Martin 4-0-4


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Martin 4-0-4

The Martin 2-0-2, like its direct rival the Convair CV-240, was aimed at the requirement for a postwar DC-3 replacement for short-/medium-haul services. It was also Martin's first low-wing twin-engine type; however, unlike the Convair, it was not pressurized. Early orders from TWA, Northwest and others were promising, but the loss of a Northwest example due to structural failure in 1948 made necessary modification of all existing examples and curtailment of 2-0-2 production. Remedial action, pressurization and other design changes were channelled into the slightly larger Martin Model 4-0-4, which superseded the planned 3-0-3 and gained 101 orders from TWA and Eastern. A total of 148 of all types were built until 1952, and examples served well into the 1980s with commuter airlines. Operational numbers are now in the single figures.

Robert Jackson "The Encyclopedia of Aircraft", 2004

Martin 4-0-4A three-view drawing (2245 x 1235)

 ENGINE2 x 2400hp Pratt Whitney R-2800 CB-16
  Take-off weight20366 kg44900 lb
  Empty weight13211 kg29125 lb
  Wingspan28.42 m93 ft 3 in
  Length22.73 m75 ft 7 in
  Height8.66 m28 ft 5 in
  Wing area80.27 m2864.02 sq ft
  Cruise speed502 km/h312 mph
  Ceiling8840 m29000 ft
  Range3058 km1900 miles

Robert Rudder, e-mail, 23.02.2020 01:18

Many hours as a F /O and Captain in the M-404 with Southern Airways. It always brought me home. I do not think I ever exceeded 10.0 feet in all those years.


S L Jetton, e-mail, 26.09.2017 03:54

First flight as a child. Louisville to Detroit on TWA. 1951 or 1952. Loved it.


Mike Cavanagh, e-mail, 07.09.2017 20:01

I was hired as a co-pilot for Naples Airlines in 1976. Neal Summer and I were trained together on the DC-3 and Martin. What a privilege it was, and such a great experience to fly these two wonderful aircraft. The Martin had hydraulically boosted ailerons which really made it a nice flying aircraft. The aft airstair was also a great feature. I had the chance to fly a Convair 580 and it was VERY heavy on the ailerons. Great memories, I loved both the DC-3 and the Martin. Later I went to Delta and flew many other great airplanes. The DC-3 and Martin flying, and all the great persons, and adventures are good memories.


Steve Chapel, e-mail, 24.03.2017 10:29

Worked as a Ramp Jock on 404's out of ORF on the graveyard shift 68-69 for PAL. We had plenty to do because we had a ton of mail to unload /load few passengers and 1 /2 hour to do it. They would shut down the Port engine while the Starboard engine puttered away. Most of the Pilots were WWII vets and told some great stories, but then they were part of the greatest generation. I took plenty of hops, switched to the YS-11 and later Jets but it wasn't the same. I believe the 404 marked the end of a golden age in aviation; great plan, great people, great Airline.


Jim Burns, e-mail, 08.02.2017 23:49

My first commercial flight was on a TWA M-404.


Will R, e-mail, 23.05.2016 23:59

Interesting comments on the 404. I worked for Pacific Air Lines in LAS in the mid 1960s as a Ramp Agent. Easy airplane to work except for that damned belly bin which you had to stand in the opening and lift everything straight up. Loved to listen to those P&W R2800s and those "nose down" landings with a little flair just before touchdown.


bnada, e-mail, 27.08.2014 06:39

I remember working on Cape Cod 1984-87. PBA was flying the M404 along with the YS-11, DC-3, E110, and C402.


Steven Willoughby, e-mail, 07.04.2014 18:34

I worked with Petroleum Air Transport as mechanic and First Officer on the 404 in New Iberia, LA. They were used for passenger service along the Gulf Coast from 1977 - 1979. DHL bought PAT in 1979 and I helped ferry our 3 formerly Eastern airplanes (N465M, N471M and N473M)to Honolulu to be put into inter-island passenger service. They never went into service and were salvaged and scrapped in Hawaii (I assume since all of the registration numbers have been reassigned). Loved flying that airplane.


Tink Schaffer, e-mail, 28.12.2011 19:37

In response to Mr. Wilmouth's question. Piedmont Airlines operated the Martin 404 from 1961 until 1970. Please visit for complete Piedmont Airline history and a vast amount of information about all segments of PI. Have fun!


Robert C. Wilmoth, e-mail, 24.11.2011 00:37

I am trying to determine when exactly did Piedmont put the Martin 404 into service. I grew up in Beckley, WV and saw it fly from BKW to CRW everyday after I got off the schoolbus. This would have been from 1964-1969. I know the YS-11 flew towards the end of the late 60's. Does anyone know when the Martins flew for Piedmont?


Thomas, e-mail, 30.06.2011 03:22

Loved seeing the Martin 404 as my uncle (Edwin Johnson) worked maintenance for Eastern Airlines after WW-2 at Miami, St. Louis, and Atlanta over the years. He served on B-29's in the Pacific, worked until retirement age, and passed away around 2009. I remembered seeing these planes land at the old Willow Run Airport outside Detroit. Eastern also subsequently flew the Super Connies and Uncle Ed worked through the L-1011 era before retiring.


Barb Horace, e-mail, 13.04.2011 04:14

In the 60,s I flew as a stew on the 404. To this day it is still the coolest A /C I ever worked on.


Rudy E.Mack sr, e-mail, 08.03.2011 05:58

I cut my F /o training at Southern Airways on this A /C It's a great machine.


Phillip T. Moss, e-mail, 03.12.2010 03:00

Flew the Martin 404 many thousands of hours with Southern Airways. An absolutely great aircraft. It even had ground heat, engines off, which I don't believe the Convair 440 had.


tony, e-mail, 26.11.2010 19:30

The 404 was a GREAT airplane, grew up around them during my formative years and had family who worked for Piedmont in Roanoke. I'd hang out in the "big hanger" and stare, fascinated. Ended up on several ferry flights back and forth to Winston-Salem and learned a bit about 404s from the guys who maintained them and flew them.

LOVED this airplane. My desktop image on this computer is an Eastern Airlines 404 in flight, and the image on the computer at work is Piedmont Airlines' "Bluegrass Pacemaker" N40407 on approach, showing off that typical 404 "nose-down" stance as it approached the numbers. The 404 had better performance than the CV-240 and I'd feel safer on a 404... especially if an engine quit. A 240 won't stay up on one engine for long if it's carrying much of anything, while a 404 will. They were simply just nice airplanes, with a personality that made you fond of them if you spent any real time around them. And, those short exhaust stacks meant the 404 had a most satisfying radial roar on take-off and fly-over, than the 240's moaning drone resulting from the long exhaust plumbing that exited the rear of the nacelles.

I lived close enough to the airport to hear those airplanes running up their engines, and really miss seeing those Piedmont 404s flying low over my house back in the day, just having taken off and still low enough to make out faces in the windows.

I grew up listening to radial engines... dammit, I miss it. I'll run outside to look whenever I hear one these days, scared that that last one may well be THE last one I might get to see and hear although as long as avgas exists someone somewhere is going to be flying something with a round engine. I take come comfort... (ha!) knowing that radial powered A /C may well outlast me.

But I miss hearing and seeing those Piedmont 404s.

B.B. Clark, I envy you for having had the chance and privilege to fly 404s for Eastern, which probably had the prettiest livery color scheme of any airline of the '50s, bar none. Even as a kid, I'd stare at the Eastern examples of 404s that came and went here, and admire how great they looked. I love my wallpaper image on this computer. Never get tired of looking at it.


John Sh, e-mail, 12.10.2010 23:08

I rode on Piedmont Airlines Martin 4-0-4s between Louisville KY (SDF) and Norfolk VA (ORF) many times while serving in the navy during the Vietnam Era. The plane had a curious habit of fogging the cabin when pressurizing, a little disconcerting but it cleared up quickly. I rode one through the edge of a hurricane once. That was a wild ride. The captain decided to land at an alternate and the airline stuck us in cabs for the ride to Norfolk.


B.B. Clark, e-mail, 09.09.2010 01:02

Operated this a /c for EAL in the 50s. Very comfortable with roomy front end, incredibly efficient heating and cooling. One fine feature was the ventral door, ala D.B. Cooper. Very comfy & handy for the customers as we could arrive at the gate, shut down one engine, deplane and enplane customers out the rear end and be gone in four
minutes. Closed center hyd. system was cool as the gear handle would recenter itself, thereby isolating the gear system from the rest of the hyds. Hot wing, water injection and those wonderful P&W 2800s made it a fine performer in most any weather. Lots of discusion between ALPA & the companmy about operating weight of 44900# The union wanted 43650 in case of engine failure but most of us used the 44900# & got a good range extension with the added fuel or a few more heads. Great memories for a geezer of 88.We flew for Capt. Eddy Rickenbacker. A great American.


Sam Burchinal, e-mail, 19.01.2010 00:04

I have a martin 404 forsale or trade if you know some musuem would like to trade something , please call 903 491 9568


AHM FAN, e-mail, 20.04.2009 04:49

The Air Line History Museum in Kansas City, Mo. has a Martin 404 on static display.


Dan Scott, e-mail, 04.05.2008 14:12

Looking for an Ozark Airline M-404.
Want to ferry it to Smartt Field in St Charles MO.
We will restore it back to the Ozark colors.
We are a Non Profit org.


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