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
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.

Patricia Hampton Kinzie, 07.09.2013

Do anyone have any information for me to include in my father's memoirs about the air crash on 19 Jan 1960 near Adana, Turkey? My father, LtCmdr Warren Jack Hampton, was co-pilot and died that day. I am gathering information for a family history. I don't understand the nature of the radar failure?

Jim Edixon, 26.08.2013

Pilot - Flew with Hap Sweeten 1953 -1955. Flew 124362
when the left engine tore off - not something you would
care to have happen.Was flying '62 when it was attacked by
Migs April 1955.Had 124365 blow the right engine at 100 feet on take-off.
The P4M would climb 4000 ft/min at max gross weight on
I enjoyed flying DC-9s and 727s later but the P4M remained
closest to my heart.

stephen fontenot, 17.06.2013

my dad J.Y. Fontenot left me a beltbuckle with 1952 P4M sangley point on it he talked about the plane and the phillipines quite a bit over the years. would love to hear from anyone who might have known him

Norm Anderson, 17.01.2013

I was in VQ-2 from 1957-1961 and flew as radar operator in the P4M-1Q many times. I was at Incirlic Air Base in Turkey the night one of our P4Ms flew into the side of a mountain on the way in from Spain. All 16 crewmen were killed including my best friend. Toward the end of the time we had them there were a lot of problems, fires, engines going out and were finally replaced with A3D and WV. The plane was fun to fly in, especially with a hotrod pilot.

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