TOP 10 LARGEST MILITARY AIRPLANES - MARTIN JRM MARS FLYING BOAT - #10
Introduced in 1943, the Martin JRM Mars has the distinction of being the largest flying boat ever put into production. Although ordered as a patrol bomber just before WWII, the JRM Mars was converted into a transport aircraft when the United States Navy decided that it was no longer needed for its initial purpose.
Boasting a sizable 200-foot wingspan, this behemoth of the skies was stripped of its armor plating and offensive weapons for its new role. Unfortunately, by the time the first aircraft was delivered, it was 1945 and the war had nearly ended. As a result, the Navy cut its order from 20 planes to just six.
Of these half dozen, two were destroyed in accidents – although the four surviving planes continued to fly with the US Navy until 1956. The four aircraft were eventually sold in 1959, but they ended up operating well into the 21st century – as gigantic, flying fire extinguishers capable of dousing a four-acre area in a single trip. In fact, one of the planes is still under contract for use.