Island as well, have a class or squadron photo with a P4M as the backdrop.

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