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Connecting Skies Bridging Continents


In a significant move for aviation history enthusiasts, Coulson Aviation’s iconic Martin JRM Mars Waterbomber, the Philippine Mars, is set to touch down at the esteemed Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona later this year. This remarkable aircraft, one of only five of its kind ever produced, will join the museum’s distinguished collection, marking a poignant moment in its storied legacy.

Coulson Aviation, a renowned name in aerial firefighting, recently made headlines with the announcement of their philanthropic gesture, donating another cherished Martin JRM Mars, the Hawaii Mars, to the BC Aviation Museum in Sidney, British Columbia.


“This month has been truly exhilarating for the Martin Mars waterbombers,” expressed Wayne Coulson, CEO of Coulson Group. “In recognition of their invaluable service and the dedicated efforts of many individuals in both BC and the U.S., we take immense pride in seeing both Mars aircraft find their rightful places at world-class institutions in 2024.”


The Martin JRM Mars fleet, crafted between 1942 and 1947, played a pivotal role during World War II, shuttling cargo between Hawaii and the Pacific Islands in support of the U.S. Navy. Post-war, they continued their service during the Korean War, facilitating medical air transport between Hawaii and California, before transitioning to cargo lift operations between the two states until their decommissioning in 1956.


Surviving the test of time, four of these majestic aircraft were repurposed in 1958 by a consortium of timber companies in British Columbia, Canada, and transformed into the world’s largest waterbombers, capable of carrying a remarkable 7,200 U.S. gallons per drop.


Coulson Aviation’s acquisition of two of these historic aircraft, the Hawaii Mars and the Philippine Mars, in 2007, marked the genesis of the company’s fixed-wing air tanker operations for aerial wildfire support, showcasing a seamless blend of heritage and cutting-edge technology.


Today, the Hawaii Mars and the Philippine Mars stand as the sole surviving Martin JRM Mars aircraft, serving as enduring symbols of aviation excellence and resilience.


“We are honoured to welcome the Philippine Mars to our esteemed museum, where it will be meticulously preserved for future generations,” remarked Scott Marchand, CEO of Pima Air and Space Museum, reflecting on the significance of this addition to their collection.


About Coulson Aviation

For over 60 years, Coulson Aviation has remained steadfast in its mission to safeguard the world from forest fires. Through unparalleled organisational capabilities and next-generation multi-mission fleet, Coulson continues to provide superior aerial support across continents. Working hand-in-hand with OEMs and leveraging cutting-edge technology, Coulson remains at the forefront of all-hazard response aircraft solutions. Learn more about Coulson Aviation at:


About Pima Air and Space Museum

Pima Air and Space Museum stands as a beacon of aerospace heritage, boasting one of the largest collections of aircraft worldwide. Since its inception in 1976, the museum has grown to house over 400 significant aircraft, spanning the entire history of flight. With a diverse range of civil, commercial, military, and experimental aircraft, Pima Air and Space Museum offers a captivating journey through aviation history. Operated by the non-profit Arizona Aerospace Foundation, the museum’s educational initiatives provide enriching experiences for thousands of children annually. 

Explore more about the museum’s offerings at

Learn more about Coulson Aviation by visiting:

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