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The Martin 404 TRIVIA
Posted by: rm1923 ()
Date: November 28, 2005 01:49PM

THE FIRST MARTIN 404 FLEW ON NOVEMBER 21, 1950. THERE WERE 103 BUILT,TWA BOUGHT 40 AND EASTERN AIRLINES BOUGHT 60, 2 WENT TO THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD AND ONE WAS PURCHASED BY HOWARD HUGHES.
THE TWA TYPE HAD P&W R-2800 CB16 ENGINES (HIGH BLOWER) BECAUSE THEIR ROUTES REQUIRED A HIGH ALTITUDE.
THE HIGH BLOWER WAS REMOVED FROM THE ENGINES AFTER ABOUT A YEAR OF OPERATION AT PIEDMONT AIRLINES.
EASTERN AIRLINES AIRCRAFT DID NOT HAVE THE HIGH BLOWER SUPERCHARGER.
THE TWA TYPE WAS RECOGNIZED BY HAVING THE ROTATING BEACON ON THE TOP AND BOTTOM OF THE FUSELAGE. THE EASTERN TYPE HAD ONE ROTATING BEACON ON THER VERTICFAL FIN.
IT WAS ONE OF THE SAFEST PASSENGER AIRCRAFT BUILT. DURING THE FIRST TEN YEARS OF OPERATION THERE WERE NO PASSENGER FATALITIES.
PIEDMONT BOUGHT SOME OF THE TWA FLEET BY TRADING THEIR DC-3'S. SOME OF THESE
DC-3'S WENT TO THE SPANISH AIR FORCE AND SOME WENT TO THE FRENCH NAVY.

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Re: The Martin 404 TRIVIA
Posted by: donshanks ()
Date: November 29, 2005 01:40AM

A Martin 404 story........
I opened BAL - now BWI - as Station Manager. The station personnel and I arrived about 4 weeks before the first flight and the coming of Piedmont Airlines to the big city didn't seem to impress the folks working at BAL. Being typical PI folks - we were going to change that - we were going to make sure everyone knew PI was coming to the big city.

For several days prior to opening day, we did "everything" that was legal (and a few illegal things) to make sure everyone knew Piedmont was serving BAL. Our counter was loaded with donuts, candy, drinks, flowers, etc., etc., for our interline friends for several days before the first flight - showing off that Southern Hospitality.

The first day arrives and I think every agent working at BAL that wasn't working a flight was at our gate to watch our first flight arrive. An agent was assigned to 'park' the flight, the 404 touched down, taxied to the ramp under the guidance of the agent, and as he motioned the captain to turn for the parking position - he waited too long to give the turn signal - and the plane wing tip grazed the terminal building concourse. Fortunately, just the wing tip light bulb hit the building breaking the wing tip light.

Man, were we embarrassed! Our first flight into BAL and we hit the terminal building!

Fortuanatley we had made friends with everyone on the airport and a TWA mechanic came to our assistance - saying that the Martin 404 wing tip light and the Super Connie wing tip light were interchangable. He went to their hangar and got Constellation wing tip light bulb and replaced it for us and we made departure on time.

Things we will never forget!

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Re: The Martin 404 TRIVIA
Posted by: mtnmanpi ()
Date: June 22, 2007 08:10PM

The Martin 404 Was built by Glenn L. Martin Baltimore,MD (just an added note)
Thanks, Love you guys with Piedmont Don Stevens

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Re: The Martin 404 TRIVIA
Posted by: donshanks ()
Date: June 25, 2007 02:16AM

Thanks, Don, for the kind words. PI folks were pretty damn special!
Don

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Re: The Martin 404 TRIVIA
Posted by: snorton70 ()
Date: February 23, 2010 01:26AM

Hi Don
It's been awhile. Sir you helped to build Piedmont and I think of you often and can not say enough of what you do for this Site. You and Ron has kept Piedmont Airlines alive. God Bless to you and yours and do Take Care Nort. I do not come very often as when I leave I have wet cheeks from the loss of those that were here. NORT

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Re: The Martin 404 TRIVIA
Posted by: possum11028 ()
Date: October 16, 2010 05:26PM

My Dad, Jim Reep was Piedmont Maintenance in Charlotte for much of the 1960s. I grew up @ Douglas (CLT) often in his company in the maintenance office. During an Eastern strike in the mid 60s I assisted him with his work on the over night aircraft added due to the strike. I was his "go-fer". About daylight he began firing up the Martins for their daily checks. I stood the "fire Bottle" on the ground for this procedure. My favorite airplane in the fleet "Ole 421" was the last to be cranked. It was parked near the operations office near the post office between the north & east concourses @ the old terminal. A postal worker lay asleep on a postal cart not far away behind me & my huge wheeled fire bottle. Dad cranked the right engine with no problem & brought it to idle. My job was to count the pre-ignition revolutions for him. As he began turning the left engine , nearest me, & I counted the prop blades, I gave him the sign to start. He hit the ignition & the big 2800 Pratt coughed , then beleched a horrendous deep groan followed by a gut rattling explosion followed by a huge fire that exited out the carb intake above the engine. I frozen in total stark terror. Suddenly the engine coughed again & sucked the flames back into the intake, barked a time or two & caught normally. The flames disappeared for an instant, then reappeared out the exhaust stacks with an equally deafening explosion & were gone. The airplane was running normally. It had simply backfired. My life was many years shorter & the postal worker was laying face down on the pavement, having rolled off his comfy cart. Dad, smiling like a Cheshire cat, looked out the Captian's open window from the cockpit like it was business as normal. Oddly enough, fire never caused me concern again. The postal guy got to his feet cussing & resumed his nap.
"Ole 421", had a unique nose that made it stand out from all of the other Piedmont Martins. I was told by Captian Al Chrysler that she was the fastest plane it the fleet, cruising a few knots faster than her sisters, but she had a peculiar attitude of nose slightly down & yawed a bit to one side. He explained that she flew slightly out of "jig" but could be "trimmed" in with no problem aside from the fact that she would slow down when "trimmed in" . What an amazing airplane !!!!!!!! I became attached to her during her time with Piedmont. She was "mine" I loved her very much . I will always remember Piedmont as "MY" Airline". I was very proud of the people , the planes & the home grown roots of the "little airline that could & DID " !!!!!!!!!!!!
Jim Reep Jr
Charlotte, NC

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Re: The Martin 404 TRIVIA
Posted by: jymp ()
Date: October 20, 2010 12:09AM

Mr. Macklin, or anyone who may know, why did some Piedmont 404's have different noses than others ?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2010 01:43AM by jymp.

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Re: The Martin 404 TRIVIA
Posted by: chenjinyan11 ()
Date: August 14, 2018 07:09AM

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