The Martin 2-0-2 was one of the first modern airliners. The twin-engined piston aircraft was designed and built by the Glenn L. Martin Company.
Design and development
The first flight of the Model 2-0-2 was in November 1946. Full civilian certification was gained in August 1947. This was several months before competing aircraft types. The total production of 2-0-2 and 2-0-2A was 47 aircraft.
The aircraft was non-pressurized but was considered a long range airliner. A fatal crash in 1948 revealed a serious structural problem in the wings. Structural metal fatigue was the problem in a major wing spar. Alloy 7075-T6 was used, which is susceptible to stress-corrosion cracking and low toughness. The airliner was grounded and modifications were made. The wing components were redesigned and the engines replaced. The changed type was designated the Martin 2-0-2A.
On November 13, 1945 Pennsylvania Central Airlines purchased a fleet of 35 Martin 202's from the Glenn Martin Company, for a price of $7,000,000 . Two weeks later, Colonial Airlines announced they would purchase 20 airplanes at the price of $4,000,000 and scheduled for delivery in 1947. . Early in the next year, Martin announced Pennsylvania-Central Airlines ordered 15 more 202's bringing the total aircraft on order in early January 1947 to 137 aircraft, with a sales value of $27,000,000 .
Despite the announcement of these large orders, the contract terms allowed the airlines to cancel them without any penalty.. The 2-0-2 was unpressurised, unlike the competing Convair 240. Therefore, as delays in production built up, all airlines except Northwest, TWA, LAN and LAV called their orders and only 31 2-0-2s and 12 2-0-2As were actually delivered to the airlines.
The 202 was the first airplane subjected to the CAA's then new 'Accelerated Service Test', introduced May 15, 1947. In this test an airliner was to undergo a rigorous 150-hour test, attempting to squeeze one year's service into a week to ten day's flying. The 202 made such a test visiting about 50 cities in 7 days. At each city comprehensive inspections were made of the aircraft systems to assess how wear or malfunction would occur .
TWA and Northwest, initial customers of the 2-0-2, eventually sold their Martin 2-0-2s, to California Central and Pioneer Airlines. Later, Allegheny Airlines acquired many of the 2-0-2's as part of the company's expansion plans, beginning June 1, 1955. Eventually they acquired a total of 18 aircraft.
Only one of this type of aircraft is known to survive, at the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey.
This airliner type was eventually developed into the Martin 4-0-4, which was far more successful.
The Martin Company designated the following quantities for the airlines (though not all were built), listed by Martin Model number:
Accidents and incidents
The Martin 2-0-2 had 13 hull-loss accidents and incidents of which nine where fatal accidents.
Specifications (Martin 2-0-2)
Published in July 2009.
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